Global Test

Feng Shan Ho, Vienna, Austria

Manli Ho, daughter of Dr. Ho, with Commission Member Martin Gold in Washington, DC, at a photo exhibit honoring her late father.
In 2008, the Commission posthumously honored Feng Shan Ho (1902-1997), the Chinese Consul-General in Vienna from 1938-1940, with displays around the world. Commission Member Martin Gold led the effort that placed plaques in China and Austria, and exhibits at the Capitol in Washington, DC, and in Shanghai. Gold’s initiative led the U.S. Senate to pass a resolution honoring Ho’s heroism.

Nazi Germany’s annexation of Austria in March 1938 created a reign of terror for Austria’s 185,000 Jews, many of whom tried to leave. After the Nazi pogrom of Kristallnacht in November 1938, thousands of Jews were put in concentration camps and only allowed release if a relative produced visas or tickets to other countries. At that time, most countries would not accept Jewish immigrants. Although Ho’s superior, China’s Ambassador in Berlin, forbade him to issue visas on a large scale, Ho ignored the instructions and issued visas to anyone who requested exit documents, even those wishing to travel somewhere other than China. The story of Ho’s assistance to the Jews of Austria and Germany reached Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust authority, after his death in 1996. Posthumously, Yad Vashem awarded him the title of Righteous Among the Nations.


Back to the List of Projects

President Reappoints Three Commission Members

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                                                                              October 23, 2014

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts


WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent... to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts...

  • Herbert Block – Member, Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad
  • Richard H. Weisberg – Member, Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad
  • Gary P. Zola – Member, Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad

President Obama said, “These fine public servants bring a depth of experience and tremendous dedication to their important roles.  I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come.”

...

Herbert Block, Appointee for Member, Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad

Herbert Block is Assistant Executive Vice-President of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, a position he has held since 1999.  He was first appointed to the Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad in 2011.  Previously, he served as Assistant Director for Intergovernmental and Public Affairs for the New York City Independent Budget Office from 1996 to 1999, and was Deputy Director for Intergovernmental Relations at the Corporation for National and Community Service from 1994 to 1995.  Mr. Block was Assistant to the Mayor of the City of New York from 1990 to 1993 and a Special Assistant to the Manhattan Borough President from 1986 to 1989.  He is a member of the Board of Directors of the World Jewish Restitution Organization.  Mr. Block received a B.A. from Columbia University and a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School.

Dr. Richard H. Weisberg, Appointee for Member, Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad

Dr. Richard H. Weisberg is the Floersheimer Professor of Constitutional Law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, a position he has held since 1976.  He was first appointed to the Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad in 2011.   Dr. Weisberg began his academic career as Assistant Professor of French and Comparative Literature at The University of Chicago in 1970 and is currently a Visiting Professor of Law.  He is the founding and current president of the Law & Humanities Institute and founding and general editor of a periodical, Law and Literature.  Dr. Weisberg is a recipient of Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundation fellowships.  In 2009, he was awarded the Legion of Honor by the French government for his work to provide restitution from France to victims of the wartime Vichy regime.  Dr. Weisberg received a B.A from Brandeis University, a J.D. from Columbia Law School, and a Ph.D. from Cornell University.

Dr. Gary P. Zola, Appointee for Member, Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad

Dr. Gary P. Zola is the Executive Director of The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives.  He also serves as Professor of the American Jewish Experience at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Dr. Zola was first appointed to the Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad in 2011.  He is a member of the Organization of American Historians, the American Historical Association, and the Academic Council of the American Jewish Historical Society.  From 2002 to 2005, he was Chair of the Commission for Commemorating 350 Years of American Jewish History and from 2006 to 2010, he was a member of the Advisory Committee of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.  Dr. Zola received a B.A. from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, an M.A. from Northwestern University, and an M.A., Rabbinic Ordination, M.Phil., and Ph.D. from the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion.

Countries