Aborigines’ Nazi protest to be recognized

Seventy Australian trees will be planted at Yad Vashem to honor a little-known protest by Aborigines against the Nazis in 1938.

William Cooper, the founder of the Australian Aborigines’ League, led a delegation to the German consulate in Melbourne on Dec. 6, 1938 to deliver a petition that protested the “cruel persecution of the Jewish people by the Nazi government of Germany.”

The delegates were refused admission to the consulate, but 70 years after Kristallnacht the protest half a world away from Europe will be officially recognized.

Israeli Ambassador Yuval Rotem will present Cooper’s grandson, Boydie Turner, with a certificate stating that trees will be planted in honor of the Aboriginal protest. The Dec. 2 ceremony at the state parliament house will take place in the presence of Victorian Premier John Brumby.

Memorial services in major cities throughout Australia have marked the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht.
 

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