Hundreds honor Jews who saved Jews

B'nai B'rith chairman says Jewish heroes have yet "to receive appropriate public recognition."

With the participation of over 700 border policemen and students, the B'nai B'rith World Center in Jerusalem and the Jewish National Fund (JNF) held a joint ceremony on Tuesday for Holocaust Remembrance Day that threw a spotlight on Jews who rescued fellow Jews. The event was held at the Scroll of Fire monument located in the B'nai B'rith Martyrs' Forest, a joint JNF-B'nai B'rith project of six million trees planted in the Jerusalem Mountains, near Moshav Kessalon. B'nai B'rith World Center chairman Dr. Haim V. Katz described the heroism of the thousands of Jews who worked to save their brethren in Europe, saying they had yet "to receive appropriate public recognition." "Many who, perhaps, could have fled themselves preferred to save others and paid for it with their lives," he said. Referring to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech at the Durban II anti-racism conference in Geneva on Monday, Katz added, "The dangers faced by the Jewish people have not passed, and it is our responsibility to follow in the steps of these heroes... to ensure the future of the Jewish people." Czech Ambassador Michael Zantovsky told the audience, "From our experience, we learned that it is not enough to remember the victims...Our generation must be aware of all types of racism, anti-Semitism and intolerance and must always find the strength to be heroes at the necessary time." The Czech Republic pulled out of the Durban II conference after Ahmadinejad's speech. Former national soccer team coach Avraham Grant, the son of Holocaust survivors, also spoke at the event. "In the world of sports, you are taught to win through team spirit, mutual help, decisiveness and standing up to pressure. The Jewish rescuers relied on all of these attributes when - under the most difficult conditions - they saved other Jews rather than thinking of themselves," he said.