Torchlighters on Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day 2024

(Yad Vashem) Six Holocaust survivors will light torches on Sunday evening, May 5, at the Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony in memory of the six million Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust. Here are their stories: Michael Bar-On was born in Krakow, Poland, in 1932. In 1941, the family was incarcerated in the Krakow ghetto before they were transferred to Miedzyrzec Podlaski, where his parents died of typhus. Michael fled with his brother and sister almost 200 km. on foot to Hungary, and from there fled to Romania. They were imprisoned but released thanks to a bribe paid by a local Jew. They were able to sail to Istanbul and reached Eretz Israel in 1944. Michael served in the IDF for 25 years and retired with the rank of lieutenant-colonel. Raisa Brodsky was born in 1937 in Sharhorod, Ukraine. Nazi Germany invaded the USSR in 1941 and then passed control of the town to the Romanians, who established a ghetto. Her father, Zamvel, organized underground meetings in his house, and together with his Jewish and Ukrainian resistance comrades, they smuggled food, clothes, equipment, and medicine to the partisans. The Red Army liberated Sharhorod in March 1944. After the USSR permitted immigration to Israel in 1989, Raisa and her family moved to Israel, where she became a mathematics teacher. Arie Eitani was born in Milan, Italy, in 1927, the only child of Hungarian immigrants. On the eve of World War II, Jews with foreign citizenship were forced to leave Italy and the family returned to Hungary. In May 1944, Arie and his family were incarcerated in the Eger ghetto. One month later, they were deported to Auschwitz, and the entire family except for Arie was murdered in the gas chambers. He survived a death march and reached the Allach camp, where he contracted typhus and became a living skeleton. When U.S. Army soldiers liberated the camp, Arie was too weak to stand up. He reached Eretz Israel in 1947, enlisted in the Haganah, and fought in the War of Independence. He was captured by the Syrians in June 1948 and was tortured, returning to Israel after 13 months. Allegra Gutta was born in 1928 in Benghazi, Libya. In 1941 the British retreated from Benghazi and the Italian army arrived. In early 1942, the Italians deported most of Benghazi's 3,000 Jews to the Giado concentration camp, 1,000 km. to the west in the Libyan Desert. Her father and two sisters succumbed to typhus at Giado, before the British liberated the camp in 1943. In September 1948, the family escaped to Tripoli in the dead of night and reached Naples, Italy, with the help of the Jewish Agency, eventually reaching Israel. Pnina Hefer was born in Nusfalau, Romania. In 1940, Hungary gained control of the area. The Germans entered Hungary in March 1944 and the Jews were rounded up and sent to the Szilagysomlo ghetto. Three weeks later, Pnina and her family were deported to Auschwitz. Most of her family were murdered in the gas chambers. In late 1944, Pnina and her sister Bluma were transferred to Bergen-Belsen. They were liberated by U.S. soldiers on April 14, 1945. They eventually reached Israel in 1947. Izi Kabilio was born in 1928 in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia. The Germans occupied Yugoslavia in April 1941. One of his father's factory employees, a German mechanic named Josip Eberhardt, befriended him, even though Eberhardt was recruited by the Gestapo. Eberhardt hid Izi and his parents in the cellar of his house, obtained forged papers for them, and helped them escape. They were eventually caught and in 1942 were sent to a concentration camp on Rab Island. After Italy surrendered to the Allies in September 1943, anti-Nazi partisans raided the island and liberated the Jews. The family immigrated to Israel in 1948, where Izi enlisted in the IDF and fought in a combat unit.

2024-05-05 00:00:00

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