On June 30, the Tour de France — the month-long annual multinational bicycle race — began in Dusseldorf, Germany. It ends on July 23 in Paris at the Champs-Élysées. Yad Vashem, the world Holocaust remembrance center, is marking the race by uploading a new online exhibition, “A Shattered World: Diary and Mementos from Bicycle Trips and Tournaments that Moshe Cukierman Participated In.” To see it, google “Yad Vashem,” “Moshe Cukierman,” and bicycle.
The exhibition — a large collection of medals, newspaper clippings, travel diaries, and photographs donated to the Yad Vashem artifacts collection — document the impressive sporting activities of Polish-born cyclist Moshe Cukierman and his colleagues before World War II. Cukierman and his fellow cyclists trained with the Bar Kochba and Maccabi Lodz Jewish sports clubs, and they participated in competitions throughout the 1920s and 1930s.
The exhibition contains images, artifacts, and excerpts from Cukierman’s diaries, bringing this unique story to sports enthusiasts and others around the world. It is available in English, Hebrew, French, and Spanish.
Moshe Cukierman was captain of the cycling team of the Bar Kochba sports organization in Lodz, Poland, headed the Lodz Cyclists’ Association, and competed at cycling competitions throughout Poland. He participated in long-distance riding competitions, won many medals, and documented many of his cycling trips in his personal diaries. In 1934, Cukierman married Tova Krakowski, a gymnast from Lodz. The couple came to Israel — then British Mandatory Palestine — in 1935 to take part in the Maccabiah Games, and decided to stay there rather than return to Poland. Most of their family members who remained in Poland were murdered in the Holocaust.