Following are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pre-recorded remarks for the “Unto Every Person There is a Name” ceremony at the Knesset on the occasion of Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day:
“My father-in-law, the late Shmuel Ben-Artzi made aliyah in the 1930’s, as a Zionist pioneer. His entire family stayed behind in Poland and was destroyed. Afterwards, he wrote the following poem in their memory. He wrote: ‘To the dear and holy memory of my brothers – Meir, Shimon Tzvi and Aryeh – and my sisters – Yehudit and Pesla – who were plucked in bud by impure hands.
Last night I was in the village of my birth,
In the landscape that is dear to my heart in its radiance,
In the well of my childhood a reflection still shimmers,
My father’s house still stands.
The chestnut trees are already stained red,
This is the nature of Poland’s autumn.
My brother and I lumber, as before,
On the path to our sukkah, we carry branches to cover it.
The wind chases a cloud through the sky;
Tonight the rain won’t dare to come.
We will arrive home in a moment.
We will decorate the sukkah by hand as dictated in law.
We approached the house—Gentiles in our midst!
I searched for a sukkah of peace in vain.
My brother left me his burden—and is no more!
All alone there I cried until the dream ended.’
I recall here the names of my father-in-law’s family, the late Shmuel Ben-Artzi from Bilgoraj in Poland, which was entirely lost in the Holocaust:
His father Moshe Haan, Moshe’s wife Itta Haan, Shmuel’s beloved twin sister Yehudit Haan. Until his last day, Shmuel would start to cry whenever he mentioned her. He died at the age of 97; he cried for Yehudit. His brothers: Meir Dov Haan, 18 years old; Shimon Tzvi Haan, 16; Aryeh Leib Haan, 13; and his youngest sister Pesla, aged 10.
His aunt Muttle Koenigstein, her son Hillel and eldest daughter; his uncle Mendel Haan, his wife and two children. His uncle Abraham Tauber, his wife, daughter and son. His aunt Rachel Tauber and her three sons, Abraham, Jacob and Shlomo, their wives and all of their children. His aunt Hinde and her husband Yehezkel. Aunt Hendel, her husband and children. Aunt Paula and her two daughters. May their memories be blessed.”