Holocaust survivor Iancu Tuckerman on Monday was celebrated on his 98th birthday in a high-key event at the US Embassy, with ambassador Adrian Zuckerman praising him as an example of decency, dignity and love of fellow people, in spite of the sufferings he experienced.
The American diplomat said that Tuckerman has suffered more than words can ever capture, but that in spite of this, he is the embodiment of dignity, decency and love for humanity.
He mentioned that he met Tuckerman at the German ambassador’s residence in Bucharest and that he wanted to make him an “honorary brother” because of the similarity of their names.
The ambassador said that because of blind and heinous hatred we were close to not getting to know this man, and spoke of Tuckerman’s experience of the Holocaust, but also of the communist regime.
Iancu was condemned to death, survived the beatings and saw murder all around him. (…) Life would have been far easier for Iancu had he joined the Communist party, but he refused. He refused in his own dignified and quiet way. He saw how morally corrupt and murderous the communist system was. This refusal will long stand in mute but powerful testimony to his character”, the US ambassador said of the honored of the day.
In his turn, Israel’s ambassador in Bucharest David Saranga brought to mind that the Kristallnacht violent anti-Jew rampage occurred on the night of November 8-9, 1938.
The fact that we stand here today, next to a Holocaust survivor, shows that this desire for life you nurture, Mr. Iancu Tuckerman, is the symbol of Judaism. We, the Jews, celebrate life, the diplomat said.
German ambassador in Bucharest Cord Meier Klodt described his precious friendship with Iancu Tuckerman.
To this day, as a diplomat, but also privately, I cannot help but marvel when a witness, a victim of the horrors initiated and perpetrated by the German people against the Jews in the last century, offers his friendship to a German official. For me this remains a completely unexpected miracle that enriches my personal and professional life in a completely extraordinary way, the ambassador confessed.
The President of the Jewish Community of Bucharest, Paul Schwartz, described the conditions in the death trains – an experience Tuckerman has been through – adding that everything that is forgotten, the bad part of history, can repeat any time, at much higher intensity and with much greater damage.
I am very excited and I just wonder if I deserve such an anniversary and that is why I am addressing you and I consider you cherished friends from today onwards and I thank you from the bottom of my heart, Iancu Tuckerman told the attendance.
What I consider to be necessary in the life of each of us it to know how to use these moments in love and in the desire to have peace and tranquility in Israel, peace in the world, Tuckerman said, according to Agerpres.
In sign of appreciation, Tuckerman was offered a US flag and a plaque inscribed with the following message: “Thank you for a life dedicated to the preservation of history, to making sure that the world will not forget. You have seen what is best and what is worse in this world, and your passion for sharing your experiences and offering us music has enriched countless lives.”
Iancu Tuckerman, born October 30, 1922 in Iasi, is one of the few survivors of the city’s June 1941 pogrom.
Photo: Facebook/US.S. Embassy Bucharest