The Jewish community of Paraguay inaugurated a new Jewish museum which includes the country’s first Holocaust studies center.
The Walter Kochmann Jewish Museum of Paraguay finally opened to the public last week after 11 years of construction, according to a report by ABC Paraguay.
The museum is located inside a three-story building donated by the local Cohn family. One section provides a display about Judaism, while another addresses the Holocaust. A third and smaller section is devoted to the stories of the Holocaust survivors who settled in Paraguay, ABC reported.
“The Blue Room, Hope and Life, represents the bond between the Jewish people and our country, with the flags of Paraguay and Israel,” Humberto Ismajovich, director of the museum, told ABC. Valuable artifacts are on display, including a bronze menorah, wooden Torah ark and a miniature Torah scroll.
The museum is named for Walter Kochmann, a former director of the Hebrew Union and the Israel Alliance of Paraguay. The son of German immigrants who fled to Paraguay to escape Nazism, Kochmann initiated the opening of the museum along with his friend Alfredo Seiferheld, a historian and journalist who teaches Hebrew and Jewish customs.
About 1,000 Jews live in Paraguay today, according to the “Encyclopedia Judaica.”