Historic Ceremony to Honor Holocaust Survivors held by President Shimon Peres

Uploaded by Peres on 21.12.2009

President Peres lights candles for Hanukah alongside Mr. Simcha Rotem,
one of the few remaining survivors from the Jewish force that fought in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
The decision of holocaust survivors, after all their experiences
to immigrate to Israel and participate in establishing and defending it
marks a moral victory worthy of every salute.
[Noah Flug, Chairman of the Center for Survivor Organizations] It is the first time since the establishment of the state
that the President of Israel special honors holocaust survivors and hosts us at his residence.
One of the violin players is playing on a violin that belonged to Motale,
a child who escaped with the Partisans in the forest and perished in a Germany artillery attack.
[Rabbi Lau, Director of Yad Vashem] For over 2000 years on this day,
from Vladivostok to San Francisco, from Helsinki to Melbourne, the candles burn.
[Peres] I stand before you with, with the utmost humility and respect for you, holocaust survivors.
I know that each and every one of you carries with him or herself a heavy burden,
of suffering and horrors, of personal and familial loss, that you conceal within your inner spirit.
Whoever has experienced the worst, who has lost all his beloveds,
who has seen in their own eyes the diabolical chasm of evil,
and still managed to keep his faith humankind--
he carries with himself a pure spirit and a miracle of good hope.
In my opinion each one of you is a hero.
I want to say something unusual, but is true
holocaust survivors made a decisive contribution to Israel’s victory against its enemies.
Among the volunteers who fought in the Independence War
there were those who represented the last remnants of their families,
and, to our sorrow, fell, for our country, on the battle field, with no person to preserve the family.
The spirit of Israel grew stronger.
You, holocaust survivors, proud citizens of Israel, bear decisive testimony to such strength.
The light of the candles we light here this evening is the light of life and hope,
the light of prayer for the victory of our ancestors' spirit
who held back darkness and brought forth light, who defeated evil and brought good.
Despite the pain in our hearts we will work to exchange hatred with friendship,
to eliminate conflicts and pursue peace.
We will match the size of the holocaust with the strength of our recovery. I wish it may. Happy holidays.