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GOVERNOR CUTS RIBBON ON REMEMBRANCE DAY AT WIESENTHAL EXHIBIT.

Byline: Sharline Chiang Daily News Staff Writer

As ethnic cleansing continued in Yugoslavia, Gov. Gray Davis and other dignitaries helped remember Nazi-era Holocaust victims Sunday at the unveiling of a special exhibit of the life and work of activist Simon Wiesenthal.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles before an estimated 600 people near a 15-foot marble menorah and a memorial wall.

The event was held to coincide with the center's observance of Yom Hashoah, The Day of Remembrance.

This year the day falls on Tuesday.

On Sunday, before cutting the ribbon for the exhibit titled ``I Am My Brother's Keeper: The Life and Times of Simon Wiesenthal,'' Davis called Wiesenthal in Vienna, Austria.

A survivor himself, Wiesenthal, 90, spent his life after World War II seeking justice, keeping the lessons of the Holocaust alive and trying to stop similar atrocities from happening again. During the Holocaust he was held in a concentration camp in Mauthausen.

``The governor was able to express his admiration and gratitude for Mr. Wiesenthal for being who he is and staying the course for these five decades and for his battle for justice,'' said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the center's associate dean and exhibit's co-author. The governor ``said that this is a day not just for Jews but also for the (genocide victims) in Cambodia, Rwanda and Kosovo.''

Others in attendance included Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa, Israeli Consul General Yoram Ben Ze'ev, Austrian Consul General Werner Brandstetter and Rabbi Marvin Hier, the center's dean and founder.

The exhibit, which will be open until August, includes more than 200 photographs, medals, sketches and documents that illustrate Wiesenthal's life before and after the war.

``It was justice he sought, with unending stamina, but never revenge,'' said Austrian Consul Brandstetter.

The exhibit also includes accounts of notable war criminals Wiesenthal helped bring to trial such as Adolf Eichmann, architect of the ``Final Solution,'' and Karl Silberbauer, the Gestapo officer who arrested Anne Frank.

Israeli Consul Ben Ze'ev said Yom Hashoah should remind Jews that they have a responsibility to aid Kosovo ethnic Albanian refugees who are suffering similar persecution by Serbian forces.

``We are not allowed to be quiet,'' he said.

In 1951, Israel set aside the 27th day of the Jewish month of Nisan as a day for remembering the Holocaust.

Associated Press contributed to this story.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Apr 12, 1999
Words:395
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