Yom Hashoah Includes Thanks for Sparing Jews from Hussein

Israeli observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Yom Hashoah, began Wednesday evening.

This year, the memorial included thanks to God for sparing the Jews of Israel from the Scud missiles of Saddam Hussein.

Among the torchbearers at a ceremony held at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem was Supreme Court Justice Aharon Barak.

Barak, who was a child during the extermination of Kovno ghetto in Lithuania, was one of the few children to survive an action in which several thousand children were rounded up and killed over a period of two days.

The Yad Vashem ceremony was attended by President Chaim Herzog and by Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir.

Shamir, who thanked God for sparing the Jews another Holocaust, compared Saddam Hussein to Hitler, calling the Iraqi leader “that loyal student of Hitler and oppressor of Jews.”

“With God’s help, he failed,” Shamir said.

The date chosen for the observances of the memorial day is the date, according to the Jewish calendar, on which the Warsaw ghetto uprising was crushed in 1943. But the ceremony also marked the 50th anniversary of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, which occurred June 22, 1941 and was known as Operation Barbarossa.

The ceremony also marked the 50th anniversary of the German invasion of Greece and Yugoslavia and the deportation of Jews from Bukovina and Bessarabia in Romania to the Ukraine.

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