NEW YORK (Mar. 13)
The six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust during World War Two will be granted Israeli citizenship posthumously in a special ceremony during the World Assembly to Commemorate 40 Years Since the Defeat of Nazi Germany and its Satellites, which will be held in Israel May 5-9.
According to MK Dov Shilansky (Likud), chairman of the Assembly, the decision to grant Israeli citizenship to the victims of the Holocaust has been approved by the Knesset. The official signing of the law will be made in a special ceremony during the Assembly, Shilansky said during an interview here with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
The Assembly is being organized by the Israeli government and is under the patronage of Premier Shimon Peres.
MORE THAN 800 EXPECTED
According to Zvi Etzioni of the Premier’s Office, who is serving as an assistant to the Assembly chairman, more than 8,000 Holocaust survivors, Nazi fighters and many non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews from the Nazis, will attend the Assembly.
In addition, Etzioni said, soldiers and officers of the Allied Armies who fought the Nazis will attend the Assembly. He said that a score of well known personalities will also attend, among them New York City Mayor Edward Koch, New York Governor Mario Cuomo, British MP Winston Churchill Jr., Lord Harold Wilson, the former British Prime Minister, and Simone Veil, the French Jewish Holocaust survivor who is the former President of the European Parliament.
Shilansky and Etzioni said that thousands of Israelis will take part in the Assembly which will include various ceremonies, parades and rallies in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and other parts of Israel. The Assembly will open at a special ceremony at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem which will include the unveiling of the Statue of Victory, planting trees for the Righteous of the Nations and a reception shortly thereafter of heads of delegations by President Chaim Herzog.
Etzioni said that the largest delegation is expected to come from the United States with about 3,000 members.
Shilansky and Etzioni, who came to the U.S. in preparation for the Assembly, said that it is important that as many as possible Jews will come and take part in the Assembly.
“In the name of the State of Israel, I call upon the masses of the Jewish people to demonstrate their identification with this historic commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany and its satellites,” Shilansky stated. He added: “From Jerusalem, the city of peace, we will loudly proclaim the central message of this assembly, the message of Israel’s prophets: ‘Nations shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”