Yesterday, the world observed International Holocaust Remembrance Day, on the 74th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Algemeiner's Benjamin Kerstein tells us that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Holocaust survivors, while other world leaders also observed the solemn occasion:
Netanyahu marked the occasion by welcoming three Holocaust survivors to his office, recounting their stories, and warning against the rise of antisemitism in Europe today.
“Antisemitism from the right is not a new phenomenon there,” he said. “What is new in Europe is the combination of Islamic antisemitism and the antisemitism of the extreme left, which includes anti-Zionism, such as has recently occurred in Great Britain and in Ireland. What a disgrace. We condemn all forms of antisemitism as such.”
“During the Holocaust, the Jewish people were completely helpless,” noted the prime minister. “Today the state of the Jews is among the strongest and most advanced in the world. First and foremost, we have restored to our people the strength to resist that we lost in exile. In contrast to the terrible helplessness of our people then, today we strike at those who seek our lives and hurt all those who try to hurt us. At the same time, we do not forget our dead, our enemies, and our rescuers.”
Detailing the experiences of his survivor guests, Moshe Haelyon, Mordecai (Motka) Weisel, and Malka Steinmetz, Netanyahu said, “We are honored with the presence of Moshe, Malka, and Motka, Holocaust survivors that I just met before the meeting.”
“Moshe survived the death camps and the death march. Malka lost her five sisters in the crematoria and has a number burned onto her arm. Motka, whose brother fell at Latrun, interrupted an SS officer who whipped his back. The penalty for such an offense was immediate death, but he somehow survived. By this unbelievable act of heroism he served as an example to thousands. The story spread among thousands and he served as an example to thousands, and to us. The moving stories of the revival of Moshe, Malka, and Motka are the story of our revival.”
“At the same time,” the prime minister concluded, “we honor the memory of the righteous among the nations. Today in Jerusalem a plaque was unveiled in memory of Japanese Consul [Chiune-Sempo] Sugihara who saved thousands of European Jews during the Holocaust. We bow our heads in his memory.”
Netanyahu was joined by US President Donald Trump, who pledged, “We remain committed to the post-Holocaust imperative, ‘Never Again...'”