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The Voice of the Survivors

Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day 2010

The Voice of the Survivors

The Central Theme for Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day 2010

"Take heed... lest you forget the things your eyes have seen... and tell them to your children, and their children after them"
(Deut. 4:9)

The survivors of the Holocaust carried – and still bear – the weight of memory upon their shoulders. The presence of these eye-witnesses in our society, those who saw and experienced the events, provides this memory with an ethical power. The survivors are the very backbone of Shoah commemoration in the State of Israel and abroad. They were the first to document the years of terror, and continue to relate their painful memories today. In their daily activities, their social volunteerism and their creative endeavors, each in his or her own way, the survivors honor the victims and strive to safeguard their memory and their legacy for the coming generations.

The voice of many Holocaust survivors still resonates today: they tell their stories to students, youth and soldiers, as well as to teachers in Israel and abroad; they take part in missions to Poland; they write memoirs and meet their young readers; they translate Holocaust-era documents and survivor testimonies so that the younger generations will be able to read and understand them; they safeguard the memory of their destroyed communities and the people that lived there through associations dedicated to this cause; and many fulfill their sacred mission through their unique works of art.

The voice of the survivors is the link that binds the painful and tormented history of the Jewish people during the Holocaust to the future, to hope and to rebirth.

Their voice, as expressed in the 2002 Survivors' Declaration, plays a crucial role in shaping the Jewish and human consciousness of future generations, of the State of Israel and of the Jewish people as a whole: "… We pass to the next generation the torch of memory, as well as a fundamental lesson of Judaism: that memory must be accompanied by action of ethical and moral intent. This must be the foundation and the focus of your energies toward the creation of a better world."

The author works in the Commemoration and Public Relations Division.

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