Obama Awards Medal of Freedom to Holocaust Survivor Gerda Weisman Klein

President Barack Obama named fifteen recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  The Medal of Freedom is the Nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.  The awards will be presented at a White House ceremony early in 2011.

President Obama said, “These outstanding honorees come from a broad range of backgrounds and they’ve excelled in a broad range of fields, but all of them have lived extraordinary lives that have inspired us, enriched our culture, and made our country and our world a better place.  I look forward to awarding them this honor.”

Gerda Weissmann Klein is a Jewish Holocaust survivor who has written several books about her experiences.  After Nazi Germany took over her homeland of Poland, Klein was separated from both her parents:  they were sent to Auschwitz and she to a series of labor and concentration camps.  In 1945, she was sent on a forced 350-mile death march to avoid the advance of Allied forces.  She was one of the minority who survived the forced journey.  In May 1945, Klein was liberated by forces of the United States Army in Volary, Czechoslovakia, and later married Army Lieutenant Kurt Klein, who liberated her camp.  A naturalized citizen, she recently founded Citizenship Counts, an organization that teaches students to cherish the value of their American citizenship.  Klein has spoken to audiences of all ages and faith around the world about the value of freedom and has dedicated her life to promoting tolerance and understanding among all people.

Memorable Oscar acceptance speech by Gerda Weissmann Klein, Holocaust Survivor and subject of Best Documentary Short Subject “One Survivor Remembers” – 68th Annual Academy Awards®.

 CLICK HERE to read information on all 15 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. bleu  |  April 21, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    She is a truly amazing person, what an inspiration!

    Reply

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