(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
A ceremony in memory of Norwegian Jews who perished in the Holocaust was held at the Norway community’s memorial site at the Martyrs' Forest in the Jerusalem Hills. The ceremony took place on the 70th anniversary of the transport that carried some 530 Norwegian Jews to Auschwitz on November 26th, 1942.
The event was attended by the Norwegian ambassador to Israel, the families of the victims, representatives of the Jewish community in Norway, Israeli Jews of Norwegian extraction and representatives of KKL-JNF. A parallel memorial ceremony was conducted in Oslo, with the participation of the King of Norway.
“Painful emotions assail me as I stand here today, because of the growing anti-Semitism in our country,” said Norway’s Ambassador to Israel Svein Sevje at the ceremony. “It is very important for the state authorities not to neglect the problem and to take action against these negative tendencies.”
Rabbi Julius Isak Samuel was the rabbi of the Jewish Community in Norway in the early 1940s. The day before he was arrested and deported to Auschwitz, he received secret information recommending that he flee. However, he refused to abandon his community, and he met his death in Auschwitz.
Some two hundred members of the rabbi’s family live in Israel today. Among them is his daughter Ester Samual-Cahn, who spoke at the memorial ceremony. “We are grateful to the members of the underground resistance movement who helped Jews escape from Norway,” she said. “Thanks to them, almost one thousand people were saved.”
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