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President Rivlin addresses Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day ceremony at Yad Vashem

​We will forever know how to protect ourselves by ourselves. The Holocaust will forever place us, the Jewish people, as eternal prosecutors on the stage of humanity, prosecutor against anti-Semitism, racism and ultra-nationalism.

President Reuven and First Lady Nechama Rivlin, participated in the opening ceremony of Israel's Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day, held at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial and museum. Also speaking at the event were Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and representative of the survivors of the Holocaust, Mrs. Zahava Roth.

The President began by describing the scene in Bergen Belsen Concentration Camp on the first night of Passover, 1944. "In barrack 18, a group of Jewish prisoners gathered, determined not to eat Chametz (leavened bread). Rabbi Aharon Bernard (Yisachar) Davids, the rabbi of Rotterdam and a leader in the religious Zionist movement, who decided not to escape with his family but rather was sent with his community to Bergen Belsen, explained to them that it was their obligation to do what was necessary to stay alive. In order to convince them, he picked up a piece of bread, and before eating it on that Seder night, he read a special prayer which he had penned together with Rabbi Simon Dasbergm, and other Rabbis from Holland, which read; 'Our Father in Heaven! It is known to You that we desire to fulfill Your will and observe the Passover holiday by eating Matzah and safeguarding against Chametz. But our hearts are pained at the captivity which prevents us, and we find ourselves in danger of our lives. We are hereby ready to fulfill Your commandments “And you shall live by them (the commandments)” and not die by them, and to observe the caution of “guard yourself and watch your life greatly.” Therefore our prayer to You is that You keep us alive, and sustain us, and redeem us speedily." The President added that tragically, Rabbi Davids had perished just months before the liberation of the camp.

"I stand here, amid the mountains of the Israeli city of Jerusalem," said the President, "on the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day 2016, between the days of Passover 'the festival of freedom', and Israel's Independence Day, and give thanks in the name of Rabbi Davids and his community who did not merit to see this moment, and in the name of all our brothers and sisters, our loved ones who perished in the Holocaust, I give thanks to He who brought us to this moment, to these days of revival. Am Yisrael Chai, the people of Israel lives."

He continued, "In another generation, there will not be anyone left living among us who survived that hell, and who could say, 'I was there, I saw the horror with my own eyes'. The Holocaust survivors living among us become fewer and fewer. It is time to conduct some soul-searching before you. We must admit that we were wrong. Holocaust survivors have never received the respect they deserved. Even to the present day, the State of Israel does not take every measure it can in order to take care of the Holocaust survivors. My brothers and sisters, survivors, the heroes of Israel's revival, I came here today on my behalf, and on behalf of the people of Israel, on behalf of the State of Israel, and I ask each one of you, before it is too late, for forgiveness. We did not understand, we did not want to understand, and we have not done enough. Our brothers and sisters, Holocaust survivors. These are the years in which we should take the opportunity to try to clarify along with you, how you want to shape the memory of the Holocaust and its lessons for future generations. How do you wish to charge the torch of remembrance, which will be passed from generation to generation? The number which was tattooed onto your flesh is etched into the hearts of this nation for generations, and has become the living will of the Jewish people."

The President added, "The Holocaust whether we like it or not has become a factor in shaping the standards of our understanding of ourselves, of understanding our relationship with other nations, and our role in the world. The Holocaust places the Jewish people in front of the basic principles, as a people and as a nation gazing inward at ourselves and outward toward all of humanity. It is these basic principles that should unite us all, regardless of our political outlooks, ideologies, or ethnic origin.

