'Only a strong and powerful IDF can prevent a second Holocaust'

IDF Chief of Staff leads delegation in March of the Living commemoration in Poland, says survivors an inspiration, helped build Israel.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

הרמטכ"ל איזנקוט באושוויץ
הרמטכ"ל איזנקוט באושוויץ
צילום: דובר צה''ל

The IDF delegation to the March of the Living, led by IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot, toured the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps on Sunday. They brought with them the Torah scroll that the late Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren carried to the Western Wall after Jerusalem's liberation in June, 1967.

At the conclusion of his visit to Auschwitz, Eisenkot wrote in the guest book: "This is my first visit to Polish soil as the IDF Chief of Staff, to see evil from close up, and the great difficulty in containing it, the systematic killing machine of our people. The words 'from the Holocaust to rebirth' take on an even greater significance now."

"To understand how survivors of the Holocaust rose up after the loss of all of their family members, immigrated to Israel, established homes and built the Jewish state - a renewal after 2000 years [of desolation and exile]. I understand now that only an advanced State of Israel with a strong and powerful army can prevent similar tragedies in the future. The memory of our brothers and sisters will always be blessed.

"Signed: Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, IDF Chief of Staff"

At the Birkenau death camp, the IDF delegation offered a salute to the delegation of Holocaust survivor Mickey Goldman, who told them how he survived the war. After hearing Goldman's story, Eisenkot gave him IDF flight wings.

While at Birkenau, Leah Goldin, mother of missing IDF soldier Hadar Goldin, read a letter her son had written during his participation in the March of the Living commemoration. Hadar was killed during Operation Protective Edge in 2014, and his body has been held hostage by the Hamas terrorist organization since then.