Yom Hashoah commemorated in Pretoria
Caption : MC Victor Gordon welcomes one of the many embassy dignitaries who attended the commemoration.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY JULIAN POKROY
Chairman of the SA Jewish Board of Deputies, Pretoria, Louis Pearlman, welcomed the large crowd after which Victor Gordon, acted as MC for the morning’s proceedings.
He asked: “Why are we here? We are here to not only think about the dead, but to think about how we, as the torch-bearers of the future, the fortuitous survivors of the Shoah, wish to define ourselves, now, and in generations to come.
“We are here to define our legacy which we are compelled to do with a clear understanding of the past, the present and the future.”
A brief yet meaningful message was brought on behalf of the State of Israel by Deputy Ambassador Michael Freeman. Demi Brenner, a prefect at Crawford College Pretoria, brought a message on behalf of the youth.
The six memorial lamps were lit by chairmen of the various Pretoria organization, with guest speaker Irene Klass, a Holocaust survivor, lighting the seventh candle, symbolising the eternal flame of hope.
Kyla Eichhorn, another Pretoria youth member, read the poem “Welcome To Auschwitz” by Mike Subritzky. The Pretoria Hebrew Congregation choir under Chazzan Asher Goldberg and choirmaster Dean Witz, sang Ani Ma’Amin and the Partisan Song.
In her address, Klass mentioned that in approximately 10 years’ time there would be no more survivors left and it was now her duty to speak about what happened during those terrible years of war. At the time, she was eight years old and lived in Lodz, Poland.
Her poignant story of the miracles that saved he, was told with great emotion and felt by all who heard her. In concluding her heart-rending story, Klass honoured and acknowledged those who didn’t have the chance to live.
After reciting Hazkarah by Chazzan Goldberg and tehillim by Rabbi Levi Medalie, Rabbi Gidon Fox of the Pretoria Hebrew Congregation, recited Kaddish. The ceremony concluded with the singing of the SA national anthem and Hatikvah.