To the Editor:
I would like to thank The Jewish Link for publishing so many quality articles about activities occurring in the numerous Bergen County day schools. We read a lot these days about “day school affordability,” as we should; this is an important communal issue that that deserves much attention and debate. Also deserving of attention, however, is the fact that our day schools are of incredibly high quality and offer our children unparalleled Judaic and secular learning opportunities. It is important, therefore, to have a forum for showcasing events and programming that highlight this reality. Indeed, it is gratifying for educators to receive recognition for their significant efforts, it is heartwarming for students (and their parents) to be the ‘center of attention’ for a few short moments, and it is satisfying for the community as a whole to take pride in the accomplishments of their community schools!
To the Editor:
It was recently brought to my attention that one of the survivors I interviewed for the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation (now the USC Shoah Foundation Institute) has never received either the Congressional Medal of Honor or the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his extraordinary bravery during World War II. There is not much we can do regarding the Congressional Medal because that is decided by the Army, but we can ask President Obama to acknowledge the military service of this unsung hero with the Medal of Freedom.
Frederick “Fred” Mayer was born to a Jewish family in Germany near the French border. His family fled the Nazis before the war started and Fred volunteered to serve in the U.S. military after Pearl Harbor. Long story short: Fred became a spy and provided the Allies with the information necessary for them to destroy a transport of 26 trains en route through the Brenner Pass into Italy. Because of this Fred has been credited by General Eisenhower with shortening the war by six months.
How many more people would have died if the war had lasted longer? How many of us would not have been born if the war had gone on another six months?
There is more. Fred was betrayed, arrested and tortured (water boarded) by the Gestapo. Even after his arrest he was able to convince the Military Governor of Innsbruck to surrender to prevent unnecessary bloodshed. For his efforts he was honored by the Austrian Government, but there has been no such recognition from the U.S. Government.
Senator John D. Rockefeller IV has written this letter to President Obama and it provides more background information: http://www.rockefeller.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/files/serve?File_id=38b6149f-ccdf-4c22-8653-b648596ce1c2&SK=2A2018F62DAA0E3BFE0386DD8774620C
Senator Rockefeller’s letter can serve as a guide for your letters and emails to the White House. The mailing address is on the letter and emails can be sent here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact.
Fred is 92 years young and recognition for his amazing contributions to the war effort is long overdue. Whether you resent the allegations that Jews went like sheep to the slaughter or if you just want to pay tribute to a national hero, please take a few moments to add your voice to this appeal.
Esther Toporek Finder
Founder and President of Generations
of the Shoah – Nevada