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Yom Hashoah: The world remembers

Yom Hashoah, the worldwide remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust, was Sunday and is being commemorated throughout the week. Here’s a sampling:

From the Boston Globe:

Three generations of family members joined a handful of aging Holocaust survivors in the annual Yom HaShoah remembrance memorial service in and around Faneuil Hall and at the nearby New England Holocaust Memorial.

A new organization called Boston 3G, made up of third-generation relatives of Holocaust survivors, scattered more than 30 members around bustling Quincy Market for a 3-minute freeze at 1:20 p.m. In dark blue T-shirts, they stood motionless amid the bustle, publicly reminding shoppers and families out enjoying the spring sunshine of the deaths of one-third of the world’s Jews during World War II.

The street mime by Boston 3G, a group formed last summer by a granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, was one of several ways in which the Jewish community used the annual remembrance to keep alive the memory of the Holocaust and pass it down to younger generations as the survivors dwindle in number.

As the audience left Faneuil Hall after the ceremony and headed for the memorial’s six glass towers along Congress Street, they passed through a cordon of children holding paper butterflies, each inscribed with the name of one of the 1.5 million children killed in the Holocaust.

The butterfly display was part of the “Remember Us’’ project, in which children around the country are assigned the name of a child Holocaust victim to learn about and remember. The paper butterflies are being collected by the Holocaust Museum in Houston; the goal is to collect all 1.5 million butterflies by mid-2012.

in New Jersey, a program Monday addressed the historical anomaly of Italian Jewry’s high survival rate:

Survivors and historians say it’s one of the most remarkable, but perhaps least known, stories of World War II: the high survival rate of Italy’s Jews, despite fascist dictator Benito Mussolini’s alliance with Adolf Hitler.Roughly 80 percent of Jews in Italy survived the Holocaust, while elsewhere in Europe about the same percentage were murdered by the Nazis.

That impressive statistic has inspired a special program Monday on "Italians and the Holocaust," hosted by the Hillside chapter of the Italian-American group UNICO.
Speakers will discuss the Holocaust, and the role Italy played in the survival of about 40,000 of its own Jews.

"Unfortunately, it’s really an untold story," Andre DiMino, the national president of UNICO, said yesterday. "I know a number of Italian-Americans who were not even aware this happened in Italy."

In Jerusalem, the Romanian ambassador paid tribute to Jewish heroism. 

The ceremony took place in the Scroll of Fire Square, located in the Martyrs’ Forest, a joint JNF-B’nai B’rith project located in the Jerusalem hills, where six million trees have been planted in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.

Some 600 people participated in the ceremony, including 250 junior high school students and some 250 Border Patrol recruits. Speakers at the event included Knesset Member Zevulun Orlev, chairman of the Knesset Education, Culture and Sport Committee, H.E. Edward losiper, ambassador of Romania., Alexander Czoban-Sarel, a Holocaust survivor from Poland and a Palmach veteran, Haim Roet, a Holocaust survivor from Holland and Chairman of the Committee to Recognize the Heroism of Jews who Rescued Jews During the Holocaust, Efi Stenzler, KKL-JNF world chairman and Prof. Isaac Mayer, a B’nai B’rith World Center leader and Holocaust survivor from Hungary. 

B’nai B’rith World Center Chairman Dr. Haim V. Katz concluded the ceremony by reciting the traditional Kaddish prayer. During the ceremony, Ambassador losiper noted that the issue of Jewish rescuers has been neglected over the years. The ambassador paid tribute to the Holocaust-era leaders of the Jewish community, including the president of the community and the chief rabbi, who conducted an uncompromising struggle until the end of the war to save the Jewish community from annihilation.

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