Rivlin and Netanyahu attend wreath-laying ceremonies at Yad Vashem

May 3, 2019 by J-Wire Staff
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu participated in the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes Remembrance Day wreath-laying ceremony at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Netanyahu lays a wreath Photo: Haim Zach (GPO)

President Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin laid a wreath this morning at the Hall of Remembrance at Yad Vashem and then took part in the “Every Person Has a Name” ceremony at the Knesset, reading names of Holocaust victims.

President Rivlin lays hos wreath

At the beginning of his remarks, the president noted that because of her health, his wife Nechama was unable to come as she does every year. Because of that, he chose this year to read the names of her family and told their story: “Kayla Mintz was born in 1907, the daughter of Raizel and Alexander Mintz, in the town of Bilozirka in Ukraine. At the age of 20, she received a permit to come to Eretz Yisrael and fulfilled her dream of becoming a farmer and working the land that was so dear to her. Later, she married Menachem Shulman, who was born in Marina Gorka, then in Ukraine. After moving from place to place together, they settled in the Moshav of Herut with other friends who had come from Ukraine. There, they had two daughters – Varda, and my wife Nechama. Kayla, known as Drora, left her whole family behind in Ukraine: sisters, brother and father. Life here was difficult, and Drora naively thought that her family were spoilt and that they would not cope with it. That was the reason that she did not try to persuade them to follow her here. After the Nazis launched Operation Barbarossa, they invaded Bilozirka in July 1941. Within a week, a number of young Jewish people were executed in public there. In August 1942, the Jews of the town, together with the remaining Jews of the Lanivici ghetto, were taken to pits on the road to Krzemieniec and were murdered there. With your permission, I will read the names of my wife’s aunts and uncles and their children: her aunt Tzila nee Mintz, her husband and their children; her aunt Mania nee Mintz, her husband and their children; her uncle Dov Mintz, his wife and their children; her uncle Daniel Mitz, his wife and their children. In the town of Marina Gorka, today in Belarus, my wife’s uncles – the brothers of her father Menachem Shulman – Yaakov, Moshe, Shmuel and Yisrael Shulman, were murdered. May their memories be a blessing.”

The president concluded by saying, “every year we come here on Yom HaShoah and read the names of Holocaust victims. ‘Every Person has a Name’. But there are so many names that we will never know, despite the never-ending efforts to find them. My wife’s Nechama’s cousins, children, infants, babies who left no name behind. No-one knows their names. They were here and now have gone. May their memory be a blessing.”

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