(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
The Friends of Zion Museum recently honored Russian Ambassador to Israel Anatoly Viktorov, as well as Russian Holocaust hero Fedor Fedorovich Mikhailichenko.
Mikhailichenko was a Russian “Righteous Among the Nations,” who was taken as a prisoner of war by the Nazis during World War II and helped save a young Jewish boy who would grow up to become Israel’s Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Israel Meir Lau.
After receiving one of FOZ’s tokens of appreciation, Viktorov spoke of his fondness for the State of Israel. The ambassador also noted that “Russia and the Red Army saved many Jews during World War II by defeating the Nazis and liberating concentration camps. I am also proud to say that the Soviet Union voted in favor of a Jewish state in 1947 at the United Nations and recognized it in 1948.”
In 1942, the Nazis sent Mikhailichenko to the concentration camp of Buchenwald and later imprisoned Lau. Mikhailichenko solely cared for and sustained the much younger Lau, even at times stealing potatoes from the Germans themselves to feed him. When World War II ended, Mikhailichenko was eager to adopt the younger Jewish boy, though he was denied by the post-war authorities due to his young age of eighteen.
In 2009, Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Museum, recognized Mikhailichenko as a “Righteous Among the Nations,” a distinction reserved for those who had risked their very lives during the Holocaust to save Jews from the Nazi’s genocidal intentions.
The Friends of Zion Museum recently surpassed 52 million members, making it one of the largest pro-Israel sites in the world. The Friends of Zion Museum opened its doors in 2015 and is located in the heart of central Jerusalem. The FOZ Museum tells the heroic stories of the non-Jews who have assisted the Jewish people throughout the Zionist movement as well as in critical times like the Holocaust.
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