Remembrance

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Thursday, April 18, 2019

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Aristedes de Sousa Mendes

Anyone who has seen “Casablanca” knows the connection between Portugal and World War II refugees. But few know the story of the Portuguese diplomat Aristides de Sousa Mendes, who in 1940 saved tens of thousands of lives only to be punished for this heroism by his own government. As we mark Holocaust Remembrance Day on Sunday, we should honor this man who engaged in what one historian called “perhaps the largest rescue action by a single individual during the Holocaust.”

 

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Haym Solomon Patriot 

Haym Salomon (April 7, 1740 – Jan. 6, 1785) was a Polish-born American Jewish businessman and political financial broker who immigrated to New York City from Poland during the period of the American Revolution. He helped convert the French loans into ready cash by selling bills of exchange for Robert Morris, the Superintendent of Finance. In this way he aided the Continental Army and was possibly, along with Morris, the prime financier of the American side during the American Revolutionary War against Great Britain.

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Architect Zaha Hadid captured the world's attention and shattered glass ceilings (in addition to designing some) by becoming the first woman to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004. She was also the first woman awarded the Royal Gold Medal by the Royal Institute of British Architects. ​Initially dubbed the “paper architect”, Dame Zaha Hadid’s plans were once perceived to be unbuildable. She died in London at the age of 65 of a heart attack in March of 2016.

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Fredy Hirsch

The name of Fredy Hirsch is inseparably connected with the education of children and young people in the Terezín ghetto, and finally in the "family camp“ at Birkenau. In particular, the "children's block,“ established on Hirsch's initiative in the BIIb section of the Birkenau camp, was a remarkable attempt to create a small oasis within the death camp. Its main purpose was to ensure that Auschwitz's youngest prisoners had, at least for a short while, a more tolerable environment in which they would be isolated from the tragic reality around them.

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María Félix, the accomplished Mexican film actress who was known for defying stereotypes and famously turning down Hollywood roles, would have turned 104 years-old on Sunday, April 8, 2018.   To celebrate her birthday, Google is honoring her with her own Google Doodle. The Mexican star, who died in April 8,2002 at age 87, acted in more than 47 films in her lifetime and was a muse to famous artists and writers like Diego Rivera and Jean Cocteau. Her incredible career spanned more than three decades. The entire time she “reigned as the supreme goddess of Spanish-language cinema,” according to her New York Times obituary.