Holocaust survivors and the President

December 23, 2014 Agencies
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President Reuven Rivlin lit Chanukah candles at the President’s Residence, together with survivors of the Holocaust.

President Rivlin with Holocaust survivors and their descendants    Photo: Mark Neyman/GPO

President Rivlin with Holocaust survivors and their descendants Photo: Mark Neyman/GPO

The event entitled ‘Heroism and Rebirth’  was attended by around 150 guests including representatives and heads of the various Holocaust survivor organizations, Yad Vashem, and the children of survivors.

The President said, “Your story is the story of an entire generation.  A generation which emerged from the depths of evil, and chose life.  A generation, whose belief in the justness of our path, was a guiding light.  A generation of heroic deeds.  A generation which has contributed to every aspect of Israeli society.  Clinging to

President Rueven Rivlin lights the Menorah  Photo: Mark Neyman

President Reuven Rivlin lights the Menorah Photo: Mark Neyman

life despite the painful burden of dark memories, is the message that you carry, now and always.  Continuing to act, to give, to build the Land of Israel.  Janusz Korczak wrote, ‘The one concerned with days plants wheat. The one concerned with years plants trees; and the one concerned with generations educates people.’ Your generation produced a dynasty, planted seeds, and educated as you carried the torch of this generation. You bear a great responsibility.  This torch is a beacon of light, of heroism, of choosing life and a path forward.  To my joy, you are not alone in your brave acts.”

The President referred to the importance of the welfare of the Holocaust survivors in Israel.  He said, “Today, in contrast to the past, the public in general is doing some soul-searching about the absurd situation of the generation of Holocaust survivors, and their well-being in this country.  I want to clarify now, that we remain vigilant, as citizens, as representatives of organizations, and as a society.  There is no greater responsibility.  This is our obligation as a people and a state.  And our window of opportunity is shrinking in order to ensure that the survivors are able to live in dignity – the very people who arose from the darkest of times, and created here in the Land of Israel, the prosperous State of Israel.”

The President concluded by wishing the survivors and all those attending a warm and happy Chanukah.


One Response to “Holocaust survivors and the President”
  1. Paul Winter says:

    There is much truth in Rivlin’s quote of Korczak. In my DP camp of Nueu Freimann, just outside Munich, survivors of the camps and ghettoes straight after the war, set up set up a kindergarten and a school, both of which my sister and I attended, as well as a prayer hall. Life went on and we were glad to have survived. Unlike the Arabs, we attacked no-one and we Jews didn’t sit around for years wailing for what befell us nor plotting revenge.But then again, we were, and are Jews, and we love life.

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