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Holocaust survivors will mark Hanukkah amid worries over warfare in Israel, world rise of antisemitism

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BERLIN — Holocaust survivors from across the globe will mark the beginning of the fifth day of Hanukkah along with a digital ceremony as Jews worldwide fear in regards to the Israel-Hamas warfare and a spike of antisemitism in Europe, the US and elsewhere.

Survivors can be a part of a web-based ceremony of a menorah lighting on Monday evening to pay tribute to the 6 million European Jews killed by the Nazis within the Holocaust.

A number of dozen survivors had been additionally anticipated to assemble in-person for a menorah lighting at Jerusalem’s Western Wall — the holiest place the place Jews can pray.

“Holocaust survivors in some way overcame the depravity of focus camps, demise camps and killing facilities, amongst different horrors, to turn into our residing exemplars, offering a roadmap on how gentle can overcome darkness,” Greg Schneider, the chief vice chairman of the Convention on Jewish Materials Claims In opposition to Germany, mentioned in remarks launched to The Related Press forward of the ceremony.

The New York-based convention is organizing the occasion in observance of Worldwide Holocaust Survivors Night time.

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“Their resilience, their power and their fortitude depart a very indelible gentle on this world,” Schneider added.

Hanukkah, often known as Judaism’s pageant of lights, marks the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem within the 2nd century B.C., after a small group of Jewish fighters often called the Maccabees liberated it from occupying Syrian forces.

This yr’s vacation comes as many Jews really feel traumatized by Hamas’ lethal Oct. 7 assault on Israel that killed 1,200 individuals and wherein the militants took some 240 as hostages. Israel responded with a bombing marketing campaign and a floor offensive that has to this point killed greater than 17,900 individuals in Gaza, based on the Hamas-run territory’s Well being Ministry. The ministry doesn’t differentiate between civilian and combatant deaths.

A number of celebrities and world leaders spoke in regards to the assault in messages that had been to be proven on the ceremony. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz mentioned “Hamas’ terrorist assault on Israel has affected us all deeply. One thing of abyssal evil broke free that day,” based on feedback launched to the AP.

“The perpetrators’ motive is evident: They needed to hit Israel,” the chancellor added. “They needed to homicide Jews. In its repugnant brutality and abhorrence, nonetheless, the fear can be directed towards humanity itself.”

Scholz, addressing Holocaust survivors, mentioned he tries “to think about how a lot the photographs from Israel, how a lot antisemitic hatred on the web and on the streets all over the world should be hitting you, of all individuals proper within the coronary heart.”

“This … pains me loads,” he mentioned.

The digital occasion, which begins at 8 p.m. on Monday in Germany, can even embrace musical performances, movie star visitors and messages from Holocaust survivors from across the globe.

Leon Weintraub, a Holocaust survivor from Sweden, who was in Israel throughout the Hamas assault, recounted what he skilled that day.

“On Oct. 7, I wakened from the sirens within the heart of Tel Aviv. Abruptly I used to be once more in September 1939 when the Nazis invaded Poland,” he mentioned. “A horrible feeling, a shiver, a sense of dread to be once more in a warfare.”

“We rejoice Chanukah now, the pageant of lights. I hope that the sunshine can even convey the individuals enlightenment,” Weintraub added. “That individuals will rethink and have a look at us individuals of Jewish descent as regular, equal. Human beings.”

American comic Billy Crystal, actress Jamie Lee Curtis and actor Jason Alexander can even converse on the occasion, and there can even be a by a musical efficiency from Grammy and Tony Award-winning singer Barry Manilow, in addition to the solid of Concord.

The Hanukkah celebration can be streamed with captions in three languages — English, Hebrew and Russian. Anybody on the planet who’s can view the occasion, the Claims Convention mentioned.

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