Peres: Israel Is 'Only Possible Memorial Standing' for Holocaust Victims

Yad Vashem Rite Launches Holocaust Remembrance Day

Getty Images

By JTA

Published April 27, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Israel is “the only possible memorial standing” for the victims of the Holocaust, Israeli President Shimon Peres said.

“Israel is deterrence against any attempt at another Holocaust,” he said during a ceremony Sunday night at Yad Vashem at the start of Israel’s 24-hour observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Yom Hashoah.

“A strong Israel is our response to the horrors of anti-Semitism, but it does not excuse the rest of the world from its responsibility to prevent this disease from returning to their own homes,” Peres said.

The theme of this year’s remembrance is ”1944: From Extermination to Liberation.”

Six Holocaust survivors representing the 6 million Jewish victims of the Nazis lit torches in their memory during the ceremony after telling their stories in a prerecorded video.

The ceremony was broadcast on all Israeli television channels and on several radio stations. On Yom Hashoah in Israel, places of entertainment are closed and Holocaust themed-movies and documentaries are shown on television channels. Memorial ceremonies are held throughout the country.

Following a two-minute siren on Monday morning, a national wreath-laying ceremony will be held at Warsaw Ghetto Square in Yad Vashem and the names of Holocaust victims will be read out over the following hours.

The B’nai B’rith World Center in Jerusalem and Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael on Monday morning will honor Jews who rescued fellow Jews during the Holocaust. During the ceremony, a Jewish Rescuers Citation will be conferred by the Committee to Recognize the Heroism of Jewish Rescuers During the Holocaust and the B’nai B’rith World Center on seven rescuers or their descendents.

Also in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Israel Electric Corp. and Yad Vashem have launched a project to document the stories of Holocaust survivors who once worked for the company.

“Hundreds of IEC retirees who survived the horrors of the Holocaust took part in establishing the utility and infrastructure development of the state of Israel,” IEC Chairman Yiftah Ron-Tal said in a statement. “As a national company, it is a moral obligation to act with all the means at our disposal to strengthen the memory of the Holocaust and collective memory, which unites us as a society.”

International Holocaust Remembrance Day is marked worldwide on Jan. 27, the date of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp. Israel’s annual Holocaust memorial day coincides with the Hebrew date of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • “'I made a new friend,' my son told his grandfather later that day. 'I don’t know her name, but she was very nice. We met on the bus.' Welcome to Israel."
  • A Jewish female sword swallower. It's as cool as it sounds (and looks)!
  • Why did David Menachem Gordon join the IDF? In his own words: "The Israel Defense Forces is an army that fights for her nation’s survival and the absence of its warriors equals destruction from numerous regional foes. America is not quite under the threat of total annihilation… Simply put, I felt I was needed more in Israel than in the United States."
  • Leonard Fein's most enduring legacy may be his rejection of dualism: the idea that Jews must choose between assertiveness and compassion, between tribalism and universalism. Steven M. Cohen remembers a great Jewish progressive:
  • BREAKING: Missing lone soldier David Menachem Gordon has been found dead in central Israel. The Ohio native was 21 years old.
  • “They think they can slap on an Amish hat and a long black robe, and they’ve created a Hasid." What do you think of Hollywood's portrayal of Hasidic Jews?
  • “I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager. I didn’t think I would have to do it when I was 90.” Hedy Epstein fled Nazi Germany in 1933 on a Kinderstransport.
  • "A few decades ago, it would have been easy to add Jews to that list of disempowered victims. I could throw in Leo Frank, the victim of mob justice; or otherwise privileged Jewish men denied entrance to elite universities. These days, however, we have to search a lot harder." Are you worried about what's going in on #Ferguson?
  • Will you accept the challenge?
  • In the six years since Dothan launched its relocation program, 8 families have made the jump — but will they stay? We went there to find out:
  • "Jewish Israelis and West Bank Palestinians are witnessing — and living — two very different wars." Naomi Zeveloff's first on-the-ground dispatch from Israel:
  • This deserves a whistle: Lauren Bacall's stylish wardrobe is getting its own museum exhibit at Fashion Institute of Technology.
  • How do you make people laugh when they're fighting on the front lines or ducking bombs?
  • "Hamas and others have dredged up passages form the Quran that demonize Jews horribly. Some imams rail about international Jewish conspiracies. But they’d have a much smaller audience for their ravings if Israel could find a way to lower the flames in the conflict." Do you agree with J.J. Goldberg?
  • How did Tariq Abu Khdeir go from fun-loving Palestinian-American teen to international icon in just a few short weeks? http://jd.fo/d4kkV
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.