Ahead of Yom Hashoah, the Holocaust Remembrance Day which will be marked on Thursday, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz visited on Tuesday the home of Holocaust survivor Dov Feldmar in Petah Tikvah. Gantz’s visit was part of an IDF project entitled “Flower for the Survivor”.
86-year-old Feldmar is a native of Czechoslovakia who came to Israel in 1949. Feldmar was sent in June of 1944, together with his family, to the Auschwitz death camp. His mother was sent to the gas chambers along with some of his other family members while he, his brother and father were separated and survived the atrocities of the Holocaust.
During the visit, Gantz heard Feldmar’s story and gave him a certificate and a flower on his behalf and on behalf of the IDF.
“People like you tell us about our society today and put difficulty into proportion,” Gantz told Feldmar. “We give you this Certificate of Appreciation in the name of the IDF’s soldiers and commanders for your contribution to building the state and the people of Israel. It is a great privilege to meet you and a duty to hear your story.”
Gantz said that he was “happy that we live in a country where such things will not happen again. We have a state and country in which to live.”
As part of the “Flower for the Survivor” project, officers and soldiers visit the homes of about 9,000 Holocaust survivors throughout Israel. During the visit the soldiers are exposed to the personal testimony of the survivors and give them a special certificate and a flower as a sign of the strong ties between the IDF and Holocaust survivors.
This is the project’s eighth consecutive year and it runs in cooperation with the IDF, the Foundation for Holocaust Victims in Israel and the Claims Conference.