Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met one-on-one on Sunday with two survivors of the Holocaust, ahead of Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day.
Felah Raviv, 82, of Lodz, Poland, was seven when the war broke out. Her family moved to Krakow, and then to the Radom ghetto. She used to slip out of the ghetto and bring food to her family from the nearby villages. Once, when she was on such a foraging mission, her family was taken away and she never saw them again.
She survived thanks to a Polish family that gave her lodging in return for work in the cowshed and the field. After the war, she met her husband and they made aliyah to Israel. She maintains close touch with the children and grandchildren of the Poles who saved her.
Two years ago, when she celebrated her 80th birthday, her granddaughter Merav made contact with the Prime Minister's Office and Netanyahu sent her a personal greeting. The family recently published a book with the grandmother's life story, and she presented it to Netanyahu in their meeting.
"I thought about the fact that I could have saved my two-year-old sister,” Raviv told him. “If I had taken her with me to the village, they would have been glad to take her,” she said. She described a dream in which she told her sister that she could have taken her to the village but that she did not know what was going to happen.
Netanyahu asked her how a 7-year-old girl could possibly be expected to save her 2-year-old sister in such a situation.
The Prime Minister also met Shalom Shtamberg, 89, of Warsaw, who was 14 when the war began. He lost his parents in the Warsaw Ghetto. He was transferred between labor camps because, as an electrician, he was considered a vital worker. He made aliyah in 1948 and was among the founders of Beit She'an.