Zelman Has Passed Away

Austrian Press Agency (APA) (07/11/2007)

Leaving a “Painful Gap” says Federal President Fischer

Zelman’s role cannot “be valued highly enough”

Vienna - With the death of Leon Zelman, a personality has left us, “who one can characterize as exceptional,” said Austrian Federal President Heinz Fischer in an initial reaction on Wednesday to the passing of the head of Vienna’s Jewish Welcome Service. Zelman’s role in helping to confront our past during the years of 1938 to 1945 and coming to terms with post-War history cannot “be valued highly enough;” his passing leaves behind a “deep and painful gap.”

Zelman turned his suffering experienced as a Jew and as witness to concentration camps into “activity, love and zest for action,” said Fischer of the deceased. The Federal President recalled Zelman’s fight against every form of anti-Semitism, his love of Vienna and Austria, as well as his boundless energy in founding the Jewish Welcome Service which allowed many NS victims to visit their former homeland. His death is “an occasion for genuine mourning and will leave behind a deep and painful gap,” claimed Fischer in a broadcast from the office of the President.