Frankfurt Book Fair features exhibit on Jewish connection to Israel

The Frankfurt Book Fair is the world's major fair for the print and digital content industry.

Frankfurt mayor Uwe Becker and Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations Shimon Samuels at the 2019 Frankfurt Book Fair. (photo credit: SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTRE)
Frankfurt mayor Uwe Becker and Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations Shimon Samuels at the 2019 Frankfurt Book Fair.
(photo credit: SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTRE)
An exhibition by the Simon Wiesenthal Center celebrating the close relationship between the Jewish people, the Bible and the Land of Israel was hosted by the Frankfurt Book Fair between October 16 and 20.
The Frankfurt Book Fair is the world's major fair for the print and digital content industry and has progressively become also a significant cultural happening, featuring thousands of events and drawing over 7,500 exhibitors from dozens of countries and 285,000 visitors.
According to a statement by the Wiesenthal Center, the exhibition was inaugurated by the German's city mayor Uwe Becker.
"The exhibition 'People, Book, Land' proves that the relationship between the Jewish people and the State of Israel did not begin in 1948 due to the Shoah. That industrialized mass murder was more than the murder of six million, but rather six million times the murder of an individual person - each stripped of their rights, dehumanized and killed," Becker said, criticizing those who try to delegitimize the State of Israel.
The mayor described the Book Fair as a very appropriate venue for such an exhibition in consideration of the many cultures and multitudes of visitors attending it.
"We not only welcome 3,500 years of Jewish history, but next year we celebrate 1,700 years of Jewish presence in Germany - an occasion to show what the Jews have done for the development of our country, not just the dark moments, but also the friendship between the State of Israel and Germany," he added.
Becker was presented with a 2,000-year-old Judean oil clay lamp "to illuminate your path in the challenges ahead," by the Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations Shimon Samuels.
Attending the inauguration of the exhibit were, among others, US Consuls-General for Frankfurt and Leipzig Patricia Lacina and Timothy Eydelnant, Rabbi Julian-Chaim Soussan from the local Jewish community, the Fair's Vice President Tobias Voss and some Frankfurt religious leaders, including Ursula Schoen, Vice-Dean of the Frankfurt Evangelist Church, and Johannes Zu Elz, Deacon for the Frankfurt Catholic Church.
Several speakers expressed their sadness and concern after the Yom Kippur attack against the synagogue in Halle.
"Last week's Yom Kippur vicious attack in Halle made it impossible to return to business as usual," said Voss. "It fills us with profound sadness, anger and above all shame that an attack on Jews can happen in 2019 Germany."
"As the representative of Frankfurt to the Jerusalem Book Fair for many years, I have many friends in that city. The exhibition sheds light on the history of the Jewish people, Jerusalem and the Holy Land and carries many facts still unknown to me. We wish to share our curiosity and hope that this presence will be a resounding success," he added.
"In the shadow of the Halle terrorist attack, the Fair was taking no chances, sending security to guarantee our exhibition's safety," Samuels from the Wiesenthal Center noted. "The Fair organizers defined their invitation to our exhibition as a tool for education against antisemitism, racism and bigotry."
"We have for 16 years been the only non-governmental organization to annually monitor incitement to hate and violence on the shelves - books in violation of their contractual obligation to the Fair", Samuels further said, highlighting how the exhibition "People, Book, Land," provided for an antidote against those phenomena.
Among this year's findings, was a book titled Marduk Necklace, by Kayan Publishing, an Egyptian publisher.  
"I wanted to shed light on the role the Jews played across history and their conspiracies to influence such political events as the French Revolution, the defeat of Napoleon and the plot to assassinate U.S. President John F. Kennedy," the author claimed according to a statement by the Wiesenthal Center, which added that the book was awarded the Egyptian "Government Appreciation Award" for 2018-2019.