Saturday, April 30, 2011
Nation to bow its head on Holocaust Remembrance Day
Tonight’s opening ceremony at Yad Vashem focusing on ‘Faces Behind the Documents, Artifacts and Photographs.’
The 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust will be honored at ceremonies held across the country on Sunday evening, the start of Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day.
President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz and other dignitaries will attend the official state ceremony at Yad Vashem.
This year, the central theme of the ceremony will be Fragments of Memory: The Faces Behind the Documents, Artifacts and Photographs, a campaign launched by the Holocaust museum aimed at collecting and preserving documents so that future generations may learn about the genocide of the Jewish people by the Nazis from first-hand sources.
During the ceremony, six Holocaust survivors will light torches in memory of those who suffered under Nazi persecution before and during World War II.
Yona Fuchs, whose nickname is Janek, will be among the honorees at the event. In 1942 he escaped from a concentration camp and found work as a translator for a German company in Kiev. In that capacity he managed to save over a dozen Jews by recruiting them as workers for his employers.
Later, he evaded arrest by posing as a German soldier. He arrived in British-controlled Palestine in 1944, fought in the War of Independence and settled in Haifa. He has 14 grandchildren.
On Monday morning at 10 a.m., sirens will wail throughout the country as people observe a moment of silence in memory of the victims of the Nazi persecution.
The closing ceremony of Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day will take place at Yad Mordechai, the kibbutz adjacent to Gaza named after Mordechai Anielewicz, the leader of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising who was killed in the fighting.
Keeping the Legacy Alive
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"Keeping the Legacy Alive" - Through Eliezer Ayalon's poignant and captivating tale of survival, we can grasp the vital need of preserving the Holocaust survivors legacy. Yad Vashem has been rightfully entrusted with this mission since its establishment in 1953. The brief and compelling film sheds light on Yad Vashem's multifarious activities -- the many millions of documents, the inspiring exhibitions, the workshops, conferences and seminars for educators -- strengthen the voices of the survivors and ensure the relevance of the Holocaust for this generation and future ones.