Re: [Cz-L] Gary Rogovin re popovici plaque -reply to Mr. Schaecter re "we have a good leader and I suggest we allow her to lead"

From: Miriam Taylor <>
Date: Tue, 23 Sep 2008 11:07:24 -0400
To: Abraham Kogan <>,, wolfgang schaechter <>, yossi jerry <>
Reply-to: Miriam Taylor <>

Miriam (Mimi) Taylor <>

Let me say that even though, I agree with some of the sentiments expressed
by Gary Rogovin and I do want input from the Cz.-List, on what to do,
if the Chernivtsi city authorities refuse to allow a Romanian inscription
to be on the plaque, this is not a choice between a principled stand and
expediency, but between a principled stand or attitude and the achievement
of a goal which morally and ethically, is just as important.

The reasons for putting up a memorial plaque to Traian Popovici
in Chernivtsi are:
1. That it is generally and properly considered the right thing to do.
I am not a religious person and do not think that Mr. Popovici looks down
on earth and would be pleased to have a memorial plaque to him and his
actions put up in Chernivtsi. Yet, I have no doubts whatsoever, that this
is the right thing to do, especially by those of us, who's lives he may have
2. We want others to learn from his example; one man against all odds, can
save the lives of thousands of people.

If the Chernivtsi municipal authorities, for political reasons, insist that
the Romanian inscription be deleted, we rightfully may consider this
insistence wrong, even contrary to the spirit of the man we wish to honor,
but the two main purposes for putting up the plaque, will still be
Moreover, we honor Traian Popovici as a man, not as a Romanian. We do not
take sides in the dispute between the Ukraine and Romania over the
territorial sovereignty of the northern Bukovina. Anyone likely to read
the Ukrainian and English inscriptions, will know by his name and the period
during which he acted to save thousands of Jewish people, that Traian
Popovici was a Romanian active during WW2.
At this time, I still do not know, what the decision of the municipal
committee, regarding this issue is. Counting those who are against putting
up a plaque, if it does not include the Romanian inscription and those who
are in favour, the two numbers are exactly equal; four on each side.
Four others have suggested that if the Romanian text has to be omitted,
it be replaced with either a German, Yiddish or Hebrew text.


> I fully agree with every sentence of Garry's e-mail. We should not give in
> un der any "compromising" circumstances. As I said before, perhaps Mr.
> Zissels would be willing to intervene. If unsuccessful, better not to have
> a plaque at all.
> Best, Abraham K.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: <>
> To: <>; <>
> Cc: <>
> Sent: Tuesday, September 23, 2008 1:53 AM
> Subject: [Cz-L] Gary Rogovin re popovici plaque -reply to Mr. Schaecter re
> "we have a good leader and I suggest we allow her to lead"
>> 9-22-08,
>> Dear Messrs. Schaecter, Eshet and CZ List members,
>> The issue is not about Miriam Taylor's leadership nor about the Popovici
>> plaque itself.
>> Rather, the plaque is only a vehicle of the underlying issue of censorship
>> and deceit, as may possibly be perpertrated by the CZ City administration.
>> Miriam had written to the List on 9/19/08 "I have been informed, that most
>> likely they will not allow a Romanian inscrition. I am not sure what to
>> do, if this turns out to be true. Is a plaque with a correct English text,
>> a Ukranian text which refers to Popvici as leader, instead of mayor,
>> better than no plaque at all? Please let me know what you think by Sept
>> 23rd. I shall want to respond right away".
>> She has asked the members of this list for their opinions by 9/23 and she
>> has received various replies in response to that request.
>> People, I say "NO", it is NOT better to capitulate than to have no plaque
>> at all!
>> In my opinion, we cannot allow ourselves to compromise our principles in
>> order to get the CZ City administration to "approve" the Popvichi plaque.
>> We cannot allow them to use the plaque as a leverage vehicle to censor the
>> truth of history (Popovici was the Mayor of CZ and he was Rumanian and
>> spoke that language) and make us a complicit party to that censorship and
>> deceit.
>> Miriam Taylor has put a tremendous amount of time and effort into the
>> Popovici plaque undertaking. For her efforts, we are all grateful.
>> As is human, there is the temptation to "get it over with and done'. As is
>> also human, one might like to see a monument erected to themselves for
>> their own hard work and effort, albeit the monument honors someone else in
>> name and to experience, both individually and as a group, the wonderful
>> feeling of being able to say "I am the one who is responsible for that
>> monument being there".
>> I hope that we will not "negotiate" away the truth in order to get a
>> Popovici plaque put up in CZ. Truth is non-negotiable. It is what it is
>> and cannot be changed, whether by any devise conjured up by mankind or
>> otherwise.
>> If the CZ administration's preference is for a distortion of history, let
>> us put up the plaque elsewhere or not at all!
>> I don't know why the question of whether Jews "are a governable people"
>> was even raised by Mr. Schaecter. Jews are amongst the most independent,
>> intelligent and intellectual of peoples. The definition of a "Jew" does
>> not articulate that all Jews must think exactly alike and agree on
>> everything. On the contrary. Imagine if Einstein were told by others to
>> disregard the molecular structure of the atom which he envisioned in his
>> mind, simply because they could not. I believe it was Hardy Breier who
>> once stated on a post to the List, something like "ask 100 Jews what they
>> just saw and you will get 100 different opinions". Hardy, forgive me if I
>> have misquoted you in exchange for the essence of your wisdom.
>> Gary Rogovin

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Received on 2008-09-23 15:07:24

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