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SA Organisations

Yom Hashoah commemoration coming up

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The South African Jewish Board of Deputies will once again be holding its annual Day of Remembrance ceremony in memory of the Six Million Jewish Martyrs who perished at the hands of the Nazis during the Second World War.
by OWN CORRESPONDENT | Mar 31, 2015

The Board said in a media release the ceremony would again take place at the Martyrs’ Monument in the Jewish section of West Park Cemetery in Johannesburg, on Thursday April 16, at 12:30.

The keynote speaker, Hugo Marom, born Meisl, now 86, was born in Brno, Czechoslovakia. He and his brother Ruby were among the Jewish children saved by Sir Nicolas Winton.

Hugo was transported on the Kindertransport to London and he spent the war in England. His parents died in a concentration camp.

In 1944 he joined the RAF to become a fighter pilot and was then sent back to Prague with his brother to join the Czech Air Force. They were sent to Israel to fly Spitfires and Messerschmitts.

Hugo originally planned to return to Czechoslovakia after the Israeli War of Independence, but due to the 1948 Czechoslovak communist coup, all 22 Czech-Jewish pilots never returned to Czechoslovakia.

In 1953 he was asked to form the 110th night fighter squadrons and six years later he led the development of centres at Israel Aircraft Industries. In 1964 he left the army and founded a company for the construction and design of airports, which leads to the present day. In 2011, Hugo received the Gratias Agit award for promoting the Czech Republic's good name abroad.

Hugo married Martha, a survivor of six concentration camps and had a daughter. Hugo and his brother only had daughters, his grandson Jonathan Pollig added the name Meisl to ensure continuity of the old Czech-Jewish Meisl “clan”.

Doris Krinsky, daughter of Marsha Schaimberg, an Auschwitz survivor, spoke about her experiences with her mother at the 70th Anniversary Commemoration of the Liberation of Auschwitz in Poland in February this year.

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