IN MEMORY OF ALEXANDER KANT
Christians and Jews United for Israel is saddened to announce the passing of Alexander Kant, our long-time and dedicated board member, on December 1, 2020. The following tribute in memory of Alex was written by a current member of the board who knew him well.
IN MEMORY OF ALEXANDER KANT
By Robert W. Bleakney, Ph.D., CJUI Board Member
Over 30 years ago, I had the privilege of striking up a friendship with Alexander Kant, a teacher from Melrose, MA. By then, he had traveled to Paraguay in 1985 and Syria in 1986 in attempts to locate the escaped Nazi war criminals Dr. Josef Mengele and Alois Brunner. He had also written his master’s degree thesis for Harvard Extension School on “Protestant Reactions to the Founding of the State of Israel,” which included interviews with leaders of churches in Israel.
By 1990, shameless troublemakers were challenging the eyewitness testimonies of Holocaust survivors by denying the gassing of Jews in Nazi concentration camps. Among such, the Organization of New England Revisionists (ONER) rallied support (including from the New Hampshire Ku Klux Klan) for Fred Leuchter, a pseudo-engineer who claimed that Jews were never truly gassed at Auschwitz, only to put himself in legal jeopardy for practicing engineering without a license. Outside courthouses in Malden MA, distortionists from the ONER and KKK demonstrated on Leuchter’s behalf, as did an extremist from Salem who yelled out, “We need another Hitler!” During this time, Alex spied on two meetings of the ONER and repeatedly joined Holocaust survivors in bearing public witness to the historical reality of their traumas. In addition, he served as a volunteer security guard for the French Nazi hunter, Beate Klarsfeld, when she gave a public address after joining survivors at a demonstration.
Later, as a longtime board member of Christians & Jews United for Israel (CJUI), he remained committed to activism. He championed the Jewish homeland on college campuses during Israel Apartheid Week, provided security for CJUI events, and demonstrated on the streets of Boston for Israel, even during downpours of rain. Throughout his years of involvement with CJUI, Alex was loved, admired, and appreciated by all who knew him.
For Alex, his seemingly boundless resolve to support the Jewish people and nation was a spiritual response to a painful memory. During the Nazi era, a Jewish man who shared his last name had asked Alex’s family to claim him as a relative so that he might escape from German killers to the USA. However, the man was a stranger to them, and so, they declined. Years later, when Alex visited Dachau, he saw that Jews named “Kant” were among those listed as its murder victims. His heart broken, Alex dedicated his life to both a Jew from Nazareth and deeds of solidarity with the Jewish people. Unable to change terrible events of the past, Alex resolved to actively seek a better future, which he did, while humbly avoiding any public recognition for his numerous good works.
Should you wish to extend the honorable, righteous legacy of Alexander Kant, please consider making a donation in his honor to Christians & Jews United for Israel, PO Box 982, Framingham, MA 01701-9998.