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4307Type of Legislation: Concurrent Resolution CRIntroducing Body: HouseIntroduced Date: 20010621Primary Sponsor: J.E. SmithAll Sponsors: J.E. Smith and LourieDrafted Document Number: l:\council\bills\swb\5589djc01.docDate Bill Passed both Bodies: 20010621Subject: Dr. Joseph Fisera, ResolutionsHistory Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ ______________________________________ _______ ____________ House 20010621 Received from Senate Senate 20010621 Introduced, adopted, returned with concurrence House 20010621 Introduced, adopted, sent to Senate Versions of This Bill
TO RECOGNIZE AND COMMEND DR. JOSEPH FISERA OF PARIS, FRANCE, FOR HIS BRAVERY AND COURAGEOUS VOLUNTEER SERVICE DURING WORLD WAR II AS A MEMBER OF THE FRENCH UNDERGROUND AND FOR HIS HEROIC EFFORTS AND TIRELESS WORK IN THE FACE OF OVERWHELMING ADVERSITY THAT SAVED THE LIVES OF HUNDREDS OF JEWISH MEN, WOMEN, AND CHILDREN FROM THE NAZI HOLOCAUST AND "DEATH CAMPS" AT THE RISK OF HIS OWN LIFE.
Whereas, Dr. Joseph Fisera was born in 1912 in the Austrian Hungarian Empire, which became Czechoslovakia in 1918. He now lives in Paris; and
Whereas, after studying at the University of Prague, Dr. Fisera chose to continue his studies at the Sorbonne in Paris. He decided to work with children who were mentally and physically handicapped. He found his calling in Brittany and became a principal of a center specifically for children such as these; and
Whereas, like millions of others, Dr. Fisera was caught up in the Nazi aggression that resulted in World War II. He risked his life by volunteering for service with the French underground movement and was also successful in saving the lives of hundreds of Jewish men, women, and especially children; and
Whereas, when the Nazi occupation occurred, Dr. Fisera used his center for handicapped children and others to his advantage, in the same manner as Schindler was able to help Jewish children and their parents escape the Nazi "death camps". When asked why he risked his life for those of different backgrounds and religion, the answer always remains the same, "for the sake of humanity"; and
Whereas, by virtue of his cunning, courage, and sheer bravery Dr. Fisera saved others and was also able to escape his own death at the hands of the Nazis. Even after the war was over, Dr. Fisera remained ever mindful of the plight of others less fortunate and was instrumental in establishing centers to help survivors of "death camps", namely Buchenwald, to begin living again; and
Whereas, when first meeting a future daughter-in-law years after the war he took her into his tiny, crowed office in his home overflowing with books and papers and pictures of family. He pointed to numerous shoeboxes which contained the names of those he saved at the risk of his own life during the war and said simply, "These are my children."; and
Whereas, in the early 1990s, Steven Spielberg spend several hours interviewing Dr. Fisera when doing research for his Oscar winning film, "Schindler's List" and setting up what is now known as the Shoah Foundation. In addition, Dr. Fisera has shared his wartime experiences and donated pictures documenting the horrific experiences of the survivors of the war to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.; and
Whereas, truly an exceptional man, Dr. Fisera's various honors include: Colonel of the Free French Forces, Knight of the Legion of Honors, silver medal recipient of the French Reconnaissance, Knight in the Order of National Merit (France), Cross of the Fighter in the Order of Office of Humanitarian Work, and from the president of the Czech Republic, V. Havel, The Order of the President T.G. Masaryk and the Big Medal of Liberation from the Slovak State; and
Whereas, in light of his heartfelt service by volunteering for the French underground to save the lives of hundreds of Jewish men, women, and children no award received means more to this great man and humanitarian than planting an olive tree at Yad-Vashem in Israel, an honor bestowed upon those called, "The Just of the Just", and one bestowed upon a brave man and father who, for the sake of humanity, put many, many children of all ages first. Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring:
That the members of the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina, by this resolution, recognize and commend Dr. Joseph Fisera of Paris, France, for his bravery and courageous volunteer service during World War II as a member of the French underground and for his heroic efforts and tireless work in the face of overwhelming adversity that saved the lives of hundreds of Jewish men, women, and children from the Nazi Holocaust and "death camps" at the risk of his own life.
Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to Dr. Fisera of Paris, France.
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