The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day"

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A very touching ceremony for " The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day" was held at “Yad Ezer L’Haver"

Written on: May 2, 2019

"This year, as always, I stand here and see in my mind, our difficulty in offering the people who survived the Holocaust, have gone through dreadful hell and yet stand with us here, the power to live without hardship and suffering for the last season of their lives," said Shimon Sabag,
This is the significant message conveyed by Shimon Sabag, the director of the "Yad Ezer L’Haver" organization, at the central ceremony for the Holocaust Remembrance Day held this year in the Yad LaNitzol (memorial to the survivor) Plaza in Kiryat HaHessed of the "Yad Ezer L’Haver" organization in Haifa. More than 1,500 guests participated in the memorial ceremony at the Yad LaNtzol square, including hundreds of Holocaust survivors and residents of our "Embracing Community for Holocaust Survivors" of the "Yad Ezer Lever" organization. The ceremony was attended by members of the security forces, police and army officers, dozens of soldiers, volunteers, schoolchildren, dignitaries and many guests.

Marking the start of the ceremony, which began at 3:00 pm, was a memorial service for the Six Million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. This year, as always, the ceremony was honored by the presence of many public figures, among them the Minister of Economy and Industry MK Eli Cohen, former mayor Yona Yahav , MK Michael Malkieli, MK Ariel Kelner, Deputy Mayor David Etzioni and all sectors of the Israeli political spectrum as well as ambassadors and consuls from around the world.

Our most important guests at the ceremony were hundreds of Holocaust survivors, among them 100 residents of the " Embracing Community for Holocaust Survivors” of the "Yad Ezer L’Haver" organization. The torch of the "Memorial for the Survivors" was lit by three Holocaust survivors this year. All three of them are close to the age of the century. Shalom Stamberg, aged 95, survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto, Yehudit Rosenzweig, 95, survivor of Auschwitz, and Shlomo Scherzer, 92, Holocaust survivor from Romania.

Mr. Eli Cohen, Minister of Economy, stated that it is our duty as a people "not to forget or forgive, to stand by the survivors, not to turn our backs on those who need us and help and as much as we can”. Yona Yahav, who continues to be a guest of honour at the ceremony, mentioned Sabag's ability to persevere in his life work, helping hundreds of Holocaust survivors every day. "The violinist from Birkenau" was enacted by the veteran volunteer Gil Danino. This is the testimony of the Holocaust survivor from Thessaloniki, Jacques Stroumsa, who passed away two years ago at the age of 97. At that very moment, many tears were shed by the audience.

At the end of the moving ceremony, guests were invited to visit and tour the Holocaust Museum, which in its first year of activity has already registered more than 225,000 visitors. The uniqueness of the museum is in the living testimonies of some of the residents of our Embracing Community. Some of them donated to the museum mementos they saved and brought with them from the Holocaust, which are showcased together with personal stories. Founder and director of Yad Ezer L'Haver, Shimon Sabag, closed the Memorial ceremony by stating “On this day it is our responsibility to speak out and remember the terrible suffering of our people in the Holocaust. I am happy that some of them survived and are with us today. I always said, and today more than ever, that I have one prayer in my heart: I wish for only one thing, that the day will come when elderly and needy Holocaust survivors have all they need. "

  Photo: Joe Locciano