Israel Commemorates Holocaust Remembrance Day

Events began on Sunday night at 8 P.M with official ceremony at Massuah Institute for Holocaust Studies in Kibbutz Tel Yitzhak.

Holocaust Remembrance Day events began on Sunday night at 8 P.M. with the official ceremony at the Massuah Institute for Holocaust Studies in Kibbutz Tel Yitzhak. The ceremony marked the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.

At the ceremony, Holocaust survivors lit six torches in memory of the six million victims. The torch-bearers were accompanied by their grandchildren and an Israel Defense Forces honor guard.

On Monday, Holocaust Remembrance Day, a siren sounded for two minutes at 10 A.M. when Israelis all over the country stood up in silence.

At the Knesset, President Shimon Peres took part in a ceremony commemorating the solemn day, which began at 11 A.M..

Later in the day, a wreath-laying ceremony was held at the Warsaw Ghetto Square at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial. In Yad Vashem’s Hall of Remembrance, some of the names of those murdered in the Holocaust were recited as part of the “Unto Every Person There is a Name” project.

The main memorial ceremony will take place at 1 P.M.

Thousands of youths from Israel and around the world commenced the "March of the Living" march in Auschwitz on Monday afternoon.

At 7:45 P.M. Monday, the Ghetto Fighters’ House Museum will hold the main gathering marking the end of Holocaust Remembrance Day. Speakers at the assembly include Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Chavka Folman Raban, who will speak on behalf of those who fought in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.

At the gathering, Holocaust survivors and their families will light six torches. They include Dr. Lucien Lazar, who saved many Jewish children in France, accompanied them on trains and smuggled them to the border; Aviva Blum-Wax, the daughter of Abrasha Blum, one of the leaders of the Bund and the “spiritual father of the resistance” who fought in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising; Semion Rosenfeld, who participated in the uprising in the Sobibor extermination camp; and Poldek Yehuda-Maimon, a member of the underground “HaChalutz HaLochem” ‏(The Fighting Pioneer‏) group in Krakow and an Auschwitz survivor.

The wreath of Righteous Among the Nations will be laid by Martha Peled, the daughter of Joop Westerweel, who was designated as Righteous among the Nations by Yad Vashem after saving more than 300 Jewish boys and girls by smuggling them to safe areas across the border of occupied Holland.

The Yizkor memorial prayer will be read by author Miriam Harel, who survived the Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen camps.

Meanwhile, at 5:30 P.M. Israel time, a memorial ceremony will be held at Birkenau in Poland, with the expected participation of 11,000 people. The Israeli delegation will include IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, whose mother is a Holocaust survivor.

Reuters
Moti Milrod