A Jewish Rescuers Citation was presented in memory of Teddy Kollek (1911-2007), former mayor of Jerusalem, at a ceremony held in Hebrew at the Jerusalem Cinematheque on Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022. The citation, a joint project of the B’nai B’rith World Center and the Committee to Recognize the Heroism of Jewish Rescuers During the Holocaust, was conferred in recognition of Kollek’s heroic efforts to rescue fellow Jews in Czechoslovakia, Germany and Austria. Read more about the event.
The B’nai B’rith World Center-Jerusalem and the Committee to Recognize the Heroism of Jewish Rescuers During the Holocaust (JRJ) created the Jewish Rescuer Citation in 2011 to honor and pay respect Jews who rescued fellow Jews during the Holocaust. Since then, nearly 600 heroes have been honored for rescue activities in Germany, Holland, France, Slovakia, Greece, Russia, Ukraine, Austria, Belarus, Italy, Poland, Morocco, Algiers, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Belgium.
See how media outlets covered the ceremony:
Israel National News – Arutz Sheva
“The sign of the Jewish savior” – To the late Teddy Kollek
Grapevine January 21, 2022: Herzog weighs in on Meron tragedy
Legendary Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek will be memorialized yet again through a Jewish Rescuers’ Citation to be presented in his memory by the B’nai B’rith World Center and the Committee to Recognize the Heroism of Jewish Rescuers during the Holocaust. BBWC has for several years now, honored Jews who saved Jews. The citation will be presented this coming Sunday, January 23 at 6.30 p.m. at the Jerusalem Cinematheque in recognition of Kollek’s heroic efforts to rescue fellow Jews in Czechoslovakia, Germany and Austria.
In the spring of 1939, Kollek left England for German-occupied Czechoslovakia to undertake a complex and dangerous mission to allow Jews to transfer assets to Great Britain. From Czechoslovakia, Kollek, carrying a great many certificates for Austrian Jews, continued to Vienna for a meeting with Adolf Eichmann, who at the time was head of Jewish Affairs at the Security Service (Sicherheitsdienst – SD). The meeting took place in April 1939 at SD headquarter in Villa Rothschild, which had been nationalized by the Nazis. Taking considerable personal risk at so dangerous a time, Kollek succeeded in convincing Eichmann to apply to Austrian Jews the same regulations that allowed Jews to still leave Germany with entry permits from foreign countries. In doing so, he saved many lives.
The citation will be presented in conjunction with the premiere screening of the film Recognition, directed by Shoshi Ben Hamo and produced and initiated by Avraham Huli. The film tells the exceptional story of rescue of Jews by fellow Jews who endangered their lives to do so during the Holocaust. The rescuers operated in cities, villages, ghettos, and camps and employed resourcefulness, tenacity and courage, risking their lives to save others. Some paid with their lives and those of their families. The film was shot in Israel, France, Poland, Greece, Holland and Hungary, beginning in 2016.
Speakers at the event will be Osnat Kollek, the daughter of Teddy and Tamar Kollek; Arie Barnea, chairman of the Committee to Recognize the Heroism of Jewish Rescuers During the Holocaust; BBWC Director Alan Schneider; Huli and the film’s historical adviser Prof. Gideon Greif.
Grapevine: Talking Teddy Kollek