Benny Gantz
Benny GantzIDF Spokesperson Unit

Some 2,000 people gathered in the small town of Nir Galim in southern Israel to participate in a Holocaust Memorial Day gathering, where the featured speaker was outgoing IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz. Gantz is the child of Holocaust survivors who resettled in Israel after the establishment of the state in 1948.

“As an Israeli growing up near here and living in a town established by Holocaust survivors, as Nir Galim was as well, the shadow of the Holocaust was constantly hovering,” said Gantz. “Although its presence was real, we as children could not grasp the depth of the pain, the enormity of the loss caused by the Holocaust.

“Even now I do not believe we can grasp it,” said Gantz. “All we can do is recognize the greatness and bravery of the survivors, who lifted themselves upright and despite the fact that they were unable to erase the pain, rebuilt their lives, families, and societies.”

This new society established by the survivors must be built on mutual respect, for and between “poor and rich, religious and non-religious, national and social, Jew and non-Jew. This will ensure our long-term survival for a constructive society in the Land of Israel. In the name of the victims of the Holocaust and its survivors, those who established and defend the state, we will remember those who perished and declare our responsibility to preserve our past and ensure our future.”