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May 01, 1987 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-05-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

EDITORIAL

Never Forget?

This past Sunday was Yom Hashoah, a day of remembrance for the
six million Jews who perished at the hands of the Nazis and their
collaborators. Jewish communities throughout the world
commemorated that dark period in history with memorials, lectures,
films and presentations aimed at raising the consciousness of Jew and
Gentile, young and old.
Yom Hashoah has been forgotten in Detroit . . . not by the
approximately 350 persons, many of them survivors and their families,
who attended a somber, sensitive service at the Jewish Community
Center in West Bloomfield. But by the community at large.
Conspicuous by their absence from this year's service were Jewish
community leadership, members of the rabbinate, most elected and
appointed government officials, school children and their teachers.
As a community which prides itself in supporting Jewish causes
and which boasts one of the finest Holocaust centers in the world, it is
an embarrassment so few turn out for such an important event. Where
were the 1,500 people who bought expensive dinners at last fall's
Holocaust Memorial Center fundraiser? Are our checkbooks our
proxies for attending the community's Yom Hashoah?
The Holocaust survivors' group and the Holocaust Memorial
Center must involve the entire community in planning and publicizing
Yom Hashoah. The Jewish Community Council, the Jewish Welfare
Federation, our synagogues and rabbis must rally around the day's
organizers and be given input in the planning. It's time to start now
to plan a Yom Hashoah next year that involves the entire community
and upholds the Detroit Jewish community's reputation for supporting
important Jewish causes.

amplifies the accusations made by the World Jewish Congress last
year and establishes "a prima facie case;' according to. a Justice
Department spokesman, that Waldheim assisted or participated in
Nazi crimes.
Unfortunately, it seems only fitting that Waldheim, with his dark
past, is the president and national symbol of Austria, where many
participated in or condoned the horrors of the Nazi era.
To those, including Waldheim, who question the evidence, one can
only ask why the United Nations has sealed its records and why
former UN Secretary-General Waldheim lied about his Wehrmacht
involvement in Nazi atrocities. Changing his story and concealing the
truth should be proof enough. The Justice Department action this
week seals the indictment.

Israel At 39

As Israel prepares to celebrate her 39th anniversary of statehood
this week, Jews here and in the Jewish state are reflecting on the
miracles she has wrought in less than four decades. Not the least of
which is her survival.,
Forged from the ashes of the Holocaust, the State of Israel has
fought off repeated efforts by her Arab neighbors to destroy her. All
the while, she has served as a haven for Jewish refugees, be they from
Arab lands, the Soviet Union or Ethiopia, struggling to create a
democracy grounded in Jewish tradition.
But this past year has been an especially painful and
embarrassing one for Israel, particularly in regards to her relations
with her most important ally, the United States. From the Pollard spy
scandal to the Iran arms deal, Israel has been perceived as an
ungrateful supplicant, acting cavalierly in spite of the fact that she
receives $3 billion in vital aid from Washington.
Helen Davis, our Jerusalem correspondent, addresses this issue in
her Close-Up story this week, pointing out that many in Israel see it
differently. There are those who feel that the value of Israel to the
U.S. as a democratic stronghold in the Mideast cannot be measured in
dollars.
As the debate goes on over the actions of the Jerusalem
government, we in Detroit can show our admiration and support for
the people of Israel and their hopes and dreams by participating in
the community-wide Yom Ha'atzmaut (Independence Day) celebration
at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Maple/Drake Jewish Community Center. Only
when all Jews are unified in their support of Israel can she begin to
fulfill her Biblical prophecy as "a light unto the nations."

Viennese Waltz

History is catching up with Kurt Waldheim. It's about time.
The decision by the Justice Department this week to bar the
Austrian president from the U.S. is a significant signal that
Washington recognizes Waldheim for what he is, a man who
"participated in activities amounting to persecution" of Jews and
others in Greece and Yugoslavia during World War II, as well as a
man who lied about his past and still refuses to acknowledge any
wrongdoing.
The U.S. ruling, based on a new investigation, upholds and

6

Friday, May 1, 1987

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

LETTERS

Old Synagogue
Restoration

to
Congratulations
Shaarey Zedek on being
named an historic con-
gregation (Jewish News,
April 10). Now let's take
the next step and save
your abandoned, historic
synagogue, overlooking
the Fisher Freeway in
downtown Detroit.

Detroit is, and always
will be, the city that re-
presents Michigan..In its
glory, at the turn 'of this
century, it was known as
"The Paris of the Mid-
west." We, in the Jewish
community, ought to be
part of Detroit's rebirth.
We were an important
part of its history and we
need a structure in De-
troit to represent our his-
torical value.

Many churches of
different faiths and cul-
tures are being main-
tained and restored. Vis-
itors to downtown Detroit
can tour them. We need
a presence there also.
The old Shaarey Zedek
Synagogue should be re-
stored into a museum for

the "History of Michigan
Jewry."

Dulcy Feldman Swidler

Huntington Woods

Seeking The
Righteous

I am responding to
your article entitled
"Righteous Gentiles
andthe Aspects for the
Future" (April 3). In that
article, you write, quot-
ing from the Christian
Century, that I have
stated that the founda-
tion is, "the only Jewish
organization that works
exclusively to aid and
honor such Christians."
To set the record
straight, what I said,
quoting from Prof.
Yehuda Bauer of the He-
brew University and
Prof. Sybil Milton of the
Leo Baeck Institute, "no
post-war institute spe-
cializing in either World
War II or the Holocaust
has selected systematic
data about the Christian
Righteous during the war
years," and then, citing
No Herzer, a senior
member of the Riverside
Research Institute,

"Forty years since the
tragedy of the Holocaust,
the full story of how Ita-
lians rescued Jews re-
mains largely unknown,
even to Holocaust
authorities."
What I wrote was that
there is a need for a
Simon Wiesenthal to
search out the rescuers
and to record their lives
as part of our history. I
have stated that there is
no such active search for
the Righteous Christians
and that what little we
do have is a consequence
of those rescued who re-
ported their rescue to
Yad Vashem. This, how-
ever, is a passive effort.

The Foundation to Sus-
tain Righteous Chris-
tians seeks to actively
find these heroic rescuers
of our people by appeal-
ing to the silent wit-
nesses among our people.
It seeks to contact and
befriend these people
and, wherever possible,
supply supplemental eco-
nomic aid for those in
need.

Rabbi Harold Schulweis

Encino, Calif

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