Excerpt of Shattered Lives Broken Dreams: William Cooper and Australian Aborigines Protest Holocaust


My husband Norman and I formed the Centre for International Reconciliation and Peace based in Cairns Australia after attending two international Christian conferences on reconciliation in 1997. One was held at Coventry Cathedral in England, and the other was hosted by Canadian First Nations people at Manitoba, Canada. We decided to set up our Centre during the first conference in England. Coventry Cathedral, an Anglican church, was almost destroyed by German bombing during World War 2 and they had worked with groups of German Christians to bring reconciliation and healing. They made “crosses of nails” from the rubble.

We have a strong focus on reconciliation because we believe it is at the heart of G-d, not peripheral but central. Apostle Paul says we all have the ministry of reconciliation and the message of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:17-21) and that there is no difference spiritually between people of different races, gender and economic status (Galations 3:28). We particularly aim to bring reconciliation between Jews and Christians, black and white and between nations. 

In September 1998, we hosted an international conference on reconciliation ourselves, inviting Brian Mills, a key prayer leader from England and Linda Ohia, a Maori Christian leader from New Zealand to be speakers. We worked the timing in with the Australian Prayer Network and the British reconciliation tour of Australia to say sorry to Aboriginal people for the sins of white settlement. We hosted Brian and a team of prayer leaders from Britain at our conference, and then they went on to tour Australia for six weeks saying sorry, even visiting remote Aboriginal communities. This included saying sorry to Yami Lester, the well-known Aboriginal man blinded by the British atomic tests at Maralinga, South Australia in the 1950s.

Among the Australian speakers we invited was Jeremy Jones, then the Executive Director of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ). We had met him at a national reconciliation conference in Melbourne the year before. He was on the Council of Aboriginal Reconciliation’s faith committee. The hotel we hosted the conference at was owned by the Kamsler family, a Jewish family, with Paul Kamsler Snr attending the conference briefly.

Without asking for or expecting a response, Norman and I said sorry to the handful of Jewish people present for what the Christian church had done to the Jews. We just felt it needed to be said. We said that it grieved us that over the centuries Christians had accused the Jews of killing Jesus because he had chosen to die on the cross and it’s our sin that put him there. We said we deeply honoured and appreciated the Jewish people as the mothers and fathers of our faith. We honoured the Jewish heroes of the faith who had kept the scriptures intact for us and inspired us by their lives. Yeshua (Jesus) was a Jew, and G-d chose the Jews to be the carriers of His blessing and a light to the nations. We honoured the Jewish roots of the Christian faith.

We said sorry to G-d and the Jewish people for the Christian persecution and murder of Jews in the crusades, the Inquisition and the pogroms. Also, for the Holocaust where 6 million Jews were killed and the church, for the most part, stayed quiet. We said sorry for the anti-Semitic attitude within the church which had fostered a climate where the Holocaust could occur. Also, for the appropriation by the church of G-d’s promises to Israel and the wrong teaching (Replacement Theology) of the church about G-d’s chosen people i.e. that the church had replaced them to receive G-d’s promises. We held a one minute’s silence in memory of those who had died. We then prayed the blessings of Deuteronomy 28:1-14 over the Jewish people as a prophetic declaration.

Jewish – Arab Reconciliation

We left the day after our conference for Israel, at the invitation of Ps Noel and Dianne Mann to join their team at the All Nations Convocation Jerusalem held at Ramat Rachel. Flying into Israel, I had a vision of Jews, Christian Arabs and other Christians lying side by side in the air covering “Eretz” Israel, with Norman and I being part of it. It was as if our bodies were protecting it and covering it in prayer. I had never heard of the word “Eretz” before but found out later it was the Hebrew word for land.  The first night I was in Israel I had a dream about G-d’s love for the sons and daughters of Ishmael increasing my love for the Arab people. 

I hoped that the conference would not be anti-Arab and was relieved to find that Pastor Tom Hess, head of the Jerusalem House of Prayer for All Nations, worked extensively for Jewish-Arab reconciliation not just in Israel but in the Middle East generally. This is not an easy area as there are hurts on both sides, but a common belief in Yeshua or Jesus as Messiah helps Jews and Arabs to be friends and work together.

It was wonderful to be in the land where Jesus walked and talked, did His miracles and poured out His love. It was very impacting to be at the conference where about 2,000 people from 200 nations were worshipping G-d in their national languages and national dress. 

