Holocaust memorial day was commemorated in Israel on Thursday.
Speaking to a crowd of Holocaust Survivors at a ceremony at the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said that when he initially imported millions of vaccines to Israel, his priority was to vaccinate the elderly population which included Holocaust survivors.
Holocaust survivors who are no longer survivors
He added that Israel has lost 900 Holocaust survivors who “didn’t survive this disease.”
Seeming to regret not vaccinating all of them in time, Netanyahu said: “some of them we didn’t manage to vaccinate in time. But generally speaking, the vaccine campaign was successful. You all were inoculated at record rates.”
Netanyahu also spoke about a Holocaust survivor named Bella who was sent to the Bergen-Belson concentration camp and survived Mengele’s medical experiments. Upon moving to Israel, Bella saw a vaccination station in the eMahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem. The syringes she saw “brought her back to a traumatic period for her family…that the angel of death sent forth his hand to her fragile body” Netanyahu explained.
The prime minister added that it was an Arab paramedic who reassured her that she has nothing to be afraid of. Netanyahu then highlighted Bella’s story as evidence of a warmer approach that the Arab world has recently taken towards the Holocaust noting that there is now an exhibit in a museum in Dubai commemorating those who perished in the War.
As Israel365 News previously reported, of the 4,300 Israelis who have died from the COVID-19 virus, a shocking 900 of them were Holocaust survivors, according to the country’s Central Bureau of Statistics on the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp on January 27, 1945. About 5,300 Holocaust survivors became infected with the virus.
On average, the nearly 180,000 Holocaust survivors in Israel are in their 80s and 90s or have reached a century of life; some 850 Holocaust survivors living in Israel at the end of 2020 were aged 100 or more. Six out of 10 survivors are women. The death rate among survivors was only a bit higher – 17% – than that of the general population in Israel (16%).
What one organization is doing about it
In February, the Israel365 organization dedicated a new Holocaust Center in the Givat Massua neighborhood of Jerusalem. The center, run by the Melabev organization, specializes in treating Holocaust survivors suffering from dementia.
Israel365’s Rabbi Tuly Weisz, who is also the grandson of Holocaust survivors, spoke at the dedication ceremony calling his connection to the Holocaust “very real.” Rabbi Weisz emphasized that the survivors “don’t need our commemoration, they need our help.” He referenced his call to action with a passage from the Book of Isaiah:
Comfort, oh comfort My people, Says your God. (Isaiah 40:1)
Can you answer the call and bring comfort to the world’s last remaining Holocaust survivors?
A call to action
If the answer is ‘yes’, Israel365 is now collecting donations to keep this important initiative going. Now can be your chance to bring much-needed comfort to a Holocaust Survivor during their last moments on earth.
During the ceremony, Rabbi Weisz also noted that 900 Holocaust Survivors died in Israel in 2020 from covid alone. Soon there will be no more survivors left at all. Don’t wait until it’s too late.