Uruguayan president lights candle at local Yom Hashoah ceremony


RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez and several senior government officials attended a local Holocaust day ceremony in Montevideo two months after a deadly anti-Semitic attack made headlines in the country.

“It is fair to remember the infamy that represents the madness of Nazism, which claimed so many Jewish lives of Jewish so that does not happen again,” Vazquez declared at the 1,200-guest ceremony held late last week and led by the Israelite Committee of Uruguay, the country’s umbrella Jewish organization.

The president lit the seventh candle of a menorah to honor the Jews murdered during the Holocaust. Another candle was lit by a brother of David Fremd, the Jewish official killed by a convert to Islam in the Uruguayan town or Paysandu in March. The attacker declared he “followed Allah’s order” to stab Fremd ten times in the back.

Vazquez said that Fremd’s murder as well as a local recent case of a youth who promoted hatred on Facebook in the city of Salto were “isolated facts.”

“It doesn’t mean that we don’t need to pay attention, develop intelligence efforts in order not to lament later,” added the president, who had also attended the International Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony on Jan. 27 of this year.

Uruguay is home to some 12,000 Jews.

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