Yom Hashoah

Yom Hashoah. Photo: Ferry André de la PorteJews throughout the world remember the victims of the Nazi terror on Yom Hashoah. Shoah is the Hebrew word for the Holocaust, the destruction of Jews worldwide during World War II. Yom Hashoah falls on 26 Nisan in the Hebrew calendar. This is the same date as that of the Warsaw ghetto uprising against the Nazis in 1943. In the Netherlands this is also a solemn day of remembrance, organized in the Hollandsche Schouwburg by the Jewish community.

The remembrance has a traditional Jewish character, with the recitation of the yizkor (a memorial prayer), lighting of special candles and use of music. The dead are honoured in short speeches, which are given by a survivor, a representative of the state of Israel, and a young Jewish person. In the course of the ceremony Kaddish is recited: this is a prayer glorifying God and affirming trust in him despite everything. The ceremony concludes with the singing of Hatikva (Israeli national anthem) and the Wilhelmus (Dutch national anthem).