Germany, ordinary citizens are chronicling Jewish life as it existed
before the Nazi regime nearly snuffed it out in the 1930s and '40s.
On Monday, seven people received the third annual
Obermayer German History Award for their work to preserve Jewish heritage
at the Berlin parliament building. Two Washington-area residents helped
nominate this year's winners.
Silver Spring's Roberta Halle-Bass put forward
the name of Irene Corbach, who with her late husband, Pastor Dieter
Corbach, has toiled to keep alive the memory of the Jews of Koln (Cologne).
Before World War II, that community included many relatives of Halle-Bass,
who learned of Corbach's work from a cousin in London.
resident Peter Masters, author of Striking Back: A Jewish Commando's
War Against the Nazis, nominated Carla and Erika Pick, retired
schoolteachers who have led efforts to honor the memory of the Jews
of Borken and Gemen.
their group Arbeitskreis (Work Circle), these twin sisters born in
1927 have developed a Jewish heritage program for schools in this
area near Germany's Dutch border, where no Jews remain today.
are keeping Jewish history alive for the Germans to see," said Masters,
who first heard about the Picks from fellow Jewish commando and Borken
native Manfred Gans, now of Leonia, N.J.
winners, all non-Jewish Germans, also included primary teacher Hans-Eberhard
Berkemann, who has helped preserve Jewish synagogues and cemeteries
in Rheinland-Pfalz; Gerhard Jochem and Susanne Rieger, who have assembled
a Web site (rijo-research.de) on Jewish history around Nuremberg;
and retired teacher Heinrich Dittmar, who cares for 16 Jewish cemeteries
in the Hesse region.
ceremony fell on the country's Holocaust Memorial Day, the 58th anniversary
of the 1945 liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp.
German Jewish Community History Council, the office of the president
of the German parliament and the German Jewish Special Interest Group
of JewishGen, a genealogy Internet site, co-sponsored the event. --