"I believe that the memory of the Holocaust for future generations, should meet three basic principles" said the President, and continued, "Firstly, we should always be able to defend ourselves – we should not privatize our security. The State of Israel is not, under any circumstances, compensation of the Holocaust. However, the Holocaust put into perspective the necessity and crucial need of the Jewish people to return to its historical roots, as a nation that takes its fate in its hands. Anti-Semitism and the persecution of the Jews are not a fad, or one that can be taken lightly. It is a difficult chronic disease that penetrates deep into the heart and history of nations. We find it today in the voices that can be heard in the heart of a different Europe – from the British left and the extreme right in Eastern Europe and in Europe as a whole, and in areas across of the Arab world. The State of Israel will deal with this anti-Semitism by ensuring, first and foremost, a national home and a Jewish army that protects the nation of survival. We will never be ashamed that we are willing to fight. We are a nation that has survived and will continue to survive thanks to our resilience, and strong spirit. The second point is the shared Jewish fate. In Auschwitz and Babi Yar, in the darkness and in great fear, an alliance was forged - the Covenant of the Pieces. Our Jewishness descended upon us all equally and culminated, as Jean Amery said harshly, in the realities and the possibilities inherent in the number engraved on our arms. All of us, the Jewish people, those of faith, and those without, those who believe in Zionism and those who don’t believe in Zionism, from the East and from the West, and anywhere in the world are as one number. We will forever pursue the blood of our brothers and sisters, individuals and communities, which screams at us from within the earth. We will continue to pursue the deniers, those who want to forget and those who want to blur history. In the present and the future, whatever our faith, above and beyond any estrangement or divisions within us – we will always recognize the invisible thread that connects us to the Jewish people as one. The third point, beloved is man created in God's image. This is a Jewish truth, the most fundamental human truth and the deepest antibody to the horrors of the Holocaust, where our people and all of us were turned to dust, to ants, to un-human beings. Beloved is man created in God's image. Whether we want or not, the Holocaust imposes a hard and terrible duty on the Jewish nation and its conduct. The Holocaust will forever place us, the Jewish people, as eternal prosecutors on the stage of humanity, prosecutor against anti-Semitism, racism and ultra-nationalism. Prosecutors against pacts with the devil that trade human dignity and life for interests. Prosecutors against indifference, against the relativism of evil. Beloved is man, every person, created in the image of God. This is a holy duty from which the Jewish people cannot and should not want to escape at any time, under any circumstances."

The President concluded by saying, "A year ago, on the eve of Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day), I received a call from my friend, former Mossad Chief and hero and protector of Israel, Meir Dagan, may he rest in peace. Meir told me about the picture of his grandfather, Rabbi Ber Sloshny in the Lukow Ghetto in Poland. In the picture you can see Rabbi Ber, wrapped in a prayer shawl, kneeling, his hands raised and he is humiliated, just a few seconds before he was executed by firing squad. This image followed Dagan throughout his life. All orders given, he said, were given with this picture in mind. The pain of this picture of his grandfather was always with him. He was horrified even more, he told me, when he discovered that the people who killed his grandfather, those soldiers in the picture, were merely reservists. Most of them were not even members of the Nazi Party. "They were normative people," said Meir, "voluntary mass murderers, who treated my grandfather, as if he were nothing. These were ordinary people.

“This picture will forever stay with me, with three things in mind; Rabbi Ber defenseless with his arms raised; Meir Dagan bearing the picture with him while crossing borders and risking his life for his people; and the German murderer, that 'ordinary person' who abandoned his humanity. Against these images I will recite to my sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters - never again. We will forever know how to protect ourselves by ourselves. We will forever be committed to a partnership of Jewish destiny. And we will forever insist – that beloved is man, created in the image of God. May the souls of our sisters and brothers the heroes, the victims of the Holocaust, be bound in the bond of life and engraved in our hearts forever."
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Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day - Information for Visitors at Yad Vashem

On the eve of Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day, Wednesday, 4 May 2016, Yad Vashem will be open to visitors until 12:00 noon. At 17:30 the site will re-open to those invited to the State Opening Ceremony.

Entrance to the State Opening Ceremony of Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day is by invitation only.

On Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day, Thursday, 5 May 2016, Yad Vashem will be open 08:00-20:00. The Holocaust History Museum will open at 9:00. The Visual Center and Children’s Memorial will open at 11:00. The Archives and Library will be open 8:30-17:00

On Remembrance Day for Israel's Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism, Wednesday, 11 May 2016, the Holocaust History Museum will be open 9:00-17:00. The Archives and Library will be closed.

