JANUARY 27, 2017
The internationally recognized date for Holocaust Remembrance Day corresponds to the 27th day of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar. It marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. In Hebrew, Holocaust Remembrance Day is called Yom Hashoah. When the actual date of Yom Hashoah falls on a Friday, the state of Israel observes Yom Hashoah on the preceding Thursday. When it falls on a Sunday, Yom Hashoah is observed on the following Monday.
Bridges For Peace publication
Friday 27 January 2017, Note: Today is the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. It is a day that transcends borders and religions as the world remembers the terrible genocide during which an estimated 6 million Jewish men, women and children were murdered.
On 27 January 1945, Russian forces reached the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp and opened the gates to the largest Nazi killing center in Europe. Over the past 71 years, Auschwitz has become a symbol of the Holocaust, representing the depths of evil, cruelty and deprivation.
Nearly 60 years after the terrible days of World War II and its unspeakable repercussions for European Jewry, a number of those who lived through the nightmare drafted a Survivor’s Declaration.
“The Age of Holocaust Survivors is drawing to a close,” it reads. “Before long no one will be left to say I was there, I saw, I remember what happened. All that will be left will be books of literature and research, pictures and films, and multitudinous testimony.
“This will be a new era,” the declaration states. “The dark inheritance of the Shoah that was so indelibly stamped on the survivors’ souls and hearts will become a sacred mission imposed upon humanity.” “The Holocaust, which established the standard for absolute evil, is the universal heritage of all civilized people.”
As sunset ushered in the start of International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2016, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke of the importance of remembrance, anti-Semitism and the way forward for the Jewish state.
Following is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s 2016 greeting on the occasion of International Holocaust Remembrance Day:
“Preserving the memory of the Holocaust is more important today than ever for in this period of resurgent and sometimes violent anti-Semitism, it is commemorations like this that remind us all where the oldest and most enduring hatred can lead.
Unfortunately, in Europe and elsewhere, Jews are once again being targeted just for being Jews. Around the world, Jewish communities are increasingly living in fear. We see anti-Semitism directed against individual Jews, and we also see this hatred directed against the collective Jew, against the Jewish state. Israel is targeted with the same slurs and the same libels that were leveled against the Jewish people since time immemorial.
Radical Islamic extremists incorporate the most outrageous anti-Semitism into their murderous doctrines. We see this in Gaza; we see it in Raqqa; we see it in Tehran. And it’s not just Islamic extremists in the Middle East and Europe. Even respected Western opinion leaders, colleges and companies have become afflicted with hatred for the Jewish people and the Jewish state.
The obsession with the Jews—the fixation on the Jewish state—defies any other rational explanation. While across the region, Radical Islamist militants brutalize entire populations, enslave and rape women, murder Christians and gays, the UN Human Rights Council repeatedly condemns Israel. More than North Korea. More than Iran. More than Syria. More than all of them put together. Some things just don’t change.
“But one thing has changed. We have changed. The Jews have changed. We are no longer a stateless people endlessly searching for a safe haven. We are no longer a powerless people begging others to offer us protection.
Today we are an independent and sovereign people in our own homeland. Today we can speak out against the voices of hatred and those seeking our destruction. Today we can protect ourselves and defend our freedom. We have changed and we stand and speak out and we defend ourselves. But where is Europe? Where is the rest of civilization?
When a state like Iran and movements like Daesh [ISIS] and Hamas openly declare their goal of committing another Holocaust, we will not let it happen. But Europe and the rest of the world must stand up together with us. Not for our sake; for theirs.”
Source: (This press release was originally published by Government Press Office on 26 January 2016) Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO