Simon Wiesenthal Path Inaugurated in Martyrs Forest.
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
“Martyrs Forest is the ideal site to commemorate the memory of my grandfather, Simon Wiesenthal, who, besides bringing Nazi war criminals to justice, never forgot the six million whom the Nazis murdered.” Dr. Racheli Kriesberg, Simon Wiesenthal’s granddaughter, was speaking at the dedication ceremony of the Simon Wiesenthal Path in Martyrs Forest, which she also led. “I approached KKL-JNF with the idea of commemorating my grandfather, and from the moment I began to work with KKL-JNF’s Ze’ev Kedem, things began to move. On behalf of my entire family, I would like to express our gratitude to KKL-JNF,” Dr. Kreisberg concluded.
Simon Wiesenthal was born on December 31, 1908, and he passed away on September 20, 2005. He was a Jewish Austrian Holocaust survivor who became famous after World War II for his work as a Nazi hunter. After being forced to work as a slave laborer in Nazi concentration camps during the war, Wiesenthal dedicated most of his life to tracking down and gathering information on fugitive Nazi war criminals so that they could be brought to trial. In 1947 he co-founded the Jewish Historical Documentation Center in Linz, Austria, where he and others gathered information for future war crime trials and aided refugees in their search for lost relatives. Wiesenthal died in his sleep at age 96 in Vienna and was buried in the city of Herzliya in Israel. He is survived by his daughter, Paulinka Kreisberg, and three grandchildren, who were at the ceremony. The Simon Wiesenthal Center, located in Los Angeles, is named in his honor.
“We commemorate the memory of the six million, but we must also never forget the evil people who murdered them," said KKL-JNF Fundraising Director Ze'ev Kedem. "This was Simon Wiesenthal’s task. When Racheli asked us about a project that would commemorate her grandfather’s memory, we thought of creating this path, which goes from the depths of the valley to the peak of the mountain,” Ze’ev concluded.
Martyrs Forest is located the banks of Nahal Kisalon in the Jerusalem hills and was planted by KKL JNF to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust. The six million trees planted there in 1951 are a living monument of eternally green memorial candles for the six million people who were murdered during World War II.
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