Melamed Keynote Speaker at the 75TH Year Commemoration of the Bialystok Ghetto Uprising
Bialystok, Poland (August 16, 2018) - At the invitation of the people of Bialystok Poland, Leo Melamed was the keynote speaker at the 75th year commemoration of the Bialystok Ghetto Uprising on August 16, 1943.
Mr. Melamed, a Holocaust survivor, found safety in the U.S. during World War II. The story of his escape as a child from Bialystok, Poland, as he and his parents miraculously outwitted the Nazis and the KGB, was an odyssey that took two years, spanned three continents, six languages, the Trans-Siberian railroad, and Japan---courtesy of a life-saving transit visa from Japanese Counsel General to Lithuania, Chiune Sugihara---happily ending in the United States in 1941.
In his remarks, Mr. Melamed stated:
“Although the outcome was a foregone conclusion, the ghetto fighting in Bialystok lasted six days; the Germans had to use tanks, artillery, and even airplanes to quell the uprising. Unofficial data and eyewitness accounts put the Nazi losses at 100 soldiers killed. The fight left a smoldering Białystok in ruins
The Jews of Bialystok, as those in all the Uprisings, answered the call: Fight for your life to the last breath. It was a tradition that is thousands of years old---like the Maccabees, who in ancient times, against the odds, took on the forces of Antiochus, the Hellenistic Greek King after he forbade Jews from practicing their religion.
Like the Maccabees, the Bialystok Ghetto Uprising will forever remain an exalted flashpoint of pride for Jewish people everywhere.”
Leo Melamed is globally recognized as the founder of financial futures. In 1972, as chairman of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME Group), he revolutionized markets with the creation of the International Monetary Market (IMM)--the first futures exchange for financial instruments and the launch of currency futures. In the years that followed, Melamed led the CME in the introduction of a diverse number of financial instruments including Treasury Bills in 1976, Eurodollars in 1981, and stock index futures in 1982. In 1987, Melamed revolutionized futures trading again with the founding of Globex® the world’s first futures electronic trading system.
After over 50 years of continued leadership, Mr. Melamed, chairman emeritus of the CME Group, recently retired from the Board of Directors.
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