From now on, the Order will be awarded annually to public figures who "have rendered outstanding services to the implementation of the principles of the Bavarian Constitution". As a member of the International Dachau Committee (IDC) and Vice President since 2017, he is committed to the erection of memorials along the route of the death march through Bavaria. He has been a full member of the Board of the Bavarian Memorial Foundation since 2015. Abba Naor was honoured for "more than 30 years of commitment to remembrance, for his active contemporary witness and his commitment to German-Israeli friendship".
"It is a great need for me to educate children and young people
As a Holocaust survivor, Naor regularly reports to Bavarian schools about his persecution during National Socialism. He is a co-initiator of the student exchange of German and Israeli children and young people and organises memorial trips of concentration camp survivors and their relatives from Israel to Germany. Even in this pandemic year, Naor attended about 70 face-to-face and 28 online school events. Naor explained in her thanksgiving: "It is a great need for me to educate children and young people and help them prepare for life. I want them not to follow false prophets and try to arouse their sympathy for Israel. We are a small people and need friends. Especially now, when anti-Semitism is gaining strength in Germany and the world in a way I could never have imagined.
At the age of 13, Naor and his family were deported to the Jewish ghetto in Kaunas, Lithuania. His older brother was arrested while trying to organize food and shot. He last saw his mother and younger brother in the Stutthof concentration camp, where the family was deported in 1944. Both died in the gas chambers of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Naor and his father took the SS to the Landsberg/Kaufering subcamp complex, a network of subcamps in the Dachau concentration camp. In the Kaufering X subcamp near Utting am Ammersee, and later in the Kaufering I camp in Landsberg, he had to perform the most severe forced labour. In the spring of 1945 he survived the death march. In Waakirchen, he was liberated by the American army and later emigrated to Israel. Abba Naor was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit in 2009 and the Bavarian Order of Merit in 2018.© SZ du 09.12.2021
© Süddeutsche Zeitung GmbH, Munich. With the kind permission of Süddeutsche Zeitung Content.
Image: Bildarchiv Bayerischer Landtag Rolf Poss