Chanukah, spelled various ways in English, but only one way in Hebrew - חנכה, is a Jewish holiday that celebrates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. After outlawing the Jewish religion and Jewish practices, then-King Antiochus IV decreed that Jews must worship Greek gods in the Temple. Chanukah is celebrated for 8 days, as the small cruz of pure oil that was found was enough to light the menorah for one day, but lasted for eight days, until new pure oil became available. In reality, Chanukah is a holiday celebrating religious freedom!
In October 1939, the Dutch government started to house Jewish refugees who had fled from Nazi Germany and beyond in the newly constructed Westerbork camp in Holland. When the Germans took control over Westerbork, it was used as a transient camp, deporting some 120,000 Jews to concentration and extermination camps in Germany and eastern Europe.
The photograph shown above was taken on the seventh night of Chanukah in 1942. Albert Blumenthal, my dear late brother, can be seen in the first row, peeking between older boys & girls. Of the approximately 120,000 Jews deported from Westerbork, some 102,000 perished. Many in the photograph did not survive.
At this very special time of the year, we wish all our dear friends, regardless of religious belief, a festive, happy, joyous, peaceful and Covid -19 free holiday season.
Many virtual hugs,