JERUSALEM (Apr. 27)
All of Israel observed two minutes of silence this morning in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. Traffic came to a standstill at 8 a.m. as air raid sirens wailed. People in offices and factories stopped work, pedestrians and motorists halted in the streets and all stood in silent remembrance of the six million Jews who perished at Nazi hands. In speeches last night ushering in Holocaust memorial day. Israel’s leaders warned that the insidious virus of hatred and destruction was still abroad in the world.
President Ephraim Katzir, addressing a memorial assembly at the Yad Vashem marking the 33rd anniversary of the beginning of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, declared that while the Nazis did not succeed in their aim to destroy “not only the Jews but the very memory of Judaism, the hatred that burned in the heart of that Satan burns still, and a large part of mankind has not learned the lesson of the Holocaust.”
Stating that Jews dare not ignore this fact, Katzir called on all Jews to strengthen the State of Israel, “the bastion of the Jewish people, to prevent another Holocaust.” Premier Yitzhak Rabin, speaking at a memorial ceremony at Tel Yitzhak, also warned that racist voices are once again preaching hatred of the Jews.
CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE
Religious Affairs Minister Yitzhak Raphael alleged last night that “we now know” that the President of the United States, the Pope and other heads of government were partners in a “plot of silence” over the Holocaust during World War II. Raphael told a memorial meeting that if even a tiny Jewish State had existed at the time, it would have been possible to lessen the tragedy and break the conspiracy of silence.
Tel Aviv and Jerusalem had an atmosphere of mourning last night. Movies, theaters and cafes were closed, restaurants dimmed their lights and only a few neon signs remained on. Flags flew at half-mast all over Israel today. A special memorial service was held at the Tel Aviv cemetery where Holocaust survivors and delegations from Jewish communities destroyed by the Nazis kindled memorial fires. Chief Rabbi Yedidia Fraenkel of Tel Aviv officiated.
During the day, special parades were held at army camps and other military installations where officers addressed the men under their command on the meaning of the Holocaust. Films of the Holocaust era were shown in high schools and elementary schools. Students also participated in special memorial meetings on the school grounds. (Meetings marking the Holocaust were also held in other countries. See P. 4 for related story.)