Poland: Town square named after Israeli Labor MK's family

MK Hilik Bar's family was murdered in the Holocaust - but the town where they once lived has chosen to preserve their memories.

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Hilik Bar (C) with memorial plaque
Hilik Bar (C) with memorial plaque
From the Depths

Deputy Speaker of the Knesset MK Yehiel "Hillik" Bar (Zionist Union) visited Poland last week, after a town square was named after his maternal family. 

The main square of the small picturesque village of Skulsk in Poland was renamed the 'Kotowski Sqaure' this week, in a special ceremony Bar attended with other dignitaries. 

Bar's grandfather, Yaakov, and great aunt, Chana, were the only members of the 12-member Kotowski family to survive the Holocaust.

Itzhak Kotowski, Hilik Bar's great-grandfather, was Deputy Mayor of Skulsk and head of the city's Jewish council. 

After visiting Poland for the first time two years ago with the historic visit of the majority of the Knesset, MK Bar reached out to the initiator and organizers from the 'From The Depths' foundation, an international organization aiming to preserve the memory of the Holocaust.

"I was honored to take the Deputy Speaker on a trip to discover his roots, and build a connection to his past," Jonny Daniels, Founder of From The Depths, stated Monday. 

The foundation has been working closely why the Polish Government and local authorities to make this a reality, and on Thursday last week, in a ceremony attended by Minister Andrzej Dera, Secretary of State for the President of Poland and Israeli Ambassador Anna Azari, the official name of the square was changed. 

"It is so amazing for me to come with 20 members of my family from 5 different countries and make sure that my family is never forgotten," Bar said. 

"It's encouraging to see the willing and cooperation of the current Polish government and their commitment to the Jewish past in Poland," Daniels added. "Who knows - if it wasn't for the German Nazis, maybe MK Bar would be the Deputy Mayor of Skulsk!"



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