Holo­caust sur­vivors gath­er­ing for global Hanukkah cer­e­monies

The Myanmar Times - - World -

HUN­DREDS of Holo­caust sur­vivors around the world marked the third night of Hanukkah on Tues­day, with meno­rah-light­ing cer­e­monies pay­ing trib­ute to them and the 6 mil­lion other Jews who were killed by the Nazis.

Ini­ti­ated last year by the New York-based or­ga­ni­za­tion that han­dles claims on be­half of Jews per­se­cuted by the Nazis, In­ter­na­tional Holo­caust Sur­vivors Night was ex­panded this year to in­clude Moscow, a nod to the large num­ber of sur­vivors who live in Rus­sia and other for­mer Soviet coun­tries.

“The sense of Hanukkah is in our dear vet­er­ans who are present here to­day,” Rus­sia’s Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar said at the cer­e­mony in the Jewish Com­mu­nity Cen­ter and Syn­a­gogue in Moscow. “These peo­ple have seen war, but never gave up.”

Other cer­e­monies were held in Ber­lin and Jerusalem. At a gath­er­ing of more than 100 sur­vivors at Oheb Shalom Con­gre­ga­tion in South Orange, New Jersey, out­side New York City, Hanna Ke­sel­man re­called be­ing sep­a­rated from her par­ents in Ger­many by the Nazis. Her mother sur­vived but her fa­ther died.

“We are what is left of a peo­ple who were not able to cel­e­brate the Jewish re­li­gion be­cause another gov­ern­ment de­cided that we were not wor­thy of ex­ist­ing, much less openly prac­tic­ing our faith,” the 87-year-old Ke­sel­man said.

“It is a mir­a­cle, af­ter the hor­rors we faced, that we are cel­e­brat­ing Hanukkah to­day.”

New Jersey Gov. Phil Mur­phy, a for­mer am­bas­sador to Ger­many un­der for­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Obama, told the group that sur­vivors “are owed a debt by each of us, and from all humanity.”

“All of us here who’ve lis­tened have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to tell your stories to suc­ces­sive gen­er­a­tions,” he added.

Greg Sch­nei­der, ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of the Con­fer­ence on Jewish Ma­te­rial Claims Against Ger­many, said that more than seven decades af­ter the end of World War II it is more crit­i­cal than ever to keep the mem­ory of the Holo­caust alive. – AP

Photo: As­so­ci­ated Press

Two holo­caust sur­vivors ar­rive for the In­ter­na­tional Holo­caust Sur­vivors Night of the Jewish Com­mu­nity in Ber­lin, Ger­many on Tues­day.

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