An Israeli Air Force plane flew 50 soldiers to Poland to participate in the annual “March of the Living."
More than 100 contributors from the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) flew with the soldiers for the 30th annual visit to the site of the Nazi regime’s Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in Poland
The “From Holocaust to Independence” journey from April 16-27 celebrates 30 years of FIDF support.
“Our hope is that as they return to their communities, they will be our FIDF Ambassadors and encourage other like-minded people to join our rapidly growing base of contributors throughout the country,” said FIDF president Julian Josephson.
The trip begins at the Auschwitz-Birkenau camps and continues to the Tikochin village, which was a thriving Jewish town before the Holocaust, and Lopachova Forest, where countless Jews were murdered.
The soldiers and FIDF supporters also will walk through the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Krakow, the Ghetto, and the Schindler Factory, where Oskar Schindler saved almost 1,100 Jews by employing them in his factory.
After their return to Israel on an Israeli Air Force plane, they will mark Remembrance Day for Soldiers next Tuesday night and Wednesday, followed by Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel Independence Day. Both days are observed one day earlier than the traditional Hebrew dates this year in order to avoid desecration on the eve of the Sabbath.
The soldiers will lead the group on a tour of IDF bases and will meet with President Shimon Peres for a meal at his official residence in Jerusalem.
“Our Delegation will both mourn and celebrate with our soldiers during Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzmaut in Israel, for it is precisely because of these dedicated soldiers that the Jewish people worldwide have a State they can call their own,” said Josephson.