On Tuesday, September 10th 2019, B’nai B’rith Europe held an event that around 200 people attended, honouring Maurice and Esta Heiber, two of the many Jewish heroes of WWII. The ceremony was co-organized by B’nai B’rith Europe and CCLJ (Centre Communautaire Laïc juif), in coordination with B’nai B’rith World Center – Jerusalem, JRJ – the Committee to Recognize the Heroism of Jewish Rescuers During the Holocaust and L’Enfant Caché asbl.
The event took place in presence of the President of B’nai B’rith Europe, Mr. Serge Dahan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, and of Defence, in charge of Beliris and Federal Cultural Institutions, Didier Reynders, Political Counselor at the Mission of Israel to the EU and NATO, Noa Ginosar, MP Vivianne Teitelbaum, former President of CCLJ, Menia Goldstein, President of CCLJ, Isi Halberthal, President of CCOJB, Yohan Benizri, Members of B’nai B’rith Europe Executive Committee, Valerie Achache and Andre Ouazana, B’nai B’rith International director of European Union affairs, Alina Bricman among other personalities.
The ceremony focused on the recognition that Jews who saved other Jews during WWII should have, as they risked their lives to save other lives of their own people. The “Jewish Rescuers Citation” aims to highlight the acts of courage and devotion of Jewish heroes who were never truly recognised. At this occasion, B’nai B’rith honoured Maurice and Esta Heiber, two of the many Jewish heroes of WWII.
The ceremony gathered hidden children during the Second World War and highlighted the heroism of Jewish mothers that were forced to hide their children away from the death traps that the Second World War set. Moreover, the autobiographique book release of Shaul Harel – «Un enfant sans ombre» was presented. The intertwining of these two special moments made the day truly emotional.
The “duty to remember is recorded in the DNA of B’nai B’rith”, stated Serge Dahan. “B’nai B’rith Europe has naturally set itself the task of working to strengthen the Jewish community, combat racial and religious intolerance, support the State of Israel, mobilize for the preservation and promotion of the memory of the Jewish people as well as their culture and history.”
“Jews understood that resisting was simply a way to restore Judaism, to give it meaning and ethics” continued Serge Dahan,” their story must be told, transmitted, recalled, because it is proof that man survives despite fear and oppression. Only brotherhood can save a life and one must always believe in other ones.”