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Israel Honors Holocaust Victims and Jewish Volunteers Who Battled Nazis During War in Occupied Europ

Israel honored the memory of the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust and paid tribute to the Jewish volunteers who battled the Nazis during World War II in the armies of the Allied powers and in the various underground movements in occupied Europe.

The annual Martyrs and Heroes Memorial Day began Saturday night with ceremonies at the Yad Vashem. Premier Yitzhak Shamir told the capacity audience that the spirit of the six million Holocaust victims guarded Israel in all of its wars and assured its victories.

“The suffering of the people of Israel is also its strength,” Shamir declared. Gideon Hausner, chairman of the Yad Vashem, criticized the world which remained silent while Jews were being annihilated by the Nazis. He recalled America’s closed door policy toward refugees at the time. Had it been otherwise, millions might have been saved, he said.

At a rally on Mt. Herzl yesterday Defense Minister Moshe Arens eulogized Jewish volunteers who had fallen in the ranks of the British army during World War II. He said some 1.5 million Jews fought in the armies and the underground movements. Arens also observed that had the Allies given top priority to saving Jews, hundreds of thousands could have been saved.

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