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Home >> World
UPDATED: 09:39, April 16, 2007
Feature: Holocaust, never again
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"What happened to Jewish people may also happen to other people in the world," a Holocaust survivor named Schonberger said in Yad Vashem or Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem on Sunday shortly before the official opening ceremony marking the Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day.

The notorious Holocaust during World War II killed approximately 6 million European Jews, as part of a program of deliberate extermination planned and executed by the National Socialist (Nazi) regime in Germany led by Adolf Hitler.

As one of the survivors from the Auschwitz, the largest Nazi concentration camp, Schonberger urged more efforts to be exerted in education about the Holocaust. "It should never happen again," Shonberger told Xinhua.

An unknown, but a very large number of Jews were killed in the Auschwitz concentration camp located in southern Poland during the Holocaust. Some estimates put the figure of the victims at around 1 million.

Another survivor Lustig showed concern that for younger generation the education on Holocaust is very complicated.

The event, starting from 8 p.m. (1700 GMT), was attended by Israel's top leaders, foreign diplomats, Holocaust survivors as well as delegations from abroad and Israeli soldiers.

During the ceremony, six torches were lit by Holocaust survivors in memory of the 6 million Jewish victims in the Holocaust. Short videos of each torchlighter's testimony on their personal experience during Holocaust were shown before audience.

Israel's Acting President Dalia Itzik and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert addressed the participants.

Itzik said, "today, we reinforce our role as messengers, of the past and for the future - to remember and remind. We have no right to forgive or forget, only to witness and testify."

Speaking at the ceremony, Olmert spoke of the importance commemorating the Holocaust, and its role in the future of Israel's existence.

On Monday morning, as every year, a two-minute siren will blare at 10 a.m. (0700 GMT) across the country at the start of a series of day-long ceremonies throughout the country. Yad Vashem will hold most of the activities, including Wreath-laying ceremony, meetings with survivors, recitation of Holocaust victims' names as well as screening of Holocaust-related films and concerts.

The central theme of this year's ceremony is "Bearing witness." "Bearing witness, so they will know, until the last generation," Yad Vashem officials explain the meaning of the theme.

All places of entertainment are closed on Sunday night. Local TV channels either halted programs or showed movies about Holocaust such as Academy Award winner Schindlers's List on Channel 10.

Approximately 250,000 Holocaust survivors are estimated to be currently living in the Jewish state.

More than 21,000 non-Jews have been recognized as "Righteous Among the Nations" by Yad Vashem, including two Chinese Pan Junshun and Ho Fengshan.

Pan Junshun, a Chinese living in Ukraine, helped Jewish children. And Ho Fengshan, a then Chinese diplomat in Austria, issued visas to many Jews in helping them flee the country occupied by Hitler's troops at the time.

Source: Xinhua


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