TEL AVIV (Apr. 17)
Nearly 100 mass rites, commemorating the martyrdom of the 6,000,000 Jews annihilated during the Nazi Holocaust, were held throughout Israel today and last night. The observances were linked to the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising against the Hitler forces, which was launched 23 years ago.
While the largest of the meetings, attended by at least 10,000 persons, was held in Dizengoff Square here this morning, the country-wide observances were begun immediately after sundown yesterday. Israeli flags were lowered to half-mast at all public buildings, and tens of thousands of homes and offices displayed lighted memorial candles. All places of entertainment joined the mourning by closing down. At 8 this morning, sirens sounded throughout the country, and activity halted throughout virtually all of Israel, as all joined the observance by maintaining two minutes of silence.
This year’s Remembrance Day ceremonies being the first ever held in Israel during the presence of a West German Ambassador in the country, principal speakers at Tel Aviv’s big, outdoor meeting decried the rise of neo-Nazism in Germany, and criticized what they termed the increasing tendency among Germans to forget “the past.” Banners and placards, in Hebrew and Yiddish, English, French and Russian included slogans like “We doubt that today’s Germany is a ‘New’ Germany” and “We don’t care whether it is West Germany which freed Nazi criminals, or East Germany which supports the Arabs against Israel.”