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U.S. Jewish Leaders Hold Memorial Service at Warsaw Ghetto Monument

The sky was starkly gray today as a group of young American Jewish leaders held a memorial service at the War saw Ghetto monument. The group, representing the Young Leadership Cabinet of the United Jewish Appeal, placed a wreath on the steps of the monument and recalled the heroism and courage of those Jews who fought the Nazis against impossible odds.

Standing in silence, the group was overcome by the awesome acts performed in the uprising. The silence was finally broken by an intonement of the Kaddish and the El Moleh Rachamim, traditional praying for the dead. Unable to end on a note of death, the group locked arms and chanted “Ani Maamin” (I Believe) and then the Hatikvah in an act affirming the continued survival of the Jewish people.

The service was viewed by passing Poles with alternating amusement and perplexity. Polish housewives peered through their curtains. One found it difficult to conjure up the horrors of the Ghetto amid manicured lawns and trim apartment buildings. The group later visited the Mila 18 monument where small boys played games, obviously uncaring about the significance of the monument. Someone had unsuccessfully tried to remove some paint or chalk from the simple stones that mark this place.

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