TEL AVIV – On October 23, the most famous Israeli newspaper Haaretz הארץ published the letter of Nicolas Aznavour (co-founder and chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Aznavour Foundation) addressed to the president of Israel. You can see the letter below.
Dear Mr. President,
In 2017, together with my father Charles Aznavour, I had the pleasure to travel to Israel where the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation (IRWF) bestowed the “Raoul Wallenberg Medal” upon Charles and Aida Aznavour in your presence.
This prestigious award is a token of recognition to the Aznavour family, mother Knar, father Misha and their aforementioned daughter and son, who during the dark days of the Nazi occupation in France, reached-out to those who were persecuted. I remember my father recalling how he grew up in the “Le Marais” district in Paris where many immigrants mingled together, including Jewish and Armenian refugees. They were neighbors and close friends. When the Gestapo was arresting Jews to deport them, my grandparent’s apartment became a shelter for them to hide and find safe passage. My grandparents knew the danger was there every day, but my father and his sister only grasped it later.
My grandparents had fled to France to escape the Armenian Genocide by the Ottoman Empire in the 1920s. Their life was not always easy because of their poverty, lack of knowledge of French and the pain they carried with them. When the Second World War erupted, they realized with dismay that history was repeating itself and they took great risks to save as many lives as they could.
The medal that my father received on behalf of our family is among those objects that we plan to exhibit in Charles Aznavour’s museum in Yerevan soon and inform our visitors about the horrors of the Holocaust.