On Independence Day, Thursday, 12 May 2016, Yad Vashem will be closed.

General Information
Hours
Sunday to Wednesday: ‬09:00-17:00
Thursday: 9:00-20:00*
Fridays and Holiday eves: ‬09:00-14:00
Yad Vashem is closed on Saturdays and all Jewish Holidays

* The Holocaust History Museum, Museum of Holocaust Art, Exhibitions Pavilion and Synagogue are open until 20:00. All other sites close at 17:00.

Archives and Library Services
Sunday-Thursday 8:30 - 17:00
(Books and documents can be ordered until 15:00)
Entrance to the Holocaust History Museum and all other sites is free
Groups of 6 or more people are required to schedule their visit in advance. Reservation Center
All guiding in the Holocaust History Museum must be conducted with earphones, which can be hired in the Visitor's Center.
Entrance to the Holocaust History Museum is not permitted for children under the age of 10. Babies in strollers or carriers will not be permitted to enter.
Entrance to the Holocaust History Museum is permitted until one hour before closing.
Address
Yad Vashem
The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority
Har Hazikaron
P.O.B. 3477
Jerusalem 9103401 Israel
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"Unto Every Person There is a Name"

Six million Jews, among them 1.5 million children, were murdered in the Shoah while the world remained silent. The worldwide Holocaust memorial project "Unto Every Person There is a Name" is a unique project designed to perpetuate their memory as individuals and restore their identity and dignity, through the public recitation of their names on Yom Hashoah - Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day. By personalizing the individual tragedies of the Jewish victims of Nazi Germany and its collaborators, this project counters persistent efforts by enemies of the State of Israel and the Jewish people to deny the reality of the Holocaust and cast it as history’s seminal hoax.


"Everyone has a name" - Poem by Zelda
[translated from Hebrew]

Everyone has a name
given to him by God
and given to him by his parents.
Everyone has a name
given to him by his stature
and the way he smiles.
and given to him by his clothing
Everyone has a name
given to him by the mountains
and given to him by the walls.
Everyone has a name
given to him by the stars
and given to him by his neighbors.
Everyone has a name
given to him by his sins and given to him by his longing.
Everyone has a name
given to him by his enemies
and given to him by his love.
Everyone has a name
given to him by his holidays
and given to him by his work.
Everyone has a name
given to him by the seasons
and given to him by his blindness.
Everyone has a name
given to him by the sea and
given to him
by his death.


"Unto Every Person There is a Name" is conducted around the world in hundreds of Jewish communities through the efforts of four major Jewish organizations: B'nai B'rith International, Nativ, the World Jewish Congress and the World Zionist Organization. The project is coordinated by Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, in consultation with the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs and enjoys the official auspices of the President of the State of Israel Shimon Peres. In Israel, "Unto Every Person There is a Name" has become an integral part of the official Yom Hashoah commemoration ceremonies, with the central events held at the Knesset and at Yad Vashem with the participation of elected officials, as well as events throughout the country.

Lists of names
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Jews "On the Edge" - 1944: Between Annihilation and Liberation

Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day 2014

Yom Hashoah is a It is a solemn day, beginning at sunset on the 27th of the month of Nisan (April 27, 2014) and ending the following evening, according to the traditional Jewish custom. 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.

The central theme for Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day 2014 is Jews "On the Edge" - 1944: Between Annihilation and Liberation, reflecting the situation of the Jews in 1944 - exactly 70 years ago. The expression "on the edge" is taken from Nathan Alterman's poem Joy of the Poor, which so aptly expresses the feeling which prevailed that year among the Jews of Europe. While cities from east to west, such as Vilna and Minsk, Warsaw and Riga, Belgrade and Sofia, Paris and Rome, were being liberated from the yoke of Nazi Germany, the Jews of Hungary were sent to Auschwitz, the Lodz and Kovno ghettos were liquidated, the last of their former inmates were deported and murdered, and death marches were initiated from the liberated territories to the heart of what remained of the "Third Reich".

