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Knesset holds ‘Every Person Has a Name’ Holocaust remembrance ceremony

The ceremony, established 20 years ago by then-Knesset speaker, Holocaust survivor and partisan fighter Dov Shilansky, was named for a poem by the famed Israeli called Zelda.

Blue and White Party chairman and Knesset member Benny Gantz lights a memorial candle with his sons during a Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at the Knesset in Jerusalem, May 2, 2019. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90.
Blue and White Party chairman and Knesset member Benny Gantz lights a memorial candle with his sons during a Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at the Knesset in Jerusalem, May 2, 2019. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90.

The annual “Every Person Has a Name” ceremony was held at the Knesset on Thursday, the Knesset members reading off the names of Jews who perished at the hands of the Nazis during the Holocaust.

The ceremony, which was established 20 years ago by then-Knesset speaker, Holocaust survivor and partisan fighter Dov Shilansky, was named for a poem by the famed Israeli who called herself Zelda.

This year, it began at 11 a.m. with the lighting of six candles in memory of the 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis. One was lit by Holocaust survivor and leading religious Zionist Rabbi Chaim Druckman; another was lit by opposition leader Benny Gantz, whose parents were Holocaust survivors; and another was ignited by Yisrael Beiteinu Knesset member Evgeny Sova to honor the thousands of Jews in the Red Army who fought against the Nazis, including members of his own family.

Afterwards, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu read a poem written by his father-in-law, Shmuel Ben Artzi, when he lost touch with his family members in Europe in 1941. All of them were murdered.

Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin read the names of relatives of his wife, Nechama.

Other MKs honored those victims who came from their countries of origin. Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon read the names of children killed in Libyan concentration camps, and MKs Amir Peretz and Rafi Peretz read the names of Moroccan Jews killed in the Holocaust.

Those arriving at the Knesset were able to light memorial candles at a special table at the entrance to the building. The hundreds of candles were each labeled with the name of someone murdered in the Shoah.

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