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Between Sirens — “Will There Ever Come Days”: The meeting between survivors and the Yishuv

The yearly one-day seminar entitled “Between Sirens” marked -  like the annual assembly —the 70-year anniversary of liberation and victory, and focused on the meeting between the newly liberated survivors and representatives of the Yishuv. Leah Goldberg’s poem “Will There Ever Come Days,” written in 1943 in response to the horrors of World War II as their magnitude was being revealed, lent its title to the event that had over 200 participants.

As in previous years, the event was comprised of three parts. Professor Dina Porat opened the first session with her lecture “‘Between Here and There’: The meeting between representatives of the Yishuv and survivors from Europe.” Afterward, we split into several study groups for simultaneous roundtable discussions. The evening was wrapped up with the performance “Hail the Ships on the Way: Natan Alterman in Column and Song,” written and led by Lior Inbar and co-presented by Tzvika Oren, the band “Trio-ma,” and the singer Efrat Feldman.

Seven roundtable discussions were held during the event: one led by Professor Chana Yablonka and Mr. Tzvi Gil on the subject of the legacy of survivors, trying to trace their place and position within the Israeli discourse; Dr. Liat Steir-Livny dealt with the image of the survivors in Israeli movies from the 1940s until the present day, and the way cinema continues to perpetuate a negative image of them that runs counter to the way survivors are portrayed in historical research; Yaakov Gross, the son of director Natan Gross, spoke about his father’s efforts to document the rehabilitation of survivors in Poland during the first years following the war; Yitzhak Livnat, himself a Holocaust survivor, told of his part in organizing the “Ha’apala” (the illegal immigration by survivors to Mandatory Palestine); Idit Perry discussed the organization of the “Bricha” (“escape”) movement, which she has researched; Dr. Anat Livne, General Director of the Ghetto Fighters’ House Museum, spoke about the memories of survivors; and Dr. Janina Altman told of her experiences as a young girl during the Holocaust and the lessons that shaped her worldviews. 


The evening ended with the show “Natan Alterman in Column and Song.” “The seventh column” was the name of the weekly column the poet Natan Alterman wrote in the daily newspaper Davar. The column was published for 24 consecutive years and included a rhyming piece on current affairs — a popular topic of discussion of the time. The show, written and hosted by Lior Inbar, told the story of Natan Alterman and the dilemmas of his time as they appeared in his writings. The show included poems and columns such as “Od hozer hanigun,” “Michtav m’imah,” “M’kol haamim,” “Michtav shel Menachem Mendel,” “Kalaniot,” “Naum tshuvah l’rav hovalim Italki,” “Al hayeled Avram,” and more.



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