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Opening Ceremony of the exhibition “To Witness and Proclaim” –
From the Personal Archives of Rabbi Dr. Zvi Asaria - Hermann Helfgott

Rabbi Sha’ar Yashuv Cohen, Chief Rabbi of Haifa, a close friend of the Helfgott family, speaks during the ceremony Rabbi Sha’ar Yashuv Cohen, Chief Rabbi of Haifa, a close friend of the Helfgott family, speaks during the ceremony
Mrs. Malka Asaria Helfgott passes the military identification tag of her husband Rabbi Dr. Zvi Asaria-Herman Helfgott to Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Mrs. Malka Asaria Helfgott passes the military identification tag of her husband Rabbi Dr. Zvi Asaria-Herman Helfgott to Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate
Mrs. Yochi Ritz, Deputy Chairperson, She’erit Hapleitah Bergen-Belsen Organization in Israel, speaks during the ceremony Mrs. Yochi Ritz, Deputy Chairperson, She’erit Hapleitah Bergen-Belsen Organization in Israel, speaks during the ceremony
The exhibition “To Witness and Proclaim” at the entrance to the Archives and Library Building in Yad Vashem
The exhibition “To Witness and Proclaim” at the entrance to the Archives and Library Building in Yad Vashem
Honorary plaque at the exhibition “To Witness and Proclaim” - From The Personal Archive of Rabbi Dr. Zvi Asaria - Hermann Helfgott (z”l). The archive was donated by his wife, Malka Asaria-Helfgott
Honorary plaque at the exhibition “To Witness and Proclaim” - From The Personal Archive of Rabbi Dr. Zvi Asaria - Hermann Helfgott (z”l). The archive was donated by his wife, Malka Asaria-Helfgott

On November 24, 2008, the exhibition “To Witness and Proclaim” was opened at Yad Vashem. On display are personal documents that chart the life of Rabbi Dr. Zvi Asaria - Hermann Helfgott.

Present at the ceremony were Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Mr. Avner Shalev, Chief Rabbi of Haifa Rabbi Sha’ar Yashuv Cohen, donor of the collection Mrs. Malka Asaria Helfgott, Senior Curator and Deputy Director of the Museums Division Ms. Yehudit Shendar, museum staff,  Deputy Chairperson of the She’erit Hapleitah Bergen-Belsen Organization in Israel Mrs. Yochi Ritz, archives staff, and Holocaust survivors and their families.

Mr. Avner Shalev, Rabbi Sha’ar Yashuv Cohen, and Mrs. Malka Asaria Helfgott spoke during the ceremony. While donating Rabbi Helfgott’s military identification tag to Yad Vashem, Mrs. Helfgott said: “I am donating this identity tag, which my husband (z”l) wore for four and a half years in German captivity, to be eternally preserved at Yad Vashem. Identity tag number 7488.”

The Story of the Exhibition

The exhibition “To Witness and Proclaim” is based upon the personal archive of Rabbi Dr. Zvi Asaria - Hermann Helfgott, telling his unique and highly inspiring story. The exhibition is composed of personal documents and certificates, a diary, letters, speeches and sermons, portraits and photographs that chart Rabbi Helfgott’s life: his childhood in Yugoslavia, his studies in Vienna and Budapest, his service as a rabbi and officer in the Yugoslavian army, the years in German captivity, religious and Zionist activities in Bergen-Belsen after the liberation, immigrating to Israel and his wide-ranging activities in the service of the state.

The new exhibition is situated at the entrance to the Archives and Library building at Yad Vashem. This personal collection, one of many preserved at Yad Vashem, allows the visitor to discover the individual behind the documents and to accompany him and his fellow Jews in their struggle to survive and their daily attempts to navigate a world in chaos.