Greetings from Jerusalem!
As I said yesterday in my broadcast – today is a holiday here – but it is not a day of cheer – but a day of remembrance as the State of Israel marks Holocaust Day, Yom Hashoah.
The commemoration began last night at 8:00 pm with a siren that was heard throughout the country. Most people stood in respect to those killed in the Holocaust. Today at 10:00 am the siren sounded again.
There are more survivors of the Holocaust in Israel than anywhere else in the world. Additionally, there are also tens of thousands of second and third generation children who have also been impacted by this historical event. This being the case, the country approaches the commemoration by creating an environment that encourages introspection and memory of the Holocaust. Radio and TV are devoted to the somber nature of remembering the Holocaust.
Other groups of people who were different, such as Gypsies, some Catholics, and other minorities were also killed. People risked their own lives to save others. And for some, controversy continues to follow the memory of this tragic event.
One media source described the atmosphere of today like this, “The further we move from those dark days, the deeper the memory of the Holocaust has become in all fields – arts, literature, sculpture, television and the cinema.” – and I can see that living here now for a long time. I was here when the United Nations General Assembly declared that the anniversary date of the Allied Forces liberation of Auschwitz was declared International Holocaust Day. This did not happen at the end of World War II, but it took 50 years for it to happen.
But for now, in this small country so often divided – Israel is united by the memory of the Holocaust victims.