Remembering A Holocaust Rescuer


Regarding “Saving Grace” (April 3), about a few unsung heroic Holocaust rescuers, the article mentions Dr. Feng Shan Ho. For Boys Town Jerusalem and its extended family of supporters and admirers, Dr. Ho was anything but “not widely known today.”

At its Gala 54th Anniversary Dinner in 2002, Boys Town Jerusalem presented a special humanitarian award to the late Dr. Feng Shan Ho, who in his capacity as Chinese consul general in Vienna from 1938 to 1940 issued visas to Shanghai for thousands of Jews. These prized documents enabled them to escape certain death in Nazi-occupied Austria.

With the participation of Zhang Yishan, deputy representative of the Mission of the People’s Republic of China and Israel Ambassador Yehuda Lancry, Boys Town presented the Jan Zwartendijk Humanitarian Award to Dr. Ho. The award is named after Jan Zwartendijk, a Dutch executive of the Philips Electronics Corporation who, serving as the honorary Dutch Consul in Lithuania in 1941, saved some 3,000 Jews from certain death in the Holocaust by issuing them visas to Curacao.

Manli Ho, daughter of Dr. Ho, accepted the award on behalf of her father, explaining that education set the foundation of his life. A few months after the dinner, Manli Ho participated in a moving ceremony at the Boys Town campus in Jerusalem, where hundreds of students, guests and friends of BTJ gathered to honor the late Dr. Feng Shan Ho.

Citing Boys Town’s mission of turning young boys from limited backgrounds into young men with limitless futures, Manli explained, “This honor holds special significance for us, as the mission of Boys Town Jerusalem would have resonated deeply with my own father. He was a boy from a limited background, born into poverty in China’s rural Hunan Province in 1901, who lost his father at age 7. It was the chance for an education that turned him into a young man with a limitless future.”

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