Yom Hashoah

Israel’s Holocaust Memorial Day, Yom Hashoah, is on a different date than that commemorated by most of the international community, including now the UN, US and the EU. They prefer to commemorate the day when Allied forces liberated the Aushwitz Death camp, the largest concentration camp in German-occupied Europe, where ca. 1.6 million people (mostly Jews) were murdered!
Originally the date in Israel was chosen to commemorate the uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto, an act of unparalleled bravery by the remainder of the Ghetto defenders, but since this was on Pesach the date was moved to a week after Pesach, and the date of Nisan 27 in the Hebrew calendar was chosen as a National commemoration, that falls this year on April 15.
The day is actually called “Holocaust Martyr’s and Heroe’s Memorial Day” and includes commemoration of those individuals and groups who defied the Nazis and their accomplices throughout Europe in their inhuman, sadistic and deliberate genocidal murder of Jewish men, women and children.
Recently I saw a report on the granddaughter of Heinrich Himmler visiting Auschwitz. She was appropriately sorrowful, how could her own grandfather have done this? But, even though the youth of Germany is now supposedly changed, they manage to tranform their anti-Semitism into anti-Israelism. In principle, many of them have not changed. If Israel is an “illegitimate” and “apartheid” state, as the left in Europe and elsewhere claim, so much easier to support the irrational murder of 6 million Israelis. The only difference is the acceptance by the world of Israel as a legitimate state and ultimately the IDF.
The papers and media include accounts of the survival and sagas of many of those Holocaust survivors who live in Israel, some 80,000 of them now as they age and die off. Its nice that most of them have grandchildren and great-grandchildren living in Israel. But, the disturbing news is that Israeli Governments have not been very solicitous of them, and have only recently begun enacting laws to protect them and see that they all receive basic food and medical support. There are complaints that the social workers who provide this support are demeaning to them, just as were many in countries in Europe, requiring them to show their injuries and detail when and where they were beaten, injured, etc. Why do such people in Israel show so little sympathy?
A new phenomenon has been discovered, that some “righteous gentiles” who saved the lives of Jews during the Holocaust, have come to live in Israel (98, of whom 43 are still alive), some because they were rejected by their local communities after WWII. Some were incarcerated in prisons or camps because of their activities and in some cases members of their familiers were murdered. The Knesset has also extended to them the rights of Jewish survivors, including Israeli citizenship.
Perhaps the most distiurbing news about the Holocaust is that some British schools have removed teaching about the Holocaust from their curriculum because of complaints from Muslim student’s parents. Can you imagine the fuss if Jewish children asked that Islam be removed form the curriculum because it upsets them? What can Muslim parents possibly gain by this kind of narrow mindedness and exhibition of hatred. May it never happen to them.Tonite (Sunday) there will be many commemorations in Israel, including the National one at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, and at most synagogues. The Vatican representative to Israel is the first diplomat to refuse to attend the ceremony in Jerusalem, because of a caption under the photo of Pope Pius XII at Yad Vashem. It states that Pius XII never issued a public condemnation of the Nazi massacres of Jews, which is one reason why John Cornwell’s authoritative book about him is entitled “Hitler’s Pope.” It seems to me that they protest too much!
Whatever you do or don’t do on this memorial day, remember the dead and sufferers of the Holocaust and make it known that it really happened.


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