Yad Vashem Visit and Evian Plaque

After the convocation finished, our friends Victor and Elsie Schlatter took us to Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum with a group of Pacific Islanders they had brought for the International Christian Embassy to Jerusalem (ICEJ) conference. It was a moving experience and particularly distressing to find that the Nazis killed 1.5 million children during the Holocaust or Shoah. Lights in a darkened room, represent the children and their names are read out in groups.

It was while we were at Yad Vashem that we saw a plaque on the wall that mentioned Australia’s name and it shocked us. We had not heard about Evian before. We did not know what took place there and how Australia had come to take centre stage in a comment about such a callous response from the nations to the plight of Jewish refugees. 

The plaque read, “As we have no real racial problem, we are not desirous of importing one by encouraging any scheme of large-scale foreign migration … T.W. White, Australian Minister for Trade and Customs, Evian 1938”.

Horrified at our country’s position, we later did a little research on it and found that all the countries except one South American nation closed their door to Jewish refugees desperate to escape the ravages of Nazism. We wondered then, why Australia’s response was singled out.

We were not to find this out until we led a group of Australians and New Zealanders to Israel in 2010 to retrace the steps of the ANZACS and Australian Light Horse. We timed the visit to be in Beersheba (Be’er-Sheva) for the anniversary of the victorious charge of the Australian Light horse on October 31, 1917. 

While we were on this trip, we visited Yad Vashem and showed our group the plaque. I asked the guide why Australia was singled out, and she said that because Australia was more honest than the other nations and admitted it was for racial considerations that they did not accept the refugees while the other nations cited economic reasons. Jewish people judged that Australia was really expressing what other nations were thinking but didn’t say openly. Now we finally had an answer, 12 years later.

Norman and I were stunned when we first saw this comment at Yad Vashem in September 1998. To see Australia’s shame paraded before all the nations of the world to be seen day in and day out really affected us. But worse than this was the moral failure of our nation to be there for Jewish people at the point of their greatest need when this killing machine of Nazism was let loose. Our hard-heartedness in closing our nation’s doors, folding our arms instead of extending them, averting our eyes to their suffering and turning our backs on their plight convinced us that Australia needed to say sorry and admit its mistake.

While we would certainly contest that Australia did not and does not have a racial problem, our focus was on righting the wrong that had occurred at Evian, at least from our nation’s stance.

St Louisa and Evian Apologies 

Norman was invited to a conference in Toowoomba in 2000 to blow the shofar along with some others. The Christian Outreach Centre (COC) hosted it, and Dick Reuben, a Messianic Jew from the USA, was the speaker. Dick did some wonderful sharing, but one night he surprised us by saying he would not be speaking as the Lord hadn’t given him a message. Norman asked if he could repent of Christian attitudes towards Jewish refugees. Unknown to us, Dick had just been involved in a large event where Christians in the USA had said sorry to survivors of the St Louisa for the USA turning back a boat of Jewish refugees from Nazism. Many did not survive after being returned to Germany. So, Dick agreed. 

Norman then asked if he and the pastors present could wash the feet of any Jews present. Dick and the pastors agreed, and it turned out there were about a dozen Messianic Jews present. They were very moved by it as were many others. Dick then led us in communion. I had a vision of a large shofar in the sky over the meeting.

Apologies in Cairns and Sydney

On October 31, 2002, we held an event in our hometown of Cairns, north Queensland where we presented certificates of commemoration for the Australian light horse victory at Be’er-Sheva to Peter Turner, the President of the Returned Soldiers League (RSL) and a representative of the local Jewish community, Arnon Itzhayek. We also presented a Certificate of Apology to Arnon, for Australia’s position at Evian.

On the certificates, we put the scripture of Genesis 12:2-3 where G-d says, “I will make you (Abraham) into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” We believe the Jewish people are meant to be a blessing to all the people of the earth and that as we bless them, we will be blessed. What we do is not aimed at receiving a blessing though but to be in G-d’s will. At the same time, we want to remove any reason for judgment against our nation by standing in the gap and saying sorry for its misdeeds and influencing our nation to do the right thing.

The next day, we travelled to Sydney as we had been invited as speakers at a workshop by a reconciliation group called RUN who also wanted to celebrate the Be’er-Sheva anniversary. While we were there, we contacted Jeremy Jones, ECAJ and presented the Certificate of Commemoration re the light horse charge at Be’er-Sheva and the Certificate of Apology re Evian to him. Jeremy graciously received them and called in a photographer, and a photo of us appeared in the Australian Jewish News in December 2002.

