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Bundestag president honors Holocaust victim who grew up next door to her home

President of the Bundestag H.E. Ms. Bärbel Bas fills out a Page of Testimony for Irma Nathan, to be added to Yad Vashem's Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names on April 28, 2022. (Yad Vashem)
President of the Bundestag H.E. Ms. Bärbel Bas fills out a Page of Testimony for Irma Nathan, to be added to Yad Vashem's Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names on April 28, 2022. (Yad Vashem)

Bundestag President Bärbel Bas has filled out a Page of Testimony at Yad Vashem honoring a Holocaust victim who grew up in the town where she currently lives, the museum says in a press release.

Barbel toured the museum yesterday, during which Yad Vashem director shared with her the story of Irma Nathan.

Before the Holocaust, the Nathan family resided at Lerchenstraße 25 in Duisburg, Germany, next door to Bas’s home today.

After Kristallnacht in November 1938, following Irma’s husband Ferdinand Nathan was arrested and incarcerated in Dachau. After his release, he and Irma decided they had to get their two children, Ruth and Alfred, out of Germany. Several months later, they sent them to Amsterdam while the two of them remained behind. On April 22, 1942 — 80 years ago — Ferdinand and Irma were deported to Izbica ghetto and were never heard from again. Their children had a similar fate even after escaping to The Netherlands. They were murdered in a Nazi concentration camp in Poland in 1943, according to Yad Vashem.

Moved by Nathan’s story, Barbel decided to fill out of a Page of Testimony at Yad Vashem and read aloud her name at the “Unto Every Person There is a Name” Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at the Knesset earlier today.

“Germans cut short the lives of six million Jews,” President Bas said at the ceremony. “I think of the dead with sadness and shame. Germans denied the right of so many Jewish women, men and children to live. Nowadays, anyone who tells the stories of those murdered restores the humanity of the millions of victims. We must all do our part to preserve their memory.”

The Page of Testimony filled out by Bas will be added to the over 2,800,000 others compiled by Yad Vashem over the past seven decades.

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