Biden lays wreath at Israel’s Holocaust memorial

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President Joe Biden visited Israel’s national Holocaust memorial Wednesday to pay his respects to the six million Jews killed by Nazi Germany and collaborators during World War II.

During his stop at Yad Vashem, Biden rekindled the eternal flame of remembrance, laid a wreath and met with two Holocaust survivors -- Rena Quint, 86, and Giselle Cycowicz, 95. A children’s choir sang a poem by Hannah Szenes, a female Jewish resistance fighter who was captured by the Nazis in Hungary and executed at the age of 23.

During the wreath laying, Biden held his hand over his heart.

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Biden stood solemnly throughout the ceremony but grew animated during his chat with the two women. He listened closely while kneeling on one knee, held their hands, smiled and gave each woman a kiss.

As he wrapped the 10-minute meeting, he said to one of the women. “My mother would say, ‘God love you dear. God love you.’”

Biden was joined by Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, both of whom are children of Holocaust survivors.

Israel was established as a sanctuary for Jews in 1948 in the wake of the Holocaust. About 165,000 survivors live in Israel, and Yad Vashem is a standard stop for visiting world leaders.

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