This year’s “Each of us has a name” Knesset ceremony began on Thursday with the lighting of six candles in memory of the 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis.‘’
The annual ceremony, as part of which Knesset members read off the names of Jews murdered during the Holocaust, was established 20 years ago by then-Knesset Speaker Dov Shilansky, Holocaust survivor and former partisan fighter. The ceremony was named after a poem by the Israeli poet Zelda Schneurson Mishkovsky.
One of the candles was lit by Holocaust survivor and leading Religious Zionist Rabbi Haim Drukman, another by opposition leader Benny Gantz, whose parents were Holocaust survivors, and another by Yisrael Beitenu MK Evgeny Sova, to honor the thousands of Jews in the Red Army, including members of his own family, who fought against the Nazis.
Following the lighting ceremony, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu read a poem his father-in-law, Shmuel Ben Artzi, wrote after losing touch with his family members in Europe in 1941. All of them were murdered.
President Reuven Rivlin read the names of relatives of his wife, Nechama.
Other MKs honored those whose victims came from their countries of origin—Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon read the names of children killed in Libyan concentration camps, and MKs Amir Peretz and Rafi Peretz read the names of Moroccan Jews killed in the Holocaust.
Those arriving at the Knesset were able to light memorial candles at a special table at the building’s entrance. The hundreds of candles were each labeled with the name of someone murdered in the Holocaust.