When the SS murdered Romanian-born Leah's parents in front of her,
a Christian neighbor heard the screams and gunshots
and dashed into the house, grabbed the 9-year-old child survivor
insisting she was hers and hid Leah in a crawl space 3 years.
Note: I first published this post on Yom Hashoah 2009.
Today, as every year on the 27th day of the Hebrew month Nisan, at 10 A.M., a two-minute siren wailed nationwide. The sound calls us to remember the six million Jews — one-third of world Jewry then, among them 1.5 million children that the Third Reich systematically exterminated in less than five years. Five million more victims perished, including German opponents of Nazism, Gypsies/Roma, Serbs, Polish intelligentsia, resistance fighters from all nations, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, people with disabilities, habitual criminals, and the "antisocial" such as beggars, vagrants, and hawkers.
Listening to the siren, activities and conversations stop and traffic halts: drivers and passengers exit cars, busses, taxis, and trucks, and pedestrians stand still. Yom Hashoah memorial ceremonies follow at the Knesset (Parliament), the Yad Vashem Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority, and in schools, organizations, and institutions nationwide.
At the corner of Tel Aviv's Allenby and Yavne Streets, in the first public Beit Avot (Home for the Aged), I joined the residents, most of them Shoah survivors, for their memorial ceremony.
Watch the video (5:21 minutes).
My related posts
- Categories of Extermination: Museum of the Liberation of Rome
- Kristallnacht: Night of Crystal, or "Night of Broken Glass"
- Happy 107, Alice Herz-Sommer: Oldest surviving Holocaust survivor
- In Atlanta: Remembering Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes
- Stefan's Urgent Message
- Holocaust Remembrance Day and Vivi's timely e-mail
- In Tel Aviv: learning from elders