In March 1944, the Germans invaded Hungary and immediately commenced preparations for the swiftest and most organized deportation any Jewish community had ever witnessed: From the middle of May, over 430,000 Jews from Hungary were sent almost exclusively to Auschwitz, where the vast majority was murdered in the space of two months.

In June, the "Auschwitz Protocols" were disseminated around the world. This detailed account, written by Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler, two young Jews who managed to escape from the infamous concentration and death camp, exposed for the first time the central role of the camp in the extermination system.

In October, an uprising in Auschwitz was staged by the Sonderkommando, the group of Jewish prisoners tasked with the unspeakable job of handling the bodies of the murdered victims. They blew up one of the gas chambers with the help of explosives smuggled in to them by a group of young Jewish women.

These events are at the heart of the tension between annihilation and liberation, a tension that was literally a question of life and death for the Jews at that time, who were living on the very edge.


"Unto Every Person There is a Name"

Six million Jews, among them 1.5 million children, were murdered in the Shoah while the world remained silent. The worldwide Holocaust memorial project "Unto Every Person There is a Name" is a unique project designed to perpetuate their memory as individuals and restore their identity and dignity, through the public recitation of their names on Yom Hashoah - Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day. By personalizing the individual tragedies of the Jewish victims of Nazi Germany and its collaborators, this project counters persistent efforts by enemies of the State of Israel and the Jewish people to deny the reality of the Holocaust and cast it as history’s seminal hoax.



"Everyone has a name" - Poem by Zelda
[translated from Hebrew]

Everyone has a name
given to him by God
and given to him by his parents.
Everyone has a name
given to him by his stature
and the way he smiles.
and given to him by his clothing
Everyone has a name
given to him by the mountains
and given to him by the walls.
Everyone has a name
given to him by the stars
and given to him by his neighbors.
Everyone has a name
given to him by his sins and given to him by his longing.
Everyone has a name
given to him by his enemies
and given to him by his love.
Everyone has a name
given to him by his holidays
and given to him by his work.
Everyone has a name
given to him by the seasons
and given to him by his blindness.
Everyone has a name
given to him by the sea and
given to him
by his death.



"Unto Every Person There is a Name" is conducted around the world in hundreds of Jewish communities through the efforts of four major Jewish organizations: B'nai B'rith International, Nativ, the World Jewish Congress and the World Zionist Organization. The project is coordinated by Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, in consultation with the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs and enjoys the official auspices of the President of the State of Israel Shimon Peres. In Israel, "Unto Every Person There is a Name" has become an integral part of the official Yom Hashoah commemoration ceremonies, with the central events held at the Knesset and at Yad Vashem with the participation of elected officials, as well as events throughout the country.
The names of the Holocaust victims
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Yad Vashem visiting hours


On Remembrance Day Eve, Sunday, 27 April 2014, Yad Vashem will be open to the public until 12:00 only. Entrance to the Holocaust History Museum is permitted until one hour before closing. The Archives and Library will be open 8:30-12:00.

On Remembrance Day, Monday, 28 April 2014, the Holocaust History Museum, Visual Center and Children’s Memorial will open at 10:30. The Holocaust History Museum will be open to the public until 20:00. The Archives and Library will be open 8:30-17:00.

Private vehicles will not be admitted to Yad Vashem on Remembrance Day Eve or on Remembrance Day itself. Tour buses and taxis will be admitted to Yad Vashem from 11:00 on Remembrance Day. Parking facilities are available on Mt. Herzl and in the light railway car park. Shuttle buses will provide transportation from Mt. Herzl to Yad Vashem and back for all Remembrance Day events.

On Remembrance Day for Israel's Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism, 5 May 2014, Yad Vashem will be open 9:00-17:00. The Library and Archives will be closed.

On Independence Day, 6 May 2014, Yad Vashem will be closed.
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International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2014

January 27, the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp in 1945, was declared International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust by the United Nations in 2005. The memorial day this year is built around the theme "Journeys through the Holocaust".


