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Palestine Concludes Week of Mourning with Burning of Swastika and Hitler Effigy

December 4, 1942
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The week of mourning for the Jewish victims massacred by the Nazis in occupied Europe concluded in Palestine last night with a huge demonstration in Tel Aviv culminating in a bonfire on Habimah Square at which a crowd of more than 100,000 persons burnt the Nazi swastika and an effigy of Hitler.

In Jerusalem thousands of Jewish children marched to the Wailing Wall while their parents crowded the synagogues and rocited prayers for the Jews of Europe. Work stopped in all Jewish establishments except those engaged in manufacturing war materials. Black candles were lit in the old Bukharian synagogue, while aged Kabbalists gathered in their house of prayer in the old city and proclaimed anathemas upon Hitler, Goering, Goebbels, Himmler and other Nazi leaders.

In Safed, Jews donned yellow Mogen Dovid badges. Jewish women in Safed and Tiberias marched in spontaneous demonstrations to holy graves there and lit candles on the tombstones. Similar mourning demonstrations are reported from all over the country.

The huge demonstration in Tel Aviv started when the crowds left the synagogues after all-day prayers. Rabbis carrying the Holy Scrolls led the procession to. Habimah Square, followed by Jews carrying banners reading “Where are the Democratic Governments?”. The demonstration was addressed by Mayor Rokach of Tel Aviv and by leading rabbis. A vow was taken by the crowd “not to remain silent and not to allow Jewish blood to bosilenced.” Many Jews enlisted in the armed forces on the spot, hoping to be able to personally avenge the dead Jews.

The High Commissioner for Palestine today informed the Jewish National Council here that he has transmitted to the British Government all the demands voiced by the Jews of Palestine during the week of mourning. The Czechoslovak Consul General, the dean of the diplomatio corps in Palestine, similarly informed the Council that the diplomatic representatives have transmitted the Jewish resolutions to their respective governments. On behalf of the consuls of the United Nations he expressed “deep sympathies and compassion” in a message addressed to Isaac Ben-Zvi, president of the Council.

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