Child Holocaust survivors.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Today, January 20, marks the 73rd anniversary of the infamous Wannsee Conference, at which the main item on the agenda was the implementation of “a final solution to the Jewish question” – namely the annihilation of world Jewry.
Two days prior to the anniversary, Israel’s most celebrated child Holocaust survivor, Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv and chairman of the Yad Vashem Council Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, together with Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, launched “70 days for 70 years – Remember the Past to Build the Future” – a 70-day study schedule, with one day for each year since the liberation of Auschwitz, beginning on January 25 and culminating on Passover, the festival of redemption.
The Nazis not only wanted to eradicate the Jews; they wanted to destroy Judaism and Jewish heritage, said Lau, who supported this contention by reminding that on November 9, 1939, 10 months before the outbreak of war, the Nazis, in a single night now known as Kristallnacht, destroyed more than 1,000 synagogues in Germany.
The Nazis understood that the heart of Jewish community life was in the synagogue he said.
But now, almost 80 years after Kristallnacht, said Lau, tens of thousands of Jews are studying Torah and thousands will be reading 70 Days for 70 Years.
“We won,” he declared.