Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Six honored for preserving Jewish history and culture

BERLIN -- Six Germans were being honored by an American foundation Wednesday for their commitment to preserving Jewish history and culture.

The Obermayer German-Jewish History Award ceremony is timed as part of the observances of the 61st anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp, which is on Friday, Jan. 27.

The U.N. General Assembly adopted a resolution in November naming the day the International Day of Commemoration for the six million Jews and other victims of the Nazi Holocaust.

The awards, now in their sixth year, are funded by Jewish American philanthropist Arthur Obermayer, whose four grandparents were all German, and are inspired by the help the Boston man received from Germans in researching his roots.

Recipients this year include Robert Kreibig, from the eastern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, who saved and restored the Roebel synagogue and converted adjacent buildings into an educational youth center, and Guenter Heidt, a teacher from the western state of Rheinland-Palatinate who inspired his students for a quarter century to carry out projects to uncover and record the Jewish history of their community.