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Belgian who Rescued 300 Children to Receive Honorary Citizenship at Yad Vashem Ceremony Tomorrow

17 April 2007

Andrée Geulen-Herscovici, a Belgian Righteous Among the Nations who rescued some 300 Jewish children during the Holocaust will receive honorary Israeli citizenship at Yad Vashem tomorrow, April 18, 2007.

Belgian Ambassador to Israel H.E. Danielle del Marmol, Ms Geulen-Herscovici, a representative of the survivors, and Avner Shalev, Chairman of Yad Vashem will address the gathering. Geulen-Herscovici will visit Yad Vashem together with some 160 Holocaust survivors, who are participating in the Children Hidden in Belgium During the Shoah International Conference. The ceremony will take place in French and Hebrew, in the Yad Vashem Auditorium.

In 1942, Andrée Geulen (born 1921) a teacher in a school in Brussels, witnessed a Gestapo raid on the school to arrest the Jewish children. She then decided to join the Jewish rescue organization, Committee for the Defense of the Jews. For more than two years, Andrée collected children and moved them to Christian families and monasteries. She made sure that the families were able to take in the children. She continued to visit them and looked after their needs. In secret, she kept a record of the original names and assumed identity of hundreds of children in hiding, many of whom never saw their parents again. Upon liberation, Geulen kept busy, working in a reverse direction - to fetch the children and return them to their families or relatives. In 1989, Andrée Geulen was recognized as a Righteous Among the Nations.

Following are press arrangements for the event:

8:45: Arrival, Tour of the Holocaust History Museum - Closed to Cameras

9:30: First Photo-op in the Holocaust History Museum near the section on Geulen - OPEN

10:00 Second Photo-op: Hall of Names, Holocaust History Museum - OPEN

11:15: Memorial Ceremony, Hall of Remembrance - OPEN

12:00: Ceremony in honor of Andrée Geulen; including honorary citizenship, Auditorium - OPEN

Journalists who wish to cover the event are requested to register with the Media Relations Department: 02 644 3410.

For more information about the Righteous Among the Nations Program, click here.