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Memorial Service for Lithuanian and European Jewry

31 October 2011

 

 

We are lighting today six candles in memory of our families, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, neighbors and friends, the martyrs of Lithuanian Jewry murdered during the Holocaust.

In memory of millions of our people whose souls were torn from their bodies.  

In memory of millions of our brethren whose memory and existence was brutally erased and whose unmarked graves and ashes from their incinerated bodies are scattered all over Christian Europe.    

May they rest in peace

 

 

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Memorial Service of Lithuanian Jews

28 October 2008

 

On the 28th 0f October, on a rainy, stormy evening over 250 survivors and their offspring gathered at the Yahalom theatre in Ramat-Gan to honor the memory of our martyrs slaughtered by the Lithuanian murderers all over that God forsaken country. The solemn ceremony was chaired by Mr. David Levinson and assisted by Mrs. Ya'arit Glazer, taking the place of Mrs. Rachel Levin.

 

The opening speech was held by Adv. Josef Melamed, chairman of the Association. In a short and concise description of past and present events he pointed out the rising, murderous anti-Semitism and injustice still manifesting itself in the leadership and population of Lithuania. He proposed plans for the future: to transfer to our future generations the task of preserving the unique history and culture of Lithuanian Jewry.

 

The candle lighting ceremony was led by Mrs. Ya'arit Glazer. Six memorial candles were lit by Nir Melamed, Ephraim Katevushnik, Israel Birman, Shmuel Elchanan, Chana Rochman and Abe Larwe, representatives of destroyed communities.

 

The main speaker of the evening was the former chairman of Yad Vashem brigadier general of the Israeli army, Dr. Yitzchak Arad, the man accused by the Lithuanian justice department of participating as a partisan in the "massacre of innocent Lithuanian villagers" in the vicinity of Vilna. This shameless attempt refuted by most of the Western media was recently suspended.

 

A musical trio led by the clarinetist Noam Pail played fitting Yiddish and Hebrew songs. The cantor Mr. Gabi Gottlieb said Kaddish, read a section of Tehilim and chanted the El Maleh Rachamim.

Mr. Levinson thanked the assembled crowd, the speakers and the performers for making the effort. The crowd dispersed after singing the Hatikvah.

Abe Larwe

November, 2008

 

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Memorial Service of Lithuanian Jews

28 October 2007

 

Since the 1940s the Association of Lithuanian Jews in Israel annually holds its memorial service to remember the Jews of Lithuania who most of them (95%) lost their lives in the Holocaust. 

 

This year the service was held in the Ramat Gan Diamond Theatre. Over five-hundred Litvaks participated, Holocaust survivors and their younger generations. Mrs. Sima Katz from New York attended.

 

Speakers were: Mr. Joseph Melamed, Director of the Association, who spoke of the lack of punishment of Lithuanian war criminals, whereas the Lithuanian government demanded from Israel the extradition of Dr. Yitzhak Arad, a ghetto warrior partisan in an argument that he murdered Lithuanians in partisan activities. Dr. Melamed reminded us of the refusal of the Lithuanian authorities to act regarding the return of  stolen property from Lithuanian Jews.

 

Knesset Member, Professor Avishai Braverman, honored us as guest speaker of the evening.  He spoke of his family roots in Lithuania, told of his mother who graduated from the Hebrew Gymnasia in Mariampole and came on aliyah in 1938. His father was from the Bialystok area and came on aliyah in 1936,  established a carpentry shop in Ramat Gan where our speaker was raised and later became president of Ben Gurion University. Professor Braverman's talk focused on problems of Israeli youths' education and the future of the country.

 

Every year six memorial candles are lit. The ceremony was prepared by our board member, Rahel Levin, and the master of ceremonies was a representative of the grandchildren's generation, Eldad Zion, a student of history at Tel Aviv University. Long time volunteers of the Association were honored with lighting five candles:

Nehama Freed Lipansky

David Hyaat – Director of the Association in Jerusalem

Sonia Levin Rosenkrantz

Moshe Mosel – active in the ghetto underground

Yehudit Elrat from Shavli.

Rona Borosh, studying history at Tel Aviv University and granddaughter of Professor Dov Levin, lit the sixth candle.

 

"Kaddish" and "Al Mele Rahamim" was said by a participant in the audience with all standing in silence. In closing Shula Natan performed with songs and ended with everyone singing "HaTikva".

 

 

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