Letter from Kazik Simha Rotem
The Remembrance and Future Foundation quotes fragments of letters written by “Kazik” Simha Rotem on 25th January and 3rd February 2015. Mr Rotem withdraws his signature from the “Open Letter” as of 19th January 2015 and emphasises his ongoing support for the idea of the memorial From Those You Saved, a project he supported already in June 2013.
“I have been compelled to address you, Mr President, and EXPLAIN the case of the monument to the Righteous in circumstances that are extremely painful to me – these circumstances have turned me into a man whose word is worth very little.
In my letter to the President as of June 2013, following the 70th Anniversary of the Ghetto Uprising, I expressed my gratitude for the solemn character of the ceremony and the honourable attention paid to my person. In the letter I also included my opinion on the idea to build a memorial to the Righteous in the vicinity of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews. I should like to quote this fragment of the letter:
‘During my stay in Warsaw I was informed about the project of a memorial to the Righteous. I see that there are opposing opinions as to the location of the memorial. I believe that the most logical location is the vicinity of the new museum, in Muranów – a meeting place of the Polish and Jewish history.’
I CONFIRM my opinion concerning the memorial. I consider the idea to create an anonymous symbol of the peak of humanity reached by the Righteous – encapsulated so beautifully in the words “From Those You Saved” – to be worthy and right. From the very beginning of the project of the Museum, which materialises in the place of the horrifying tragedy that brought an end to the history of Warsaw Jews, the initiative was underpinned with the thought that the new museum would be devoted to the memory of the LIFE of Polish Jews.
Since the memorial “From Those You Saved” is an initiative of the Children of the Holocaust, the last generation of the Shoah Survivors, their will to erect the symbol of their SAVED life merits respect. As I underlined with emotion in my speech on 19th April 2013, human life is sacred – hence my complete support for the initiative of the Children of the Holocaust. Evil and human cruelty existed and still exists, as the daily news show. Unfortunately, true humanity is so scarce. Therefore, let us preserve the traces of true humanity for the next generations. The monument “From Those You Saved” can supplement the concept of the Museum. For this reason, I consider its location in the vicinity of the Museum to be logical. However, the new memorial should not disturb the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes. (...)
Therefore, I would like to state once again, Mr President, that I am not changing my opinion concerning the monument “From Those You Saved” expressed in June 2013, and I support the initiative of the Children of the Holocaust. Thus, I CANCEL my signature under the protest from January 2015. I will confirm my opinion publically and in person should such a need emerge.
I hope my letter will help to finally solve the matter. Please accept the assurances of my deepest respect.”
“Kazik” Simha Rotem
Jerusalem, 3rd February 2015