A tribute to Peter Bregman z"l   

by  A generous supporter of KH in Austria  on  25/09/2017 
A generous supporter of KH in Austria

​Keren Hayesod emissary Miki Pluznik has informed us of the recent passing of Peter Bergman z"l, a longtime and generous supporter of Keren Hayesod in Vienna, Austria. 

Peter was born to a poor family in Vienna on May 3, 1930, says Miki, and his life is emblematic of the fate of the Jews in the 20th century.
With the rise of the Nazis and the Anschluss (annexation of Austria by Germany) in 1938, life for Jews in Vienna became unbearable. At the age of 10, Peter was evacuated to Belgium as part of a large group of children on the "Children's Train". With a child's instinct, he decided to escape from the train together with a friend, and from here began a story of adventure and wandering by a little Jewish boy fleeing from institutions and orphanages in Belgium and France and from the Nazi conqueror.
Peter Bregman2.jpg
Peter Bregman (smiling, sitting first from left in the first row) as a child.

By the end of the war, he was already a big boy. He sneaked across the Spanish border and, with the help of the Mossad Aliyah Bet (the clandestine immigration enterprise pronounced "illegal" by the British - then the rulers of Eretz Israel under the Mandate) arrived in Eretz Israel. Here, his artistic talents were recognized and he was accepted for graphic design studies at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design. 

Unfortunately, because of his inability to finance his studies, he was unable to continue. After fighting in the War of Independence, he began his life in the infant country with an idea appropriate for his skills, and opened a business painting refrigerators.

In 1959, he returned to Vienna, where he built his life as an antique restorer. He married Leopoldina, and while his contacts with the Jewish community were limited, he made sure to preserve his roots and his connection with Israel.
Peter Bregman.jpg
Peter Bregman z"l.

"I met Peter in 2011," recalls Miki. "He came to the Keren Hayesod offices in Vienna, in response to an announcement that we published in the local Jewish newspaper. Already at our first meeting, there was good chemistry between us. The relationship developed and he decided to donate his collection of rare coins to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. This collection was transferred to its destination in an "interesting" way, which cannot yet be revealed. . . The acquaintance with Peter and his wife grew into a deep friendship; I hosted him in my home in Israel and was a guest in their home in Vienna."

In the past year, Peter fell sick and his health deteriorated. Miki visited him periodically and helped his wife with procedures pertaining to the Jewish community.
His last wish was to be buried in a Jewish cemetery and this was indeed done. We will keep his memory in our hearts forever.



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