Germany helps fund Jewish museum

The Jewish community of Bolivia inaugurated the country’s first Jewish museum with financial assistance from Germany.

The inauguration took place last month in Cochabamba, 250 miles southeast of the capital La Paz.

Much of the funding came from the German government, according to Ricardo Udler, president of the Jewish Community of Bolivia.

“The museum commemorates the history of European Jews who found refuge during the Nazi dictatorship in Bolivia and founded there a number of kibbutzim, including a kibbutz in Charobamba,” the German embassy in La Paz said in a statement published on its website.

The German ambassador, Peter Linder, said that “meeting community members who could still tell stories from my grandmother’s time made the dedication a living history lesson.”

The museum features a display with pictures from the 1940s, when Bolivia had several kibbutzim and a Jewish population of 10,000, and a display of photos of the present-day community of several hundred individuals.

Separately, on Feb. 1, the city of Punta del Este in Uruguay opened a five-day Jewish film festival with 30 movies from 10 countries. Organized by University ORT Uruguay, the festival aims to “fight against ignorance and anti-Semitism through Jewish culture,” said film festival director Fernando Goldsman. — jta