Anti-Semitism and Holocaust

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Israel Remembers The Holocaust
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May 2, 2000Holocaust Remembrance

Millions of Jews in Israel and abroad will mark Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day beginning this evening and into tomorrow. Every year Israel officially honors those who died or suffered through the Holocaust by stopping for a two-minute moment of silence. This year the government has ordered businesses (excluding hotels) to close from the evening of May 1 until the following sunrise in respect. Cafes and restaurants will be open on Tuesday, but all other places of entertainment will be closed.

The theme for this year's Holocaust Remembrance Day is "The Jewish Family and the Holocaust: The Struggle for Survival and the Search for Refuge and Rescue."

In the wake of last month's Lipstadt-Irving trial, Jewish leaders are hoping to highlight the horrible truths of the Holocaust in order to dismiss the lies of revisionism and denial, Neo-Nazism, xenophobia, and to pass the along its timeless significance to those who were not directly affected.

At Israel's Yad Vashem - the nation's revered memorial to the Jewish martyrs and Gentile rescuers of the Holocaust - thousands will attend an invitation-only ceremony at Warsaw Ghetto Square this evening to formally kick off Holocaust Remembrance Day. Education Minister Yossi Sarid is expected to deliver a speech concerning the Righteous Gentiles who saved thousands of Jews during the Holocaust.

Tomorrow sirens will sound throughout the country at 10 AM. Traffic will come to a standstill and the entire nation will stand silently for two minutes in tribute to the memory of those murdered during the Holocaust.

President Weizman, Sarid, and more than twenty MKs are flying to Poland to unite with thousands of international Jewish youths for the annual March of the Living from Auschwitz to Birkenau on Tuesday.

Yad Vashem will dedicate a new multi-million dollar wing onto its existing facilities next week which will focus on the persecution of non-Jewish groups targeted by the Nazis, including Gypsies, homosexuals, the handicapped, Freemasons, Jehovah's Witnesses and others. The wing is a part of larger project called "Yad Vashem 2001" that will entail the construction of a new entrance plaza and Visitor's Center, plus expansion and refurbishment of the museum complex.

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