Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Yad Vashem Rejects Hillel Kook (Peter Bergson) Exhibit

Yesterday, my cousin Dorothy went to the Wyman Institute conference in Tel Aviv calling for the recognition of Peter Bergson (Hillel Kook) as a hero of the Holocaust at Yad Vashem. According to this Jerusalem Post article, they've officially rejected him:
The Bergson Group is credited with helping to persuade the president in 1944 to establish the War Refugee Board, which ultimately saved 200,000 Jewish lives during the Holocaust.

"Omitting the saving of 200,000 lives is a mistake," [Professor David] Wyman said.

At the end of their Yad Vashem meeting, Michman told the group that the decision would be reviewed in 10 years, Wyman said.

The presentation of the petition, written by former president of the supreme court Meir Shamgar, was marred after Yad Vashem officials barred members of the press from accompanying the small delegation of historians and Kook family members who were delivering it, since the Wyman Institute had not coordinated the event with Yad Vashem's spokesperson's office.

Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev, who was out of the country when the group presented the petition to his office, had previously said that the context of the Bergson group's activities was outside the primary purview of the museum, which deals with the story of victims and perpetrators.