Aron Lustiger, born in 1926, ordained in 1954, served since 1981 as Archbishop of Paris and was created a cardinal in 1983 by Pope John-Paul II. Though baptized and member of the highest Roman Catholic clergy, he never denied his Jewish roots. I am a living provocation, he said, forcing ourselves to ask questions about the historical figure of the Messiah.
Many members of the Lustiger family died in the Holocaust, among them the Cardinal’s mother Gisèle who was interned in the Drancy camp and deported to Auschwitz in 1943. The history of his family therefore was deeply involved when a cross was erected near the Auschwitz camp and a monastery was founded in Birkenau. Thanks also to Lustiger’s discrete diplomacy these crises were solved.
After all this had happened, a deep friendship between Aron Jean-Marie Lustiger and the French Jewish community arose. His passing away was deeply mourned by all. Kaddish was said during his funeral and from the French Jewish Community came the idea to establish a monument for Cardinal Lustiger, a Yad and a Name, in Israel. A large group of friends attended the inauguration of the Mémorial, a memorial garden, on the premises of the Benedictine Monastery in Abu Gosh, among them Mr Bruno Charmet, the General Secretary of the Amitié Judéo-Chrétienne de France.