Friday, February 1, 2013

Statement on the Passing of the Honorable Edward I. Koch

Hon. Robert M. Morgenthau and the Hon. Edward I. Koch

Statement from Robert M. Morgenthau, Chairman
and David G. Marwell, Director
 Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust
On the Passing of Hon. Edward I. Koch, Founding Chairman

This morning we mourn the loss of our dear friend and “Godfather,” the Honorable Mayor Edward I. Koch. Since his death was announced early this morning, the news coverage describing “New York’s Mayor” has focused on his political life as four-term congressman and three-term mayor. But his role in our Museum has made a significant impact on this city as well. Simply put, were it not for Ed Koch, we would not exist.

As mayor, he created a Holocaust task force whose work determined that a museum and a memorial should be built in New York City. In 1982, he established the New York City Holocaust Memorial Commission, and from there our Museum was born.

The son of Polish-Jewish parents who came to this country in the late 19th century, he took great pride in his Jewish heritage and as a young infantryman in World War II, he encountered anti-Semitism on both a personal and global level.

He felt a great sense of responsibility to the Jewish people and to Holocaust memory, and to ensure that the memories of survivors would not be forgotten, he envisioned our Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.

May his memory be a blessing.

Robert M. Morgenthau, Chairman
David G. Marwell, Director

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