April 15, 1998

First anniversary of the Mural. Re-installation in the Virgin of Luján’s Chapel

In a moving ceremony, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, survivors of the Holocaust and relatives of the victims of the attacks against Israel Embassy and the AMIA met at the Metropolitan Cathedral Conmemorative Mural The Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, survivors of the Holocaust and relatives of those murdered on the terrorist attacks of March 17 1992 and July 18 1994, held a moving ceremony in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Buenos Aires, on Wednesday, April 15 1998, in remembrance of the first anniversaryof the inauguration of the commemorative mural in honor of the victims of the Holocaust and the attacks against the Israel Embassy and the AMIA.

At the altar of the Virgin of Lujan’s chapel and next to the grave of Cardinal Antonio Quarracino, Monsignor Bergoglio; the Rabbi Joseph Ehrenkranz of the Center for Christian – Jewish Understanding organization; Aída Plaksin, widow of Professor Jaime Plaksin, who died in the attack against the AMIA; Jack Fuchs, survivor of Auschwitz concentration camp and Oscar Vicente, vice-president of Casa Argentina en Jerusalem, delivered speeches.

The memorial, which as Rabbi Ehrenkranz pointed out “has no parallel in the world and is an unprecedented symbol in the history of Jewish-Catholic relations”, was transferred to that place, due to a posthumous request made by Monsignor Quarracino.

Among the countless adhesions it is worth mentioning the one of the US Congressman Tom Lantos (survivor of the Holocaust) who expressed:

‘The Memorial was installed according to a vision and spirit of understanding and reconciliation among people of different beliefs, in virtue of an initiative of Baruj Tenembaum, founder of the Casa Argentina en Jerusalem organization. Terrorism, torture and disregard for all things are a dictatorial practice with the aim of producing fear in those who, by making associations, are against common welfare”

Each one of the orators and Mrs. Esther Saientz, Mirta Saientz’s mother, who died at the Israel Embassy; Ana Feigl and Myriam Kesler, both survivors of the Shoah; placed a stone, as a sign of grief and pain, over the tomb of the last Primate of Argentina.

Monsignor Bergoglio alluded to one of the last letters of Cardinal Quarracino in which he pointed out:

‘It will be soon a year since the unveiling of this worthy monument inside the Cathedral, to which I have invited all Jews to cover their heads if they wish so.(…) The definite place of the Mural will be close to the resting place that I am longing for inside the Cathedral, to keep pleading for brotherhood as I have done all my life.’