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ARTIST BIDS TO REVIVE TRUE HERO OF WARSAW (NEW YORK POST COMMENTARY) By URI DAN JERUSALEM, ISRAEL 01/28/05)Source: http://www.nypost.com/commentary/38966.htm NEW YORK POST NEW YORK POST Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
January 28, 2005 -- JERUSALEM — The chief forensic artist of the Is raeli police is looking for eyewitnesses in the United States — not to catch criminals, but to preserve the memory of a hero of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.

Gil Gibli, who studied art in New York, hopes that "the last survivors" of the 1943 revolt of Polish Jews against the Nazis can provide details about what the hero, Pavel Frankel, really looked like.

One of Gibli´s drawings led to the identification of a 2002 bus bombing victim who had remained anonymous for months.

He was enlisted in the effort to draw the real Frankel by former Defense Minister Moshe Arens.

Arens told The Post he has been trying to establish the "historic truthfulness" that Frankel and his Beitar movement of Jewish nationalists played a major role in the uprising. The fighting of Frankel´s warriors so shocked the Nazis that Heinrich Himmler himself ordered SS troops to tear down their Zionist banner, which became a model for the flag of Israel.

But until now, most of the credit for the uprising has gone to Jewish socialists, under Mordechai Anielewicz — who regarded Beitar members as "fascists" and refused to cooperate with them.

When history was written, Anielewicz was remembered as the hero. Today, as the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz is recalled, Frankel, who also died in the fighting, has been so forgotten that hardly anyone remembers what he looked like. Thanks to Arens, Gibli located three survivors of the uprising in Israel. One of them, Sela Finkelstein, was Frankel´s 18-year- old communications officer, and told Arens and Gibli, "I remember him in general lines."

With the three eyewitness accounts, Gibli has put together a composite drawing of Frankel.

But some details are unclear. For example, two witnesses remember him with a mustache, but the third doesn´t.

Frankel deserves to be remembered, Gibli said — "but time is running out." (Copyright 2005 NYP Holdings, Inc. 01/28/05)


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