Hundreds of high school students marched Monday through the Holon cemetery's boulevard of Jewish communities. Each of the headstones scattered among the 100,000 graves acts as a memorial to hundreds of victims from Jewish communities in Eastern Europe whose names are engraved on them.
In contrast to previous years, in which Holocaust survivors or relatives of survivors from the communities participated in the event, this year nearly no survivors took part in the march. Five people stood near one community's headstone while other headstones remained deserted.
"In previous years there were between 50 and 80 people here every Holocaust Remembrance Day but today there are barely five of us. Just one is a survivor of that community," the Chairman of the Ateki community association Yuval Zur told Ynet. One survivor who came with his two daughters told Ynet: "I lost two brothers there. My vengeance is to be here today in Israel."
The march - this year IDf soldiers take part (Photo: Ofer Amram)
For the first time since the march was launched four years ago, IDF soldiers took part in the march side by side with the high school students.
Originally, the march was the initiative of teacher Rachel Magad, daughter of Holocaust survivors who was upset over the fact that no one ever visited the memorial gravestones. Magad decided to hold the march and a ceremony in light of the fact that many students today cannot afford the expensive school trip to participate in the March of the Living in Poland.
Holon Mayor Moti Sasson said during the ceremony that "the subject of the Holocaust must go on from year to year from generation to generation for anti-Semitism never ceases. Look at how babies were recently murdered (in Itamar) simply for being Jewish."
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