'We Really Nailed the Holocaust': Israeli Minister Adds Sounds of Trains, Barking Dogs to Independence Day Ceremony

Regev was up until 4 A.M. 'nailing' the Holocaust part of Israel's official Independence Day commemoration, which will also include kids wearing yellow stars

FILE PHOTO: Jews during the Holocaust
Nir Keidar

Culture Minister Miri Regev on Tuesday  praised the way in which the Holocaust is to be portrayed in Israel's annual Independence Day ceremony, saying that she was "very pleased with the way we managed to nail the Holocaust" during the planned performance.

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Regev, who chairs the committee that oversees the ceremony, instructed organizers on Monday to add sound effects to the section dealing with the Holocaust, which is to feature children wearing yellow badges on the stage.

The effects she asked to be added include loud train noise and barking dogs, in an apparent attempt to recreate the atmosphere during the arrival of Jews at concentration, labor, and death camps during the Holocaust. The effects were not originally part of the planned performance and were added to the ceremony during a dress rehearsal on Monday.

Regev told Army Radio on Tuesday that during the dress rehearsal of the ceremony she was struck by the feeling that it portrayed the Holocaust as merely another event in the history of the Israeli people.

Miri Regev at the Haaretz Culture Conference, March 6, 2016.
Moti Milrod

"It's not another event," she said. "I instructed that it be expressed in a very formal, serious manner . . . and I am very pleased with the way we managed to nail the Holocaust during this entire performance. It's the right dosage."

Sources close to Regev told Haaretz that she was up until 4 A.M. on Sunday trying to "nail" the ceremony's Holocaust sequence. Though some Israelis who was Monday's dress rehearsal were irked by the sounds and imagery, Regev's people seemed unconcerned: "Our goal is to show how we rose up from the destruction of the Holocaust to great a nation. There is a rationale behind this story."