Chinese social media star cries during meeting with Holocaust survivor in Israel

 

(JNS.org) A Chinese social media star broke down in tears during a meeting with a famous 93-year-old Holocaust survivor in Israel, as part of an Israeli-Chinese cultural exchange.

Solomon Perel (pictured), 93, is the author of “Europa Europa,” a book that was adapted into an Oscar-nominated movie based on his real-life story of impersonating a Hitler Youth member to survive the Holocaust. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Eight Chinese social media stars were brought to Israel as part of the Foreign Ministry’s “Young Chinese and Japanese leaders” program, which was created by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to strengthen ties between the Jewish state and Asian countries. 

The eight bloggers have more than 35 million followers combined on China’s largest microblogging social media site, Sina Weibo, which is akin to an amalgam of Facebook and Twitter.

The bloggers met with 93-year-old Solomon Perel, the author of “Europa Europa,” a book that has been adapted into an Oscar-nominated movie based on his real-life story of impersonating a Hitler Youth member to survive the Holocaust.

One of the Chinese bloggers, Yan Jingsheng, who is a historian with 6 million social media followers, broke down in tears once he learned he was shaking the hand of the hero of “Europa Europa.”

“I read the book, I watched the movie, and I was moved to tears when I was suddenly face-to-face with this hero in real life. I never believed it could happen,” Jingsheng said, Yedioth Ahronoth reported

Perel called meeting the Chinese stars an act of “divine providence.” 

“It’s like finding a pin in the middle of the ocean,” he said. “I’ve never met any Chinese people, and the first one I came across knows me and my tale and was moved to tears at meeting me. Now I’m choked up with tears.”

Posted on October 18, 2017 .