Qantas CEO and NRL star pay tribute to Holocaust Survivor Lotte Weiss

February 24, 2022 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Qantas boss Alan Joyce and dual international rugby star Timana Tahu were the guest speakers at the recent Memorial evening for Holocaust survivor Lotte Weiss  – on the first anniversary of her passing in February 2021.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Auschwitz survivor Lotte Weiss Photo: Ben Apfelbaum (2015)

Hosted at the Sydney Jewish Museum by Lotte’s sons Johnny and Gary, the event attracted political and corporate leaders including former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, former Queensland Premier Peter Beattie, NRL CEO Andrew Abdo, Rod McGeoch, Deputy Chair Venues NSW among others.

Interviewed by Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins of the Emanuel Synagogue, Alan Joyce reflected on his visit to the museum five years ago and meeting Lotte and hearing her personal story of Auschwitz, loss of family and incredible optimism and positive outlook that allowed her to rebuild her life after the War. He shared that he has been personally inspired by Lotte’s outlook since that time  – one that he shared on a number of occasions publicly

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce tells Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins about meeting Lotte Weiss

Timana Tahu

, who played for both Australia and New Zealand in rugby league as well as the Wallabies, took a stand against racism and discrimination, leading him to walk out and leave the NSW State of Origin rugby league team. He was invited by Gary’s eldest son Daniel to the Jewish Museum to meet Lotte where she shared her story. “I’d lost faith in people’s moral goodness and grown weary by the time of meeting Lotte.

There’s a lot I remember about that day and Lotte’s story has impacted myself and my family in more ways than one. However what I remember most is her compassion towards me, I remember how in awe I was of this tiny little lady that endured pure evil but was sitting there with strength and dignity while sharing her horrific experience with us. I remember the peace; I remember how peaceful I felt walking out of the museum that day”

Lotte’s legacy will be maintained through the Weiss family’s funding of a range of educational, tolerance and anti-racism projects in Australia, New Zealand and USA.

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