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Herzog: Israel ‘stands no chance’ if we don’t remember Holocaust

President Isaac Herzog addresses the official ceremony for national Holocaust Remembrance Day in Jerusalem, April 27, 2022. (Screen capture: YouTube)
President Isaac Herzog addresses the official ceremony for national Holocaust Remembrance Day in Jerusalem, April 27, 2022. (Screen capture: YouTube)

President Isaac Herzog addresses the official Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at Yad Vashem Memorial in Jerusalem, calling the Nazi genocide of 6 million Jews during World War II “mankind’s darkest hour.”

“Millions of our people were tortured, murdered, massacred by the most frightful mechanism of evil that humankind has ever known,” he says.

“My sisters and brothers, three years after the camp gates were opened, the survivors of the Holocaust became the heroes of the resurrection. They became our standard, our example, our symbol,” Herzog adds, referring to Israel’s founding.

“The state of the Jews arose as a lighthouse expressing the victory of light over darkness and promising that… never, ever, will depraved murderers stand behind a Jewish family, shoot them, and dispatch them into the valley of death.”

Addressing survivors in the audience, Herzog links the continued memory of the Holocaust to Israel’s survival.

“It is we who bear the duty to teach the lessons of the Holocaust and to hand them down, from generation to generation,” he says. “We stand no chance, nor have we any justification as a people and as a state, if we do not remember forever what happened to our people, in the ghettos, in the basements of the Gestapo, in the execution pits, in the death trains, in the extermination camps, in the crematoria, and in every other place where the image of humanity was lost and no trace of compassion survived.”

He also calls for Israel to “act in a cohesive and determined manner in the face of terrorism and hatred, led by states and organizations against us,” and for antisemitism to “be uprooted.”

“We must continue fighting against ugly expressions of antisemitism, which is returning to rear its head in many places in the world, including on social media. And we must make clear that even today, eight decades after the darkest abyss in the annals of human history, the antisemitism threatening our people is a crime against humanity,” he says.

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