The IDF's Chief of Staff, Maj.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, visited the former Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau Wednesday at the head of an IDF delegation. In a ceremony at Block No. 27 in the camp, Ashkenazi lit a memorial candle for a Jewish youth who was murdered in the camp and left no trace or memory behind.
He signed the Auschwitz Memorial Book and wrote: "I came as the Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Force, on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day and just before Israel's 60th anniversary to say: never again. Never again will helpless Jews stare terrified through barbed wire fences. We came to remember and not top forget and to tell them and for their memory – never again."
In the afternoon, the Chief of Staff led the IDF delegation through the gates of the Birkenau death camp. He was accompanied by a camp survivor, Yehudit Ashriel, a military rabbi and other top IDF officers.