NEW YORK (ArmRadio)—In a recent meeting held in New York with the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation (IRWF), representatives Mordecai Paldiel and Zvika Kichel, Charles Aznavour confirmed the riveting story of courage in which his late parents, Knar and Mischa, as well as his sister Aida and himself, had played a key role during the dark days of the Nazi occupation in France.
With a great sense of humbleness, Aznavour told how his parents gave shelter at their own home to Jews, Armenians and others who were persecuted by the Nazis. By so doing, the Aznavours had given the gift of life to other, while risking their own.
The IRWF has resolved to set-up a special research team to further investigate the feats of the Aznavour family and at the same time, all the Board Members of the NGO have unanimously decided to pay tribute to the Aznavours.
In a personal letter signed by the Chairman of the IRWF, Eduardo Eurnekian and by its Founder, Baruch Tenembaum, Aznavour was greeted on his 92th birthday and informed about two initiatives. The first one is to commission a special commemorative stamp to be issued by the Israel Postal Authority with the semblance of Mischa and Knar Aznavour, Charles’s late parents. The second one is to award the Raoul Wallenberg Medal to both siblings, Aida and Charles Aznavour, who as young people helped their parents in their life-saving mission.
Eurnekian said “The Aznavour family is an example of humble and decent people who did not stand idly by when faced with evil. His mother, Knar, nee Baghdasarian, was a survivor of the Armenian Genocide and she understood the plight of the Jewish people and all those who were brutally persecuted by Nazism. It is our duty to recognize the heroism of the Aznavour family and instill their spirit of civic courage in the hearts and minds of the young generations.”
The letter reads:
Dear Mr. Aznavour,
Let us start this letter by congratulating you on 92th birthday! We wish you good health and many more years of productiveness in your artistic, diplomatic and humanitarian activities!
We would like to thank you once again for having agreed to meet our Dr. Mordecai Paldiel and Mr. Zvika Kichel in New York. We watched the video of this meeting and were deeply moved by your humble approach and the courageous deeds undertaken by your dear late parents, your sister Aida and yourself, during the dark days of Holocaust. We also thank your son, Nicolas, for having arranged this gathering in such an efficient way.
As a result of this preliminary audience, we have instructed our research team to try and secure more information about the feats of your family during WWII and of course, we shall keep you duly posted.
At the same time, in a special meeting held by our Board, it has been unanimously resolved to pay tribute to your late parents, Mischa and Knar, as well as both you and Aida, as a token of recognition to your spirit of solidarity. The fact that you have given shelter and protection at your own home, to people from all faiths who were persecuted by the Nazis, is something that has to be remembered and recognized. We have therefore resolved to ask the Israeli Postal Authorities to make a special and limited stamp issue dedicated to your late parents. Should this be agreeable, our team in Israel will contact Nicolas with some administrative information (we would need some good photos of your parents as well as a written authorization from you to approach the Israel Postal Authorities).
Furthermore, it was decided to bestow upon you and your sister Aida, a special award, the Raoul Wallenberg Medal, in recognition of the role you played during the Shoah and for your staunch and consistent support of humanitarian causes.
As soon as we receive the acceptance from you and your sister, we shall coordinate with you the details and logistics of the award ceremony.
Thanking you in advance, we remain at your disposal should you require any further information on our end.”