Siggy is the daughter of none other than Dr. Mordecai Paldiel, a professor, author, a leading expert on rescue during the Holocaust, and the former Director of Israel’s Holocaust authority – the Department of the Righteous at Yad Vashem.  for Dr Paldiel. Siggy’s father, Mordecai, was born in Belgium.  In 1940, Mordecai’s family fled to France to escape the German occupation. In 1943, as Italy surrendered to the Allies and the Germans replaced the Italians in patrolling the area, Mordecai’s family realized they could not remain in France. Mordecai’s mother sought out the assistance of a French cleric who she learned protested the anti-Semitic actions of the Germans.  The French Cleric agreed to help the family flee to Switzerland.

For 25 years Mordecai Paldiel searched for the French Cleric who risked his life to save not only Mordecai’s family but countless other Jewish families. Aside from his self imposed commitment to find the cleric, Mordecai Paldiel was of the firm belief that “the final word regarding the Holocaust should not be left to the perpetrators but to the rescuers.”

Thus the work of the Department of the Righteous at Yad Vashem: The Department was established for the State of Israel to publicly acknowledge non Jews who risked their lives to save Jews. Honorees are a collection from different walks of life, from bricklayers and farmers, to diplomats and religious leaders, all sharing in the commitment to help others despite the risk to themselves.

Mordecai Paldiel served as the Director to the Department for 24 years. As the Keynote Speaker before the United Nations, Mordecai Paldiel emphasized the importance of acknowledging the rescuers:

“We have an obligation to pass on to future generations not merely the legacy of the horrors of the Holocaust, but also the story of the Righteous. The lessons of these deeds can arouse the spark of goodness in others that is an innate part of humanity. Such goodness may start with a small act, then, as shown by many rescuers, expand and grow to helping more than one person over greater lengths of time.

One need not be a saint with a halo to do such a saintly deed. Most of those on Yad Vashem’s list were persons who went about their regular business and when suddenly challenged to help fleeing Jewish person found themselves suddenly transformed into rescuers.”/em>Speech by Mordecai Paldiel as Keynote Speaker before the United Nations.

On September 19, 1989, Yad Vashem recognized the French Cleric who saved six year old Mordecai and his family 46 years earlier:

Mordecai’s daughter, Siggy Flicker is an author, and relationship expert – a success in her own right. Her latest book is entitled Write Your Own Fairy Tale. However, her pedigree is an inspiration that transcends the franchise.

We look forward to Siggy Flicker on the Housewives of New Jersey.

Original Article