May 13, 2007

Museum Created for Germans Who Hid Jews

From Museum Created for Germans Who Hid Jews:

Barbara Preusch, 76, vividly remembers the day the Nazis searched her Berlin home for hidden Jews - and left without finding Rachela and Jenny Schipper, the mother and daughter her family sheltered from 1943 to 1945. Sixty-two years after the end of World War II, people like Preusch are being honored with a museum in Berlin. Israel has recognized non-Jews who helped Jews escape the Holocaust and honored 443 Germans at the Yad Vashem Memorial as "Righteous among the Nations." But similar honors have been long delayed at home. The "Silent Heroes" museum is to open in 2008 in an old tenement building in the center of Berlin. It will be based in Otto Weidt's former workshop for the blind, where several Jews survived in a secret room during the war. About 1,700 Jews survived in Berlin, and an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 non-Jewish Germans actively hid them, according to historian Johannes Tuchel, the head of the German Resistance Memorial Center which is in charge of the museum.