Monday, April 16, 2012 | Israel Today Staff
This Thursday Israel will mark its annual Holocaust Memorial Day, a solemn remembrance of the 6 million Jews who perished in Nazi-controlled Europe.
Sirens will wail throughout the country and public life will come to a standstill for two minutes in honor of the victims. Israel Radio will talk about the importance of not forgetting the horrible past. But soon enough, it will be very difficult for most not to do so.
There are still 198,000 Holocaust survivors living in Israel, but every hour another one of them dies. In 20 years’ time, no eye witness to that horrific chapter in human history will be left.
Today, Holocaust survivors talk to school children, students and soldiers to let them know their story first hand, a powerful means of conveying the message that something like this must never happen again. That is especially true in a time and region where Israel’s enemies don’t take the history of the Second World War seriously and even deny it for political gain.
Last year, the Israeli government’s Holocaust survivors’ fund spent over $100 million supporting the remaining survivors, but still some 60,000 Holocaust survivors in Israel live under the poverty line. They rely on the generosity and aid of Jews and Christians who both love Israel and are determined that these poor souls who experienced the very depths of human depravity are able to live out their remaining days in dignity.