Shalom Life | May 25, 2015

Jewish Wrestler to be Honored at Holocaust Memorial Ceremony

Jonas Eckstein, a Bratislava-born wrestler, saved thousands of Jews from persecution during the Holocaust

By: Ynet News

Published: April 24th, 2014 in News » World

Jewish Wrestler to be Honored at Holocaust Memorial Ceremony

B’nai B’rith World Center and Jewish National Fund will mark their twelfth Holocaust commemoration ceremony by honoring Jonas Eckstein, a Bratislava-born Jew who saved thousands of lives while risking his own.

Eckstein was an active member of the Jewish community in Bratislava and was successful wrestler in “Hakoach” Jewish sport club in the city. His sporting activities allowed Eckstein to befriend city officials and police, which later facilitated his rescue activities.

Over a period of two and half years, Eckstein oversaw food distribution to Jewish prisoners, gave shelter orphans from Poland and also helped them flee to pre-state Palestine.

He further assisted Jews who fled to Slovakia from Auschwitz, and hid Jews in bunkers – including one he dug under his own basement.

As a result of his activities, Eckstein was imprisoned and tortured by the Gestapo and was pressured to hand over additional hidden Jews.

Many of his operations were conducted under the framework of the local Jewish community's efforts to save itself, but most of his activity were undertaken at his own initiative while risking his own life and the lives of his wife and infant daughter.

Jonas Eckstein will be represented at the ceremony by his daughter Tova Taitelbaum and his grandson, Israel Radio reporter Benny Taitelbaum.

Some 200 Border Police cadets – who will provide an honor guard - and 200 high school students will participate in the ceremony together with additional survivors.

The ceremony will take place at KKL-JNF's Martyr’s Forest which commemorates the victims of the Holocaust with 6 million trees planted in the picturesque Jerusalem Mountains.

Guests of honor will be MK Amram Mitzna (Hatnua) and Slovakian ambassador Hon. Radovan Javorcik. Also speaking at the ceremony are KKL-JNF Chairman Effi Stenzler and B’nai B’rith World Center Chairman Dr. Haim V. Katz.

During the ceremony a 'Jewish Rescuers Citation' will be conferred by the Committee to Recognize the Heroism of Jewish Rescuers during the Holocaust (JRJ) and the B’nai B’rith World Center on seven rescuers - or their next of kin.

The citition recipients are: Efraim Agmon, Moshe Alpan, Neshka and Tzvi Goldfarb, Miriam and Yitzhak Roth from Hungary and Jacob Maestro from Greece.

Considering that many of the rescuers were young at the time of their activity, the organizers of the ceremony thought it was especially important to expose Jewish youth to the phenomena of Jewish rescuers during the Holocaust as a model for solidarity and courage.

Reprinted with permission from Ynet News

WATCH: Journalist Shows What it's Like to Walk Around as a Jew in Cairo WATCH: Journalist Shows What it's Like to Walk Around as a Jew in Cairo TrendingCanadian Holocaust Survivor Recognizes Himself in Online Photo Canadian Holocaust Survivor Recognizes Himself in Online Photo TrendingSeven Ways to Celebrate a Meaningful Shavuot Seven Ways to Celebrate a Meaningful Shavuot Trending
 

WATCH: Journalist Shows What it's Like to Walk Around as a Jew in Cairo

May 25, 2015 | By Ynet News
WATCH: Journalist Shows What it's Like to Walk Around as a Jew in Cairo

Egyptian journalist gets harassed dressed as a religious Jew, though he does get a couple compliments too

Read More

Israeli Makes Eurovision Finals for First Time in 5 Years

May 22, 2015 | By Shaleni McBain
Israeli Makes Eurovision Finals for First Time in 5 Years

'Golden Boy' Nadav Guedj hopes to live up to his name

Read More

Israeli Companies Make Gartner's Innovative 'Cool Vendors' List

May 22, 2015 | By Einat Paz-Frankel, NoCamels
Israeli Companies Make Gartner's Innovative 'Cool Vendors' List

18 out of 350 companies selected by leading American IT research firm Gartner are from the Holy Land

Read More

Jewish Community Center Cancels Marijuana Art Classes

May 22, 2015 | By Shaleni McBain
Jewish Community Center Cancels Marijuana Art Classes

Class that welcomed cannabis usage at Aspen Community Center in Colorado quickly nixed

Read More

Israel in Top 10 Countries for Gay Men

May 22, 2015 | By Shaleni McBain
Israel in Top 10 Countries for Gay Men

Country ranks #7 on the happiness index

Read More

Canadian Holocaust Survivor Recognizes Himself in Online Photo

May 22, 2015 | By Daniel Koren
Canadian Holocaust Survivor Recognizes Himself in Online Photo

Yehuda Danzig of Toronto was stunned when he came across a pic of himself and his younger brother while reading The Times of Israel

Read More

Seven Ways to Celebrate a Meaningful Shavuot

May 22, 2015 | By Maayan Jaffe, JNS.org
Seven Ways to Celebrate a Meaningful Shavuot

Here are a few ways to infuse some meaning and minhag (tradition) into your Shavuot this year

Read More

WATCH: Israeli, Muslim Footballers Unite For "One World, One Ball"

May 22, 2015 | By Daniel Koren
WATCH: Israeli, Muslim Footballers Unite For "One World, One Ball"

"Play the ball, not the state," say soccer players of various ethnicities to FIFA in new video

Read More

More Headlines