On January 27, 1945, Soviet forces liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp, discovering the largest Nazi killing center in Europe. Auschwitz has become a symbol of the Holocaust, representing the depths of man's inhumanity to man.
In November 2005, the United Nations passed a resolution to mark January 27 as an international day of commemoration to honor the victims of the Holocaust, and urged member states to develop educational programs to impart the memory of this tragedy to future generations. Over 60 governments have legislated January 27 as an annual Holocaust Memorial Day and Holocaust remembrance ceremonies will be organized on the international, national, regional and local levels, including in universities and schools.
The theme "Journeys through the Holocaust" recalls the various journeys taken during this dark period, from deportation to incarceration to freedom, and how this experience transformed the lives of those who endured it. These are stories of pain and suffering, yet ultimately also of triumph and renewal, serving as a guiding force for future generations.

Sixty MKs and ministers, accompanied by 24 Holocaust survivors, State Comptroller Joseph Shapira, Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein, Chief Rabbi David Lau, Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev and some 250 other public figures are scheduled to arrive in Poland on January 27, 2014 – Holocaust Remembrance Day – for a one-day visit. This is the largest delegation of MKs to be sent since the Israeli parliament's establishment.

Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein: ”The elected parliament of the nation in Israel is travelling to the valley of the killings in order to feel part of the pain and allow the memory to be engraved in our hearts. The significance of this difficult journey is huge, and I hope and believe that it will leave an impression that will honor the survivors and the memory of the Holocaust. I am proud of the Knesset, its members and the dignitaries who are accompanying them for their impressive undertaking.”

The delegation will march to the Birkenau concentration camp, followed by a memorial ceremony in which some 1,000 people, including members of the Polish parliament (the ”Sejm”), are expected to take part. Later, an inter-parliamentary gathering will take place in Krakow with the participation of MPs and prominent figures from Israel, the United States, Poland, Canada and other countries.

Yad Vashem "I Remember Wall"

When you join the "I Remember Wall", your Facebook profile will be randomly linked to the name of a Holocaust victim from the Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names. Your profile will then be posted to the wall together with the photo and name of the Holocaust victim.

At the United Nations headquarters in New York, a Holocaust Memorial Ceremony on January 27, 2014 will feature a message from the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and remarks by H.E. Mr. John W. Ashe, President of the 68th Session of the General Assembly; H.E. Mr. Ron Prosor, Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations; H.E. Ms. Samantha Power, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations and Holocaust survivor Rena Finder. Filmmaker Steven Spielberg will deliver the keynote address.

A panel discussion on "The Rescue of Jews in Albania" will explore the circumstances and values that led Albanians to bravely save the lives of the innocent during the Holocaust. In extraordinary contrast with much of the rest of Europe, Albania - a Muslim-majority nation occupied by Nazi Germany in 1943 and 1944 - proved a place of refuge for virtually its entire Jewish population and others who sought haven there. In all, some 2,000 Jews were rescued from the Nazi genocide in this small country.

In addition, a new exhibit entitled “A Remembrance of the Holocaust in Hungary” will open, presenting a historical account of the Holocaust in Hungary in observance of the 70th anniversary of the deportation and extermination of the Hungarian Jews.

Promoting the role of education in preventing genocide, UNESCO will commemorate the genocide of the Jewish people and the millions of victims of the Nazi regime with an international seminar on “The impact of Holocaust education: how to assess policies and practices?” This seminar, organized in partnership with the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research and the International Bureau of Education of UNESCO, with the support of the Delegation of Hungary, will discuss the content and quality of Holocaust education in several countries of the world. It will be followed by a ceremony in memory of the victims.

UNESCO will also present several exhibitions on that day: “Journeys through the Holocaust”, testimonies of Jewish refugees by the USC Shoah Foundation and UNESCO; “In the Footsteps of the Lost”, photographs by Matt Mendelsohn with the Shoah Memorial; “The World Knew: Jan Karski’s Mission for Humanity”, by the Permanent Delegation of Poland and “Les Rescapés de la Shoah: courage, volonté, vie”, paintings by Alain Husson-Dumoutier, UNESCO Artist for Peace.

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