As the B’nai B’rith World Center in Jerusalem and Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (KKL-JNF) prepare for a unique joint Holocaust commemoration ceremony on Yom Hashoah (April 28), the rest of the global Jewish community is taking note.
This year’s event will memorialize the rescue activities of Jonas Eckstein (1902-1971) who was an active member of the Jewish community and a successful wrestler in “Hakoach” Jewish sport club in Bratislava.
Meanwhile, check out the rest of the press coverage surrounding the event.
Eckstein was a Bratislava-born Jewish wrestler:
"Eckstein was an active member of the Jewish community in Bratislava and was successful wrestler in “Hakoach” Jewish sport club in the city.
"His sporting activities allowed Eckstein to befriend city officials and police, which later facilitated his rescue activities."
He will also be honored by those in attendance that he helped save:
"[His] network of important contacts helped facilitate the rescue of thousands of people over a period of two-and-a-half years.
"Eckstein died in 1971, but many of the people that he helped to survive are still around to tell the tale."
While the Holocaust will always be remembered as a dark chapter in Jewish history, it was the brave acts, like those of Jonas Eckstein, that should shine through. One op-ed calls for a re-evaluation, based on the way in which Jews rallied to save one another:
"It is now high time to focus more of our collective energies on uncovering and disseminating the heroic stories of Jews who resisted and rescued fellow Jews."
Family will represent him at the ceremony:
"Most of his activity were undertaken at his own initiative while risking his own life and the lives of his wife and infant daughter.
"Jonas Eckstein will be represented at the ceremony by his daughter Tova Taitelbaum and his grandson, Israel Radio reporter Benny Taitelbaum."
The memorial commemoration is part of a larger ceremony throughout Jerusalem on April 28:
"Israel’s official governmental commemorations will continue on Monday morning with a Wreath-laying ceremony at Yad Vashem and the recitation of the names of Holocaust victims’ names.
"The names of victims will also be read at the Knesset."