Israel’s president thanks Lebanese businessman who bought Hitler artifacts

Rivlin thanked Chatila for his gesture and his donation.

By World Israel News Staff

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin hosted Lebanese-born Swiss businessman Abdallah Chatila, who purchased Hitler artifacts which will be held by Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Museum, on Sunday.

Chatila bought artifacts associated with Adolf Hitler that auctioned two weeks ago,

The president thanked Chatila for his gesture and for the significant thought that stood behind it.

“Your donation is of great importance at this time, when people are trying to deny historical truth. These artifacts, which you are generously making available to Yad Vashem, will help convey the legacy of the Holocaust to the next generation who will not meet survivors,” the president said.

The president added, “what you did was seemingly so simple, but this act of grace shows the whole world how to fight the glorification of hatred and incitement against other people. It was a truly human act. I know you have been thanked many times, but it was important for me to say it loud and clear here at Beit HaNasi [the President’s Residence] in Jerusalem – we appreciate it and thank you for it very much.”

President Rivlin (r) with Abdallah Chatila (GPO/Mark Neiman)

“Mr. President, it is a great honor to be here,” Chatila told the Israeli head of state. “When I read about the artifacts being for sale, I immediately thought I have to buy them and destroy them. Then I thought I have no right to decide what to do with the items, and am so glad they are now at Yad Vashem.

“I feel a shiver when I understand how important this is for the Jewish people, but I think there is a wider message for the whole world, that ‘never again’ is not a meaningless slogan. Through acts such as this, we can ensure that these things never happen again,” he said.

Chairman of Yad Vashem Avner Shalev thanked the president for the meeting and Chatila for his act, saying, “What you did as a spontaneous act ensures that these artifacts do not end up in the wrong hands. You stopped that, and brought them to the place where history is told and where the next generation is educated. Thank you very much.”

World Chairman of Keren Hayesod Sam Grundwerg also was in attendance.