'Fighter planes we lacked at Auschwitz now ensure our existence'

Education Minister stresses Israel's responsibility to protect itself, while celebrating the bravery of the many Jews who fought the Nazis.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

'Israel will always defend itself by itself.' Naftali Bennett.
'Israel will always defend itself by itself.' Naftali Bennett.
Gideon Sharon

Today, unlike previous generations, “Israel will always defend itself by itself,” Minister of Education and Diaspora Affairs Naftali Bennett said Wednesday evening.

Speaking at the Masua Institute at the start of Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel, Bennett stressed Israel’s ability and responsibility to protect itself, while also praising and celebrating the bravery of the many Jews who fought the Nazis.

“What should Israeli students remember? That in the darkest days of the Jewish People no one stood with us. We were alone, defenseless. The French handed us in, the Ukrainians butchered us, the Poles often helped the killers, the Dutch didn’t care. And the Americans and allies who in June 1944 already knew of Auschwitz and didn’t bomb it. A few bombs on the gas chambers and the murder machine would have halted. But the bombs weren’t dropped,” Bennett stated.“ Those pilots and planes which we did not have 74 years ago in Auschwitz are he pilots and planes which ensure our existence today.”

Saluting the Jews who fought with the allied forces, Bennett recalled how as a child he thought only certain individuals showed bravery during the Holocaust. “Only when I grew up did I realize the bravery of Jews in the Second World War was not confined to stories from school, but was a wide phenomena, with a million and a half Jews who fought the Nazi devil. Jews who fought to free their People, and at times their own families, from the deathly grasp of the Nazi monster. We owe them so much, but history did not give them enough attention. I wish to use this stage and shine the spotlight on them, the way they deserve.*”

The Minister shared the stories of US General Morris Rose, the soldiers of Lithuania’s 16 division, and Etzel commander David Raziel who was sent by the British to stop the German advance in Iraq. All, and many others, were Jews who actively fought the Nazis and their helpers. “A quarter million Jews died in battle. The Jewish Nation have a large debt to these heroes, and we cannot forget their contribution to the victory over the Nazis,” Bennett stated.