On Remembrance Day, Let Us Never ForgetBy Shachar @ 7:00 AM April 20, 2012
Dateline Jerusalem — Sundown Wednesday to sundown Thursday was Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Day, the shortened name version of Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Day in Israel. The entire country literally came to a standstill. Sirens blasted at high decibels for a full two minutes Thursday morning. Cars on freeways stopped in their lanes while driversand passengers exited the vehicles and stood at attention. Pedestrians stopped in mid-step, and people throughout the country stood still with heads bent down. It was as though Israeli people became statues. Not a sound or a movement. The entire country stood in silence in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.
Wednesday night there was a national tribute. “Taps” played during the lowering of the Israeli flag at half-mast, a fire was lit by the former chief rabbi of Israel, who was still a child when he survived the Buchenwald concentration camp. (He and his brother were the only ones of his entire family to survive the Holocaust.The rest of his family, including aunts, uncles and cousins were murdered.) There was a ceremony in which six Holocaust survivors carried a torch and lit a flame, six survivors representing the six million Jews murdered. Everyone stood for the Israeli national anthem "Hatikvah" (Hope). "Kaddish" (the mourner's prayer for the dead) was recited, and then a decorated Israeli soldier sang the haunting "El Maleh Rachamim" (a prayer for the souls of those who died in the Holocaust).
Only about 200,000 survivors of the Holocaust still are alive today. Most are in their 70s, 80s and 90s. Their stories, documents, pictures and rare film footage are the only proof available to contradict those in the world who deny the existence of the Holocaust. These deniers are becoming more brazen as time goes on. Of the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, 1.2 million were children. Some Jewish children were saved because of the "kinder-transport," a result of Quakers in the U.S. who convinced the British government to allow 10,000 European Jewish children to enter Britain and stay with British families. Adults were not permitted in. They were seen as a threat to British employment. Mothers with tears in their eyes said goodbye to their children, families never to see each other again. These children who thought they were going on vacation luckily survived while their parents died in concentration camps, labor camps, gas chambers, or were shot or beaten to death. The other day a man in his 80s spoke of his experiences in Germany and Poland and of the kinder-transport. He was 10 years old at the time. He still has nightmares.
When I was a cop, I worked with a guy who bragged about how his relatives made lampshades out of Jewish skin during the Holocaust. He did not know I was Jewish, and although he was apologetic when I said my relatives were the lampshades, it was a stark reminder that even in this day, civilized people still harbor hate for Jews. Now Iran blatantly professes its plan to exterminate those of us in Israel, just as Hitler told the world years before he actually tried to kill the Jews of Europe. As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu states, "Am Yisroel Chai!"--- "The people of Israel live!" Yom HaShoah is a day to remember the past, to remind us not to allow history to repeat itself.