Charles Aznavour Receives Wallenberg Award in Israel

68
0

TEL AVIV (Daily Mail) – French Armenian singing legend Charles Aznavour was honored in Israel on Thursday for his family’s efforts to protect Jews and others persecuted by the Nazis during World War II.

The 93-year-old known as France’s Frank Sinatra still performs and is due to give a concert in Tel Aviv on Saturday.

He received the honor from Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, who spoke of his love of Aznavour’s music, saying La Boheme was his favorite song.

Rivlin presented him with The Raoul Wallenberg Award, named for the Swedish diplomat who helped thousands of Jews flee Nazi-controlled Hungary during World War II.

Aznavour’s family “hid a number of people who were persecuted by the Nazis, while Charles and his sister Aida were involved in rescue activities,” Rivlin’s office said in a statement.

The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, based in New York, presents the award and Aznavour chose to receive it in Israel, it said.

Get the Mirror in your inbox:

Aznavour, who was born in Paris, spoke of his Armenian origins on Thursday, referring to Armenian Genocide of 1915 orchestrated by the Ottoman Empire.

His parents fled to France to escape the massacres that more than 20 countries have recognized as a “genocide”, s charge strongly denied by Turkey.

“We have so many things in common, the Jews and the Armenians, in misfortune, in happiness, in work, in music, in the arts and in the ease of learning different languages and becoming important people in the countries where they have been received,” he said.

“We have so many things in common, the Jews and the Armenians, in misfortune, in happiness, in work, in music, in the arts and in the ease of learning different languages and becoming important people in the countries where they have been received,” he said.

Aznavour’s hits have included She, Hier Encore and La Mamma.

He is also credited in more than 60 movies, defying detractors who pointed to his unconventional looks to become one of France’s most iconic singers.

Aznavour thanked Raoul Wallenberg Foundation for the award and the Israeli President for the reception. The singer also inquired when Israel will recognize the Armenian Genocide, stressing that Jews and Armenians have many similarities.

In response, Rivlin said that it’s a political issue and the issue was raised at the parliament of Israel every year when he was a Knesset member and President. He noted that he talked about the Armenian Genocide of 1915 rather clearly at the UN in 2015.