Israel Remembers The Holocaust

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel --- April 7, 2013 … Part of the following was communicated by the Israel Prime Minister's Office to the Israel News Agency.

The official Opening Ceremony for Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day in Israel will take place on Sunday, April 7, 2013 at 20:00, in Warsaw Ghetto Square, Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, Mount of Remembrance, Jerusalem.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this morning (Sunday, 7 April 2013), made the following remarks at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting:

"We have a deep obligation to the elderly in general and to Holocaust survivors in particular, first of all to their welfare and also to their security. Today, the Israeli Cabinet will approve a proposal formulated by myself and Israel Finance Minister Yair Lapid on the addition of NIS 50 million to the social welfare fund for the elderly and for Holocaust survivors, and I asked that an additional NIS 15 million be allocated for medicines, to make things easier for them. These people survived the horrors of the Holocaust. They participated in Israel's wars. They built the State of Israel; they are witnesses to our revival. Our obligation to them is that we will do all that is necessary. Israel is giving today and we will add whatever is necessary."

Israel’s President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are speaking.

"The Holocaust will not sink into the dark hole of history. It is here with us, burning, real," said President Shimon Peres.

"It resonates as we step on the stones of the ghettos. It floats like a ghost in the barracks of the camps. It cries from the prayer shawls, the hair, the shoes that we see with our own eyes. It whispers from the tears that dried before we said goodbye. It is reflected in the photographs of the babies in their mothers' arms. The noise of those murderous trains which have ceased stills rings in our ears. The smoke which has not faded as it drifted into the sky above. Survivors walk among us, the Holocaust and its horrors are with them every day. Their blood flows through our veins."

Peres adds: "The world must ask itself how a regime such as that in Iran can deny the Holocaust and threaten a new Holocaust so soon after six million people lost their lives. The threat of a Holocaust against one people is a threat of a Holocaust on all people."

A group of Jewish children just before they were executed
by a Nazi Einsatzkommando (Mobile Killing Unit).


Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate, will kindle the Memorial Torch. Aliza Vitis-Shomron will speak on behalf of the survivors. Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird will attend the event.

During the ceremony, Holocaust survivors will light six torches. First torch: the late Peretz Hochman (who passed away a few days ago; his widow Sima will light the torch), second torch: Otto Dov Pressburger, third torch: Dina Ostrover, fourth torch: Eliezer Eizenschmidt, fifth torch: Miriam Liptcher,sixth torch: Baruch Kopold. During the ceremony, short videos about each of the torchlighters will be shown (produced and directed by Levi Zini).

The traditional memorial service will take place during the ceremony. The Rishon LeZion Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Shlomo Amar will recite Psalms. The Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Yona Metzger will recite Kaddish. El Maleh Rahamim, a Jewish prayer for the souls of the martyrs, will be recited by Cantor Azi Schwartz.

Participants in the ceremony include singer David D'Or and the Youth Movement Choir as well as the IDF Paratroopers’ Honor Guard. Narrative piece: actor Ishai Golan. The evening’s MC will be Oshrat Kotler.

The ceremony will be broadcast live on television on Israel TV Channels 1, 2, 10 and 33, and channel 9 in Russian, and for the first time on JLTV in the United States, and by radio on Kol Israel and Galei Zahal. It will last about one hour and a quarter.

At 22:00 a special radio program entitled “Shoah, Heroism and Definitions” that will explore the essence of heroism during the Holocaust, will air on Galei Zahal. The program will be presented by Ehud Graff and is a joint program of Yad Vashem and Galei Zahal (Army Radio).

Yad Vashem will be closed to the public as of 12 noon on April 7. It will re-open on Monday, April 8, at 8:00 a.m.

Yad Vashem calls on the public to fill in Pages of Testimony to commemorate the names of Jews murdered in the Holocaust. Volunteers are available to help Holocaust survivors fill out Pages of Testimony (in Israel please call: 02 6443111). At the same time, Yad Vashem is continuing the “Gathering the Fragments” campaign in an effort to rescue Holocaust-related documents, artifacts, photographs and art.

To donate material to Yad Vashem, call (in Israel) 1-800-25-7777. The oral history department continues to film survivor testimonies. Yad Vashem personnel travel to interview and film survivors in their own homes; the testimonies are housed in the Yad Vashem Archives. To coordinate (in Israel):


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working with both the Israel Defense Forces and the US Army in Haiti.

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