Last year just prior to the March of Remembrance, the nation had a vivid example that anti-semitism is alive and well in the U.S. The target was the Holocaust Museum in Houston.
One of the memorials at the Houston Holocaust Museum is the Danish Rescue boat. During the German occupation in Denmark, there was intense pressure by the Germans to deport the Jewish citizens to concentration camps. The country as a whole, from government and church officials to students and businessmen, were vocal and took a stand and refused to support it.
In 1943, the government officials resigned rather than cave to the oppressive German demands. At that point, the German occupiers stepped in and started deporting Jews to concentration camps in the face of opposition. The Danish people coordinated rescue efforts on a nation wide scale for their Jewish fellow Danes. They smuggled them out of the country on fishing boats to Sweden. Over 7,200 Jews were rescued in these efforts.
In 2007, the Houston Holocaust Museum acquired an Danish fishing boat from this era.
A consulting firm in Philadelphia was brought in for recommendations for the restoration of the boat. As word got out about their participation in the project, they received a hate filled message spewing anti-semitic rant last year in March. One of the consultants uploaded a video to Youtube describing the situation and played the phone call. The video was then featured on the Glenn Beck program and donations poured in for the project (the video has since been made private.)
What that misguided caller meant for evil ended up benefiting the project. You can see the exhibit and learn more about the project at a breakfast at the Houston Holocaust Museum on Friday, January 18th.
Danish Rescue Boat Conservation Breakfast
Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Holocaust Museum Houston
Morgan Family Center
5401 Caroline St.
Houston, TX 77004
in Houston’s Museum District
Join Holocaust Museum Houston for breakfast and to learn more about the Museum’s work to conserve its Holocaust-era Danish rescue boat, the Hanne Frank.
This rare artifact tells the heroic story of a three-week period in 1943 when Danish citizens risked their own lives to save more than 7,200 Jews from almost certain execution at the hands of Nazi Germany.
Breakfast, beginning at 9 a.m., will include remarks by Dina Rudaizky, a Houstonian whose grandparents were rescued on a boat like the Hanne Frank, and a tour by Walter Hansen, the manager for the boat restoration project.
Tickets are $20, and advance registration is required.
Visit http://www.hmh.org/RegisterEvent.aspx to RSVP online.
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