Holocaust survivors share message of hope during Hanukkah

Dec 19, 2022, 9:28 AM | Updated: Dec 20, 2022, 10:19 am
Israel's Defense Minister Benny Gantz, second right, attends the Hanukkah candle lighting at the We...

Israel's Defense Minister Benny Gantz, second right, attends the Hanukkah candle lighting at the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray, in the Old City of Jerusalem, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022. (AP Photo/ Tsafrir Abayov)

(AP Photo/ Tsafrir Abayov)

              Israel's Defense Minister Benny Gantz, second right, attends the Hanukkah candle lighting at the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray, in the Old City of Jerusalem, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022. (AP Photo/ Tsafrir Abayov)
            
              Holocaust survivors pose for a group photo at the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray, on the third night of Hanukkah, in the Old City of Jerusalem, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022. (AP Photo/ Tsafrir Abayov)
            
              Israel's Defense Minister Benny Gantz, second left, takes part in the Hanukkah candle lighting at the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray, in the Old City of Jerusalem, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022. (AP Photo/ Tsafrir Abayov)
            
              Israel's Defense Minister Benny Gantz, second left, takes part in the Hanukkah candle lighting at the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray, in the Old City of Jerusalem, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022. (AP Photo/ Tsafrir Abayov)
            
              German Chancellor Olaf Scholz speaks during his visit at the Jewish Heinz-Galinski  elementary school, to mark the start of the Jewish Hanukkah holidays in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Dec. 19, 2022. Holocaust survivors from around the world are marking the third day of Hanukkah in a virtual ceremony online as Jews are worrying about a sharp increase in antisemitism in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere.(Bernd von Jutrczenka/dpa via AP)
            
              People attend the official lighting of a giant Hanukkah Menorah, set up by the Jewish Chabad Educational Center ahead of the Jewish Hanukkah holiday, in front of the Brandenburg Gate at the Pariser Platz in central Berlin, Germany, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022. Holocaust survivors from around the world are marking the third day of Hanukkah in a virtual ceremony online as Jews are worrying about a sharp increase in antisemitism in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
            
              Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal, on the platform left, and Rabbi Segal Shmoel, on the platform right, inspect a giant Hanukkah Menorah, set up by the Jewish Chabad Educational Center ahead of the Jewish Hanukkah holiday, in front of the Brandenburg Gate at the Pariser Platz in central Berlin, Germany, Friday, Dec. 16, 2022. Holocaust survivors from around the world are marking the third day of Hanukkah in a virtual ceremony online as Jews are worrying about a sharp increase in antisemitism in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

BERLIN (AP) — Holocaust survivors from around the globe are marking the third day of Hanukkah together with a virtual ceremony as Jews worldwide worry about a sharp increase in antisemitism in Europe, the U.S. and elsewhere.

Several dozen survivors also gathered in-person Tuesday for a menorah lighting at Jerusalem’s Western Wall — the holiest place where Jews can pray — to pay tribute to the 6 million European Jews killed by the Nazis in the Holocaust.

“As antisemitism rises around the world and hate again becomes the normalized language of the day, survivors remind us of the importance of hope,” said Gideon Taylor, the president of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. The New York-based Claims Conference is organizing both of the events in observance of International Holocaust Survivors Night.

“During the Holocaust they did not give up. And after the war, they fought to carve out new lives for themselves and continue to speak and educate, all in the hope that their testimonies will win out over the hate,” he added.

The virtual event, which starts Tuesday at 1830 GMT (1:30 p.m. EST) includes musical performances and messages from Holocaust survivors evacuated from the war in Ukraine as well as survivors from over a dozen other countries. Jewish celebrities such as singer Barbra Streisand and actor Jason Alexander from the “Seinfeld” TV series will also speak, along with Israeli President Isaac Herzog and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

“The Shoah was the darkest time of all,” Scholz said, using the Hebrew word for the Holocaust. “Together with the survivors of the Shoah, we remember the untold suffering and the millions of victims of this betrayal of all civilized values for which Germans were responsible.”

The strength of survivors to carry on and keep their memories alive is moving and impressive to many, said Scholz, adding that their example is needed today.

