JERUSALEM, Israel -- A veteran Minnesota lawmaker was honored Tuesday at a special ceremony at the Holocaust Memorial and Museum in Israel, known as Yad Vashem.
Rep. Bernie Lieder, a Crookston Democrat and World War II veteran, is part of a delegation of state lawmakers visiting Israel and the West Bank. Lieder, as part of the U.S. Army's 102nd Division, fought in the Battle of the Bulge and later took part in liberating Nazi forced labor slave camps in Germany.
According to legislative staff, Rep. Lieder's unit also helped survivors of the notorious massacre at Gardelgan, where German soldiers forced more than 1,000 slave laborers into a barn and set it on fire.
The Minnesota delegation, led by Rep. Frank Hornstein of Minneapolis, visited the Holocaust History Museum and Children's Memorial. Lieder was selected to rekindle the eternal flame and lay a wreath, during a ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance.
Lieder chairs the Transportation Committee in the Minnesota House of Representatives. After his service in World War II Lieder worked as a construction engineer. He was first elected to the House in 1984.
The lawmakers are expected to return the United States by Friday.
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