Holocaust survivors museum dedicated in Haifa

As world marks Holocaust Remembrance Day, ICEJ honours survivors

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Posted on: 
1 Feb 2012
Holocaust survivors museum dedicated in Haifa

As the world marked Holocaust Remembrance Day on Friday (27 January), the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem took part in a special ceremony in Haifa to honour survivors of the Shoah. The ceremonies were attended by over one hundred Holocaust survivors and included the dedication of a memorial in their honour, as well as the groundbreaking for a new museum which will tell the story of those European Jews who managed to survive the Nazi genocide.

The "International Holocaust Day" ceremonies in Haifa were held at the Home for Holocaust Survivors operated by the local Israeli charity Yad Ezer L’Haver and funded by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.

Those in attendance included cabinet ministers Daniel Hershkovitz and Yossi Peled, deputy minister Dr. Leah Ness, Deputy Mayor of Haifa Oded Donitz, the Deputy Ambassador from Germany, and other dignitaries.

During the ceremonies, a torch was lit in memory of the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust, and a "Hand to the Survivor" monument was unveiled to honour Shoah survivors. In addition, the cornerstone was laid for the "Hand to the Survivor" Museum, which will house a unique historic collection of exhibits, photographs, and personal memorabilia which tell the story of those who courageously endured the Nazi Holocaust and lived to tell about it. The Museum was named in honour of Albert Buehler, father of Dr. Juergen Buehler, executive director of the ICEJ.

During World War II, Albert Buehler was forced to serve in the German army on the eastern front and was taken captive by the Red Army early in the conflict. He was one of only 5000 German POWs who survived the war in the Russian camps, thanks to a Jewish doctor and a Jewish farmer who nursed him to health when he was deathly ill. After the war Albert Buehler became a well-known Evangelical pastor throughout Germany, and instilled in his sons a deep love for Israel and the Jewish people.

“I did not expect this tribute to happen, but it is a great honour,” said Dr. Juergen Buehler. “My father taught me to love and respect the Jewish people. In his youth, even amid the Nazi craze, he set an example to stand up for justice by refusing the SS demands that he join their ranks and by refusing to use the popular ‘Heil Hitler’ greeting.”

Over the past two years, the Christian Embassy has been sponsoring a special project to expand an assisted-living facility in Haifa for impoverished Holocaust survivors, operated by Yad Ezer L’Haver (Helping Hands to Friends) and originally housing 14 survivors.  The ICEJ has provided funds to purchase and renovate two more apartment buildings on the same street to accomodate more Survivors.