Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day 2013

Published on Monday, 08 April 2013 by Webmaster

Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day 2013
Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day (Yom Hashoah in Hebrew) is a national day of commemoration in Israel, on which the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust are memorialized. It is a solemn day, beginning at sunset on the 27th of the month of Nisan (April 18, 2012) and ending the following evening, according to the traditional Jewish custom of marking a day. Places of entertainment are closed and memorial ceremonies are held throughout the country.

The central ceremonies, in the evening and the following morning, are held at Yad Vashem and are broadcast on the television. Marking the start of the day - in the presence of the President of the State of Israel and the Prime Minister, dignitaries, survivors, children of survivors and their families, gather together with the general public to take part in the memorial ceremony at Yad Vashem in which six torches, representing the six million murdered Jews, are lit.

The following morning, the ceremony at Yad Vashem begins with the sounding of a siren for two minutes throughout the entire country. For the duration of the sounding, work is halted, people walking in the streets stop, cars pull off to the side of the road and everybody stands at silent attention in reverence to the victims of the Holocaust. Afterward, the focus of the ceremony at Yad Vashem is the laying of wreaths at the foot of the six torches, by dignitaries and the representatives of survivor groups and institutions. Other sites of remembrance in Israel, such as the Ghetto Fighters' Kibbutz and Kibbutz Yad Mordechai, also host memorial ceremonies, as do schools, military bases, municipalities and places of work.

Central theme for this year: Defiance and Rebellion during the Holocaust: 70 Years Since the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising became a universal symbol of the heroic struggle by a handful of people in impossible conditions against genocidal oppression.

Yisrael Gutman was born in Warsaw in 1923. His parents and older sister perished in the ghetto, and his younger sister was a member of Janusz Korczak's orphanage. As a member of the Jewish Underground in the Warsaw ghetto, Yisrael Gutman was wounded in the uprising. After the war he helped in the rehabilitation of survivors, was active in the Bericha movement, and immigrated to Palestine in 1946. A world-renowned scholar of Holocaust studies, Prof. Gutman has dedicated his life to studying the Holocaust and perpetuating its lessons for the next generations.

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