"I'm still all excited, it will take me a few days to calm down," said Dov Zeichner, an 81-year-old Holocaust survivor, after finishing his conversation at the Ephraim regional division earlier this week.
On the occasion of International Holocaust Day, Zeichner arrived at the invitation of his grandson, Dolev, who serves as a deputy company commander in the Nahal Patrol, in order to tell the young soldiers what happened in those dark days.
These days, soldiers of the Nahal patrol are serving in the Ephraim Sector. This is an explosive sector, where the fighters work almost every night as part of Operation "Breakwater" to eradicate terrorism. Two days after the conversation, a terrorist tried to stab a soldier at the nearby Kedumim intersection and was shot dead.
"This is not the first time I have spoken in front of soldiers," says Zeichner, "but there is a big difference between arriving at a base in the center of the country and arriving to speak to soldiers in Samaria. These are fighting soldiers, who put themselves at risk, and contribute a lot for the people of Israel. I am happy that I get to speak to them Soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces, the people who guard our lives. We have no other country. I was privileged to see my grandson an officer in the Israel Defense Forces. It's a great honor."
First task up
Zeichner talked for a long hour with the soldiers and told them about what happened during the Holocaust.
"I was born in the Morfa ghetto in Romania, and I was sent as a toddler to Transnistria. This is a place that only a few years ago began to be talked about - a ghetto where about 400,000 Jews were murdered. I lived there until the age of four, my first memories of my life are of the ghetto, and three of my father's sisters perished in the Holocaust." .
The elderly Holocaust survivor says that this is a first-class task for him - to continue to instill the memory of the Holocaust, whether on Holocaust Day, whether on International Holocaust