The Palestine Post was the main English-language Zionist daily in Palestine under the British Mandate in the interwar period. It was an influential newspaper with ties to the Jewish Agency Executive, the de facto Jewish government in Palestine. Like other Jewish newspapers in the country, it followed with apprehension the developments in Europe, and firmly supported the British war effort against Nazi Germany. At the time when news leaked from Europe, in the fall of 1942, about the systematic, genocidal nature of the German assault on the Jews, Jewish newspapers in Palestine dedicated more coverage to this topic. By the following year, however, news from the frontlines were again dominating the war coverage.1
The Jewish population of Palestine and its institutions could not do much to help the European Jews during the Holocaust. This was a minority population in a British dominion, and the once mighty British Empire itself was having troubles fighting Hitler. As much as they wanted to, they were incapable of doing anything substantial to stop the genocide; and, of course, it did not become known that this was a genocide until already too long into the war. The Jewish Agency Executive devised a number of rescue actions and military plans for helping the Jews in Europe.2 But for all practical purposes, Jewish reactions in Palestine rarely went beyond what the helpless population could do: public mourning ceremonies, general fasts, black flags in public, debates whether a general strike or adding work hours to workers' days in support of the war effort would make a difference.
A news item in the Palestine Post on the third page of the March 3, 1944 edition, featured here, points to some of the properties of these almost ritualized ways in which the Jews in Palestine mourned and commemorated the catastrophe in Europe. The short note hints at the formulaic and pervasive nature of such gatherings, even if the one recounted must have been one of the less ordinary ones.