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Argentine cathedral unveils memorial to Holocaust victims

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BUENOS AIRES, April 16 (JTA) — Argentina’s Catholic Church this week honored the memory of the victims of the Holocaust and of anti-Semitic terror bombings in Buenos Aires. In what church officials described as an unheard-of gesture, the Cardinal Primate of Argentina, Antonio Quarracino, unveiled a Holocaust memorial in one of the chapels of the National Cathedral. Quarracino said during the ceremony that “discriminating against Jews is a sin against the Law of man and against the Law of God. “Our Lord Jesus was born among the Jews, and the Apostles He chose were Jewish.” There is no precedent of a Holocaust memorial placed inside a cathedral, according to local church officials. The memorial consists of a panel of glass framed in solid silver. Behind the glass are preserved pages of Jewish books destroyed during the Holocaust. To one side of the silver frame, a small plaque that the memorial is dedicated to “our Jewish brothers killed during the Holocaust and of the martyrs of the bombings of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires and of AMIA.” The plaque is signed by Quarracino. The March 17, 1992, car bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires killed 29 people and left more than 100 injured. The July 18, 1994, bombing of the Argentine Jewish Mutual Aid Association, also known as AMIA, left 86 dead and more than 300 wounded. The Argentine government has been unable to find those responsible for either bombing. Present at the ceremony were Holocaust survivors, Catholic bishops, government officials, Jewish community officials, and former Polish President Lech Walesa.

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