26 September 2005
On Tuesday, September 27, 2005, Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate will present the Encyclopedia of the Righteous Among the Nations: Belgium to Belgian Ambassador Jean-Michel Veranneman de Watervliet. The ceremony will take place at 10:00 in the Yad Vashem Auditorium.
About the Encyclopedia
The Encyclopedia of the Righteous Among the Nations: Belgium contains 610 rescue stories about 1,172 Belgians who were recognized up to 1.1.2000. To date, 1,412 Belgians have been recognized as Righteous Among the Nations.
The volume contains a comprehensive introduction, a summary of the series and the individual rescue stories of the Belgian Righteous Among the Nations. Also included in the Encyclopedia are an index for cross-referencing, maps, a glossary and pictures. Professor Israel Gutman is editor of the Encyclopedia; the Belgian volume was edited by Professor Dan Michman.
Additional volumes of the Encyclopedia include Holland (2004), Poland (2004), France (2003), and two more forthcoming volumes covering the rest of Europe and the world.
The Righteous Among the Nations, in putting their lives at risk and in many cases those of their families, to save Jews for no altruistic motive whatsoever but simply because it was “the right thing to do”, demonstrated the highest standards of ethical and moral behavior. In 1953 the Knesset (Israeli parliament) established the Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance (Yad Vashem) Law, giving particular emphasis in the law "to commemorate the high-minded Gentiles who risked their lives to save Jews".
Yad Vashem - through the Commission for the Designation of Righteous Among the Nations - being legally empowered by the State of Israel, is the only body that gives official recognition to those who saved Jewish lives on behalf of the Jewish people. The independent Commission is comprised of Holocaust survivors, lawyers, historians, and private individuals and is chaired by a former Supreme Court Justice.
More information about the Righteous Among the Nations Program is available here.