"For many Israelis, Auschwitz is a symbol of the horror of the Holocaust," Tal Ben-Ari Jalon told PAP charge d'affaires of the Israeli embassy in Poland in connection with the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the German Auschwitz camp. And he adds that in "Israel it is very clear that the death camps were German". And about the Jews saved by Poles, he says directly: "Many Israelis living today are well aware that they would not be with us, if not for the heroism of the Righteous from Poland and other countries who saved their parents and grandparents."
In connection with the coronavirus pandemic, the celebration of the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the German Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz on January 27, exceptionally, will not take place at the Memorial, and in the Internet space - it was announced on the website of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum.
Similarly, the liberation of Auschwitz and the International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the Holocaust established on that day will be commemorated in Israel.
"The Holocaust is an unprecedented event in human history, unlike any genocide that occurred before or after it, and the lesson the world must learn from it is also universal and applies to all of us. (...) When teaching about the Holocaust, we should teach about the past, so that the victims are not forgotten, "said the Charge d'affaires Tal Ben-Ari Jalon. She emphasized that "(...) in Israel it is very clear that the extermination camps were German, despite the fact that they were established in (occupied-PAP) Polish soil" - noted Jalon.
"For many Israelis, Auschwitz is a symbol of the horror of the Holocaust," says Tal Ben Ari Jalon, who herself lost loved ones in a German camp. To commemorate them, on the day of liberation, Auschwitz will light candles.
When asked about the formula of the celebrations held so far and this year in Israel, Jalon indicates that Israel commemorates "the Holocaust both on the international day of January 27 and on the Israeli Holocaust Remembrance Day, celebrated according to the Jewish calendar". "Our embassies around the world organize celebrations on January 27 every year, for example, when I was delegated to Ethiopia, ceremonies were held at the UN complex with representatives of other embassies, including the Embassy of the Republic of Poland" - he recalls.
The PAP interlocutor assures that "Holocaust is taught in all Israeli schools, and even in some kindergartens". "When it comes to Auschwitz, children learn about the horrors of the camp, the lives of prisoners, the death marches and, of course, the liberation of the camp" - points out the diplomat. And he points out that "the liberation of the camps by the Allied forces ended the poverty of the captives, gave them hope and ended the darkest period in human history."
Asked about the extent to which the issue of the Righteous Among the Nations, including a large group of Poles, is discussed in the public space, in schools, and in the media, Jalon assures: "In teaching about the Holocaust, the subject of the Righteous Among the Nations is always discussed. School youth or groups visitors to Yad Vashem as part of a visit to the Museum are taken to the Garden of the Righteous Among the Nations. The PAP interlocutor adds that "the issue of the Righteous is discussed as often as the Nazi collaborators". "Many Israelis living today are well aware that they would not be with us, if not for the heroism of the Righteous from Poland and other countries who saved their parents and grandparents" - he emphasizes.
The broadcast of the commemoration of the 76th anniversary of the German liberation of Auschwitz will start on January 27, 2021 at 16. and it will be available on the internet. The honorary patronage over the event was assumed by the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda. The main theme of the 76th anniversary of the liberation will be the fate of children murdered in Auschwitz by the German torturers.
"Over 200,000 children were murdered in Auschwitz. Completely innocent, good, curious about life, loving their loved ones, trusting children. Never has the world of adults - after all, so often unfair and cruel - so much revealed its heartlessness, its evil. This cannot be justified. no ideology, no settlements, no politics. This year we want to dedicate the anniversary of the liberation to all the youngest victims of the camp "- said the Museum director Dr. Piotr MA Cywiński, quoted on the website.
It is estimated that at least 232,000 were deported to Auschwitz. children, of which approx. 216 thousand were Jews, 11 thousand Roma, approx. 3 thousand Poles, over 1 thousand Belarusians and several hundred Russians, Ukrainians and others. In total, about 23,000 people were registered in the camp. children and adolescents, from whom slightly more than 700 were liberated in the German Auschwitz camp in January 1945.
Auschwitz was the largest of the German concentration camps and extermination centers. Over 1.1 million people lost their lives here.
Charge d'affaires Jalon (Yaalon) is currently the highest-ranking diplomat at the Israeli mission in Warsaw.
Karolina Cygonek (PAP) interviewed