The Knesset marked Holocaust Remembrance Day on Monday with President Shimon
Peres, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and others reading names of those who
The ceremony, titled “Every Person Has a Name,” after the poem
by Zelda, is an annual Knesset tradition, since it was initiated in 1989 by
former Knesset speaker Dov Shilansky, a Holocaust survivor.
said that ‘a man has three names. One that his father and mother call him, one
that people call him, and one – best of all – that he earns for himself,’”
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said at the beginning of the
“Every man has a name.
Every man has a right to his own
name, to be called by his name, to be remembered by his name,” he
“Facing the animalistic attempt by the Nazis to cut off
humanity, to turn people into numbers and transport them on an assembly line of
mass destruction, the Jewish call is a call for humanity, is a call by
The Knesset speaker read names of children who were killed in the
Shargorod Ghetto in the Ukraine, where his mother and grandparents survived the
Peres retold the story of his family members who were brutally
slain by the Nazis in the town of Wiszniew, Poland (now Belarus) in
“I will never forget what was done to them. They were sent to a
wooden synagogue and murdered with gunshots and fire,” the president
Among the names Peres listed was his grandfather, Rabbi Zvi
“My grandfather, my teacher and rabbi said good-bye at the train
station, when I went to the Land of Israel [in 1934] and said three words to me:
Be a Jew,” Peres added.
Netanyahu told the story of his father-in-law
Shlomo Ben- Artzi, who died last year, and left behind a large family in Europe
after going to Israel to study in a yeshiva in Bnei Brak.
minister read both a poem that Ben-Artzi wrote during the Holocaust and the
names of his family members who died during the Holocaust. Ben-Artzi chose to
include their names on his tombstone as well as his own.
current and former politicians took part in the ceremony.
Shevah Weiss, a
survivor and speaker of the 13th Knesset, recalled with a trembling voice his
grandfather being murdered before his own eyes, and a friend from his
kindergarten class, Bella, who was killed at age five.
Economy and Trade
Minister Naftali Bennett read slain family members’ names, saying he has a cloth
hanging in his office that was embroidered by a relative who was murdered by the
Nazis at age 12.
Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon read names of Betar
Zionist youth group and Irgun underground fighters involved in the Warsaw Ghetto
Shas MKs Avraham Michaeli and Amnon Cohen read names of
relatives from Georgia and Uzbekistan, respectively, who perished fighting in
the Red Army against the Nazis.
Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich paid
tribute to her former father-in-law and the grandfather of her children, Shimon
Ziv, who escaped the Warsaw Ghetto, came to Israel and fought in the
At the ceremony’s opening, Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar read
from Psalms and Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger said the mourner’s kaddish.
Chief IDF cantor Shai Abramson and the IDF Rabbinical Chorus sang the prayer
“God Full of Mercy” at the beginning of the ceremony, and closed it with