“We certainly need hope — particularly right now. Russia’s bombs and missile terror is endangering the lives and freedom of Ukrainians. Survivors of the Holocaust are also at risk, which is deeply shocking,” Scholz said adding that “the fact that some of them have now found refuge in Germany is very humbling for us.”

Alla Sinelnikova, a Holocaust survivor recently evacuated from Ukraine to Germany, said it’s hope more than anything that kept and keeps her going through life’s hardships.

“I have been living in the world for a very long time, and thanks to hope we only somehow survive,” said 90-year-old Sinelnikova, who plans to participate in the Claims Conference’s online event. “Because otherwise, you cannot live if there is no hope.”

Since 2017, International Holocaust Survivors Night has been celebrated annually during Hanukkah, which is also known as the Jewish Festival of Lights.

While in the past, survivors would gather in person for celebrations in Israel, the U.S. and Germany, the event shifted online during the coronavirus pandemic, making it accessible for survivors spread across the globe. As they are getting older and more frail, many said they found it easier to attend the event online, so the Claims Conference decided to continue that option this year as well.

Some 250,000 survivors are still alive, living in Europe, Israel, the U.S. and elsewhere. Around 200,000 have received some kind of financial support this year from the Claims Conference.

In his message to fellow survivors, famed Nazi hunter Serge Klarsfeld called Hanukkah “a great reminder to think of the hope we all carry.”

“It is that hope that saw me through the Holocaust, fueled my career bringing Nazis to justice and it is that hope that I carry with me today when I see so much antisemitism and hatred in the world,” Klarsfeld said.

“We can all be a beacon of hope — a light in the darkness.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Activists momentarily surround an MPD cruiser during a march for Tyre Nichols, who died after being...
Associated Press

Memphis police disband unit that beat Tyre Nichols

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Memphis police chief on Saturday disbanded the city’s so-called Scorpion unit, citing a “cloud of dishonor” from newly released video that showed some of its officers beating Tyre Nichols to death after stopping the Black motorist. Police Director Cerelyn “CJ” Davis acted a day after the harrowing video emerged, saying […]
19 hours ago
Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., is seen in the U.S. Capitol, July 14, 2022, in Washington.  Gallego sa...
Associated Press

Gallego holds first events of Arizona Senate campaign

PHOENIX (AP) — Democrat Ruben Gallego held the first public events of his U.S. Senate campaign Saturday, taking aim at independent incumbent Kyrsten Sinema and casting his candidacy in a patriotic appeal to the American dream. The fifth-term congressman recounted his journey from a poor family in Chicago to cleaning toilets as a Harvard student […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Saturday’s Scores

GIRLS PREP BASKETBALL= Bothell 44, Glacier Peak 40 Burlington-Edison 47, Squalicum 33 Columbia River 53, R.A. Long 28 Entiat 60, Cascade (Leavenworth) 9 Evergreen Lutheran 48, Three Rivers Christian School 26 Hermiston, Ore. 66, Pasco 36 Kamiakin 61, Kennewick 35 Kennedy 49, Bainbridge 42 La Conner 81, Skyview 77 Lakeside (Seattle) 71, Seattle Prep 37 […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Saturday’s Scores

BOYS PREP BASKETBALL= Bothell 64, Glacier Peak 49 Cedarcrest 60, Marysville-Pilchuck 57 Inchelium 71, Springdale 70 Kellogg, Idaho 50, Newport 27 Lynden 69, Lakewood 50 Naselle 63, Winlock 59 Sound Christian 69, Pope John Paul II 34 ___ Some high school basketball scores provided by Scorestream.com, https://scorestream.com/ Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Arizona Republicans pick former Trump official to lead party

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Republicans on Saturday selected former state treasurer and Donald Trump aide Jeff DeWit to be the party’s next chairman, turning to a familiar face with relationships across the fractured party after its worst election in decades. DeWit replaces firebrand Trump ally Kelli Ward, who helped the former president in his efforts […]
19 hours ago
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event at the South Carolina Statehouse, Saturday...
Associated Press

Trump says beating of Nichols ‘never should have happened’

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Former President Donald Trump on Saturday said the footage of the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols by five Memphis police officers is “horrible” and that the attack “never should have happened.” “I thought it was terrible. He was in such trouble. He was just being pummeled. Now that should never have […]
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Holocaust survivors share message of hope during Hanukkah