YEREVAN (ArmRadio)—April 28 is a day of mourning in Israel. People all over the world pay tribute to the memory of the 6 million victims of the Holocaust during WWII.
In 1959, the Israeli Knesset passed a law officially establishing Holocaust Memorial Day in law and sanctioning official ceremonies throughout the country as well as a two-minute moment of silence, indicated by sirens.
On April 24, Armenians were commemorating the 99th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and paying tribute to the memory of the 1.5 million victims. On this day 69 years ago, that crime against humanity recurred, claiming the lives of six million Jews.
“We must not keep silent, we must not forget; otherwise such crimes will repeat in the future,” the religious leader of Armenian Jews, Rabbi Gershon Meir Burstein, said Monday after lighting six candles for six million victims.
“Years have passed after those events, and it seems time had to have made us forget the crime. Should the Armenian Genocide, which we commemorated a few days ago, or the Holocaust, which the Jewish nation has been mourning for more than 60 years now, be forgotten? No, this cannot be forgotten, and the memory of the victims never fades,” he said.
Armenia is the land where Jews have lived for 1,500 years, Armenia is a nation that does not suffer from anti-Semitism, the religious leader said.
“I condemn the Israeli Government for its failure to recognize the Armenian Genocide. When Israel’s Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger visited Armenia, he said there was a great difference between morality and politics,” Rabbi Gershon Meir Burstein said, adding that “political interests should never be put above morals.”
Head of the Jewish community of Armenia Rimma Varzhapetyan said “the number of the victims of the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust is more than 1.5 and 6 million respectively. The generations of all victims that could be born, were not born,” she said.
“We are grateful to Germany, because they demonstrated humanism by recognizing this tragedy. They did everything for the Jews to survive, to continue to live. I want to wish the same to Armenians, I wish that the whole world, and first of all Turkey recognize the Armenian Genocide. The Jewish community is doing its best to make this happen,” she said.