L-R : Rabbi Yitzhak Goldstein, Shlomo Gur, Chaim Chesler and Ze'ev Elkin next to the memorial plaque
July 3, 2018
The unveiling of a memorial plaque in the first Holocaust museum in Israel (established in 1948) was initiated by Limmud FSU (former Soviet Union), the Conference for Material Claims against Germany and the March of the Living Organization.
The ceremony began in the morning hours (July 2) and was followed by the unveiling of the memorial plaque right next to a “Tree of Life”, a 70-years-old fruit tree that was dedicated to Elie Wiesel.
The event was held in the presence of leading dignitaries, including Ze’ev Elkin, Minister of the Environmental Protection and Jerusalem Affairs; Shlomo Gur, Deputy President of the Claims Conference in Israel; Chaim Chesler, founder of Limmud FSU; Rabbi Yochanan Fried; Dr. Joel Rappel, founder and former director of the Elie Wiesel Archives at Boston University; Marina Koritny, Head of Aliya Promotion Department in the World Zionist Organization ;Rabbi Yitzhak Goldstein, Chairman of the Chamber of Holocaust; Marina Kontsevaya, Jerusalem Council member and other personalities.
Minister Elkin said at the ceremony, “For me, the books by Elie Wiesel in Russian translation that were available to us in the Soviet Union were an essential element in the attempt to understand the Jewish nature; his words touched the very soul of the Jewish people. There is, therefore, nothing more symbolic than a plaque here in the first museum in Israel dedicated to the memory of the Holocaust, in a place that was for the Jews during many decades, the nearest place to the Western Wall.”
Chaim Chesler said, “Elie Wiesel loved Jerusalem to the depths of his being. The decision to mark the second year of his passing by affixing this plaque here was for us an issue without question.”
Shlomo Gur added: “Elie Wiesel was the clear and articulate voice of those who perished in the Holocaust and those who survived the inferno. He devoted his life to the struggle of good over evil and today we are here to commemorate his life’s work and his mission. He spoke out against the consequences of indifference and standing aside, and we are obliged to follow his lead and make every effort to educate the coming generations in the spirit of his legacy.”