On 12 April the South African Jewry gathered in cities around the country to mark Yom Hashoah, the annual Day of Remembrance for the estimated six million Jews who died at the hands of Nazi Germany during World War II.
This year, the focus was on remembering those who, despite the impossible odds, physically resisted their persecutors, with a particular emphasis on the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
Rand Aid Association’s Inyoni Creek Retirement Village residents Selwyn Rogoff, the past RSM of the Rand Light Infantry; Bill Bergman, a Lt Col; and Irene Klass, a survivor of the Holocaust, attended the South African Jewish Board of Deputies’ (SAJBD) commemoration of the Holocaust at the Westpark Jewish Cemetery. Klass was the keynote speaker at the event, while Bergman paid tribute to the soldiers that liberated the camp in World War II.
“The prevailing mood will, as always, be one of sorrow and sombre reflection. For all the isolated acts of defiance by the designated victims, the Holocaust ultimately underlined the sheer helplessness of the Jewish people in the face of those seeking their annihilation. The trauma of that experience resonates in the collective Jewish psyche to this day,” says an article written by David Saks on the SAJBD’s website. Saks’ full article is available on this link, http://www.sajbd.org/media/ceremony-to-commemorate-victims-of-the-holocaust