Jeremy Jones (centre) with Barbara and Norman Miller Holding the Certificates The Australian Jewish News 20.12.2002

Jeremy Jones (centre) with Barbara and Norman Miller Holding the Certificates The Australian Jewish News 20.12.2002

We also visited the Consulate General of Israel as representatives of the Israel Government and presented a Certificate of Apology on behalf of Australian Christians to the Consul General, Ephraim Ben-Matityahu. 

Earlier, we had helped out some Israel tourists in Cairns who were ex-army, and one of the young men had died in a motorbike accident. The other young man, Yosef, was in a serious condition in intensive care in the Cairns hospital. We provided accommodation to the two young women travelling with them and visited Yosef in hospital, providing comfort for his sister Carmit who flew in from Israel. The Consul General himself flew up from Sydney to assist, and we had lunch with Ephraim, Paul Kamsler Snr and Friends of the Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO) who had also been assisting. So, when we visited the Consul General in Sydney, we were known to him.

As part of our November 2002 visit to Sydney, we worked with the RUN group to present the Certificate of Apology to WIZO and the Sydney Jewish Museum which has Holocaust survivors acting as guides. They received us well in both places.

Our aim was also to educate the Christian community in Australia on this issue and the Jewish roots of the Christian faith and to lower anti-Semitism, graciously challenging Replacement Theology within the church. We also wanted to improve Christian-Jewish relations, knowing that we were doing so in the context of a long history of church persecution of the Jews. 

We wanted to take the opportunity to say sorry in Israel itself and ideally to have a plaque beside the one at Yad Vashem expressing a change of heart on behalf of Australia and an apology for our position. 

Apology to Yad Vashem

A friend from Melbourne, Jill Curry, was taking a team to Israel in December 2003-January 2004. We asked her if we could go to Yad Vashem and say sorry for what happened at Evian. Jill had lived in Israel and visited Yad Vashem a few times, and one day the same plaque we saw stood out to her, and she wanted to do something about it as well. When she moved back to Australia, she wrote a letter to Prime Minister John Howard asking if he would apologise. He was not prepared to do so. Jill arranged for us as a group to meet with Solly Kaplinski of the English Desk, International Relations and Asia-Pacific regional director at Yad Vashem on 5 January 2004. Jill also encouraged Norman to do a painting to give them as a gift. He did one of Be’er-Sheva and the Australian light horse. 

Before going to Yad Vashem, Norman and I contacted Effie and Ruti Ben-Matityahu who were now living in Israel, and they met us at our hotel and gave us some advice re the Yad Vashem visit.

On arrival at Yad Vashem, we went straight to our meeting with Solly before the group had seen anything. Knowing the purpose of the visit, he took us straight to the Evian plaque. Jill asked me to start as she knew it was the main focus of the trip to Israel for Norman and I and we had prepared the Certificate of Apology. However, as the leader of the team, I said Jill should start. She apologised and then Norman read the explanation of his painting called “Shaping History” which also contains an apology and then presented the painting to Solly. Solly was deeply touched.

 Many of our group were also in tears although they hadn’t even seen the museum yet. I believe they will be changed forever by what happened. I then repented and presented a written apology. I kept it brief, but I felt the Lord wanted me to say that He was catching our tears which would be a memorial offering. I felt the Lord was gathering our tears. Solly was very touched and hugged us. He sent this email to Norman and me:

“It was a real privilege to meet you here at Yad Vashem. In fact, our encounter together was profoundly moving and emotional. 

There is a saying in the Talmud that what comes from the heart enters the heart, and you certainly touched my heart and soul.

Your repentance, unconditional love and support for the Jewish people and the State of Israel gives us the strength to carry on and your unbelievable work of art is so inspiring. Thank you.”

He sent the following email to Jill as a message to the team:

“What a great privilege to meet you and the members of your group a few days ago! I was profoundly moved to be in your presence.

Your repentance, unconditional love and support for the Jewish people, gives us the encouragement and strength to stake our little place in the sun.”

Dianne Taylor, who was part of our group, took a photo of Norman (Aboriginal name Munganbana) and I presenting Solly with the painting called “Shaping History”.

In the painting, the Israeli and Australian flags are shown to demonstrate the special relationship between Australia and Israel based on the ANZAC victory at Be’er-Sheva on 31 October 1917. The centre of the painting shows Abraham’s well at Be’er-Sheva, a source of physical and spiritual water. It also represents reconciliation because of Abraham’s treaty with Abimelech. 

Aboriginal art typically uses dots and earthy colours. The brown dots represent the horses, and the khaki dots represent the soldiers’ uniforms. The red and yellow ochre represents the land. The key of David in the centre of the well represents the openness of heart of Australia towards Israel.

Barbara and Norman Giving a Painting to Solly Kaplinski
(photo Dianne Taylor)

Aboriginal art often depicts hands on the walls of caves. In this painting, we see the hands of black Australia and white Australia reaching out in a gesture of friendship towards Israel. Boomerangs were typically thrown by Aboriginal people when hunting animals or fighting. Some kinds return to the thrower. On the boomerangs in the painting are depicted some of the 800 light horsemen who fought at Be’er-Sheva and their horses.

After our visit with Solly, our group looked around the Holocaust Museum, a very difficult place to be, with scenes of mass murder. It is hard to understand man’s inhumanity to man. They do have a garden of trees for the Righteous Among the Nations. There are photographs in the museum of Asian immigration officials who forged papers so Jews could immigrate to their nations and thus their lives were saved.

The children’s memorial is a very difficult place to visit. It is a dark walkway with countless little lights. The names, ages and nationalities of Jewish children who were killed are read out around the clock. It takes weeks to get through all the names.

I had a vision as we left the children’s memorial of the children as lights and as a picture of the destiny and calling of the nation of Israel to be a light to the world. They were like altars of sacrifice as martyrs to point to a better way of life, not a way of death. Their death is a memorial. These children are gathered in the Lord’s arms.

Peter Kohn covered the story for the Australian Jewish News on March 12, 2004:

“In a symbolic act of reconciliation, a delegation of twelve practising Australian Christians has toured Yad Vashem in Jerusalem and officially asked forgiveness on behalf of Australia for its refusal to admit refugees in the years leading up to World War 11. 

The group expressed its sadness at the outcome of the 1938 Evian Conference on refugees to which Australia was a party – and which roundly rejected the concept of refugee absorption from Nazi Germany and countries under Nazi occupation.

Jill Curry, coordinator of the Jewish Prayer Focus Group, a national organisation with more than 2000 members, told the AJN the group is also trying to get an apology from the Federal Government and has approached Veterans Affairs Minister Danna Vale about it.”

Canberra Conference

Our Centre for International Reconciliation and Peace hosted a conference in Parliament House Canberra in July 2004. Norman and I spoke to some Christian parliamentarians before the conference, but they weren’t supportive of a government-to-government apology because they worried about the possibility of compensation and also that it would strengthen the call for an apology to Aborigines which could also involve compensation. 

Nevertheless, we invited Josie Lacey of the ECAJ in Sydney and Gary Feldman, a prominent leader of the Canberra Jewish community to be on a panel at the conference. Josie shared firsthand about Evian, which was probably an eye-opener to many and I led some heartfelt repentance. 

Apology re Evian Decision on Jewish Refugees 1938

L-R Front Row Gary Feldman, Josie Lacey, Peter Walker, Back Row Norman and Barbara Miller, Parliament House Canberra 2004 (Miller collection)

Government to Government Apology

The next phase of our efforts was to get a government-to-government response, i.e. the Australian government to apologise or at least express regret to the government of Israel for Australia’s stand at Evian. This was the plan that Norman and I, Jill Curry and Hilary Moroney all came to at about the same time. Hilary was Director of Prayerhouse Ministries Australia. Living just outside Canberra with her husband Paul, Hilary did most of the work on the government-to-government apology because she was well located to do it and had the heart to see it accomplished, having Jewish heritage herself. She formed the Evian Delegation which was a loose coalition of those wanting to see this project go ahead. As well as including Jill and Norman and me, it included John Miller (no relation) who has done some valuable research, Ps Peter Walker and Spencer Colliver who advised Hilary on lobbying.

Hilary spoke to Dana Vale MP, then Minister for Veterans Affairs, Jim Wallace of the Australian Christian Lobby and others for advice on a way forward. She then met with Rev Prof James Haire, of Charles Sturt University about Evian. Hilary was advised to lobby Heads of Churches for them to take the Evian issue on and lobby the government for an apology. At a meeting the Heads of Churches held in Canberra, they expressed interest but wanted to know if it was a live issue with the Jewish community and if they’d support such a move. 

As I had the contacts with the Jewish community in Sydney, Hilary contacted me on 4 October 2004 to follow this up. I spoke to Jeremy Jones, ECAJ on the phone and he said that an apology re Evian was not a priority for the Jewish community in Australia. Their two biggest priorities were an apology by the government to Aboriginal people re the stolen generation and the security of children at Jewish schools.

Norman and I cooled off for a while after that. While we were disappointed because we thought it was important, if the Jewish community didn’t, then we couldn’t pursue it. National Council of Churches of Australia (NCCA) administrator, John Henderson apparently spoke to Jeremy and received a similar message.

Hilary continued to lobby. On November 19, 2004, there was a Heads of Churches of the NCCA meeting and Hilary reported on it to the Evian Delegation, “The outcome I was given was that they have asked me to bring our proposal of the Evian Delegation to the Heads of the Jewish community, to request them to bring the issue to the Interfaith Dialogue Advisory Committee of the NCCA (which is being expressly set up for this purpose), who will then consider supporting this initiative as we approach the government, and give their recommendation to the NCCA that comprises over 15 Heads of Churches in this nation.”

Josh Landis then took on Jeremy’s position at ECAJ and Hilary asked us to convey the NCCA request to him, and she contacted him also. Josh wrote to Norman and me on 3 March 2005 that he had discussed the matter with John Henderson of the NCCA and they would work together to move the issue forward. 

ECAJ came back to Hilary and said that they commended the proposal but did not feel they could receive such an apology on behalf of other Jewish people who had suffered through the Holocaust.

Moshe Katsav, President of Israel, visited Australia in March 2005 and Hilary raised the Evian issue with him in a letter on March 1 on behalf of our Evian Delegation of Australia. It read “… We are aware of the wound in our relationship between Australia and Israel, in that, at the Council of Evian in 1938, Australia did not take the opportunity to be a land of refuge to the Jewish people, for which we are deeply sorry.” She was grateful to receive a kind acknowledgement from the President’s Chief of Staff. 

In November 2006, Hilary contacted the Hon Rev Fred Nile, MLA of the NSW Parliament explaining the Evian Delegation’s desire to have this issue addressed at the highest level of government. The Evian Delegation wanted an official apology or recognition of regret and an act of restitution to restore friendship. Hilary wanted to make contact with then Prime Minister John Howard. Fred Nile offered to send her letter directly to the Prime Minister with a covering letter. It was a disappointment that the Prime Minister’s office replied to Hilary in March 2007 that it was not considered necessary to address the issue.

Before the national elections in 2007, our Evian Delegation wrote to the Hon Kevin Rudd, MP, then Leader of the Opposition in the Federal Parliament, requesting that, should he become Prime Minister, he considers apologising for Australia’s stand at Evian. 

Sydney Conference

In the meantime, through the Centre for International Reconciliation and Peace, Norman and I had been hosting Australian national conferences in July each year since 2003. In 2006, we held one at the Sydney Opera House with Bishop Dominiquae Bierman from Israel, Rev Willem Glashouwer from Holland, head of Christians for Israel worldwide, and others as speakers. We took our whole conference to the Sydney Jewish Museum to educate them on the Holocaust and Jewish issues generally. We did this by arrangement with the Museum so they could cater for such a large group and we did it in two groups, so we weren’t all there at once. It was a real eye-opener for many.

Our conference was held during Israel’s war with Lebanon or Hezbollah (12 July-14 August 2006), and there were Lebanese demonstrators not far from where our conference was meeting. Norman and I arranged to take our whole conference to the Great Synagogue to sit quietly in support while they had a service on behalf of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier who had just been captured (25 June) by Hamas in a border raid inside Israel. No one knew then it was going to take over five years for him to be released or if they would ever see him alive again.

We had to observe security requirements, but we appreciated that we had sufficient trust and relationship with the Jewish community to do this, particularly as we live a long way away in Cairns and don’t have regular contact. I think it comforted the Jewish community to know we cared and stood with them and no doubt it had a big impact on our conference attendees.

Melbourne and Bendigo Conferences

In July 2007, we hosted two national conferences back-to-back, one in Bendigo and one in Melbourne. Tabernacle of David Bendigo co-hosted the Bendigo conference with us. At these conferences, we commemorated a number of anniversaries:

  • 90th anniversary of the ANZAC, Light Horse and Allied victory at Be’er-Sheva
  • 40th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem after the 6 Day War and the 
  • 40th anniversary of the constitutional change in Australia after the 1967 referendum so that Indigenous people could now be counted in the census

We also honoured William Cooper and Pastor Sir Doug Nichols at the 2007 Melbourne conference and were pleased that Ps Sir Doug Nicholls’ family could attend.

60th and 70th Anniversaries of the State of Israel

The Hon Kevin Rudd became Prime Minister and, in April 2008, the House of Representatives made time to recognise and honour Israel on the 60th anniversary of its statehood in modern times. Kevin Rudd expressed his regret over the Evian issue. This was not as yet communicated face to face in Israel.

Through our newsletter – Reconciliation News, Norman and I honoured William Cooper again in July 2008. We also acknowledged and sought to educate people on the following anniversaries:

  • 70th anniversary of the Evian decision
  • 70th anniversary of William Cooper and the Australian Aborigines’ League protest to the German Consulate in Melbourne re Kristallnacht
  • 50th anniversary of Aboriginal Sunday which became NAIDOC and of which William Cooper is the father.

As the 70th anniversary of the Evian decision was coming up in July 2008, we thought that any apology that did occur, if it did, should be timed for the 70th anniversary. At a brief meeting, Hilary handed a letter to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and also met with members of the Australia-Israel Parliamentary Friendship. Our Evian Delegation was looking for more action re a formal recognition of regret by the Australian Parliament. 

Mark Dreyfus, QC, MP for Isaacs Victoria, who is also Jewish, was then secretary of the Australia-Israel Parliamentary Fellowship. Kevin Rudd asked him to contact Hilary as a response to the Evian Delegation. They met at Parliament House on 10 November 2008, the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht. Mark Dreyfus said he would put forward a Motion of Regret as a Private Members Bill to commemorate the 70th anniversary. They worked on a draft, and his Evian Bill of Recognition and Regret was posted on the Notice Board of the House of Representatives on November 25, 2008. There was only a small window of opportunity for it to be read before parliament stopped sitting for the year in December. It was not read or passed. It was not reintroduced the following year with the sense that the timing was lost. This was a disappointment to us as the Evian Delegation.

Europeans Say Sorry on Location at Evian

In the meantime, Hilary was in contact with Tomas Sandell, Director of the European Coalition for Israel (ECI). They are a coalition of pro-Israel Christian groups who work with the European Union. They were aware of the 70th anniversary of Evian coming up, and the approach from Australia encouraged them. In 1988, on the 50th anniversary, a large prayer meeting had been held in Berlin to repent of the sin of the nations and the church re the Evian decision. A smaller delegation was later sent to Evian to repent on site. 

In looking at the most strategic approach, the ECI decided not to choose July 2008 but the week of 20-24 April 2009 during the UN World Conference Against Racism in Geneva, called the Durban Review Conference or Durban 11. It would still be the 70th year. Why this occasion?

Durban 1 was held in South Africa in September 2001, just before 9/11 in New York. It unleashed disturbing anti-Semitism, and many countries had to withdraw from it because of that. Israel was singled out as the most racist state. The same spirit behind anti-Semitism in 1938 seemed to be on the rise again. 

The ECI chose the evening of 21 April for the initial commemoration, and then they realised this was Shoah (Holocaust) Remembrance Day, so it took on extra significance. They gathered with the wider community in a ceremony in front of the UN. The following morning, the official ECI Evian Commemoration was held in the Synagogue at Evian with local Jewish participation. 

Most European nations involved at Evian attended as well a representative from Canada, USA and Australia. Several MPs attended from different nations and read out statements of apology or regret. Hilary represented Australia, and she was invited to read out the Private Members Bill that Mark Dreyfus had planned to read to the Australian Parliament. This gave Hilary a sense of release that what needed to be accomplished spiritually, had been. It made up for the disappointment that the Bill had not been read in the Australian Parliament or passed. Interestingly, 2009 was also the UN Year of Reconciliation.


But our story doesn’t end there with Norman and I continuing till mission accomplished for an Australian government to Israel government apology re Evian which I cover in another article on the Cooper and Evian stories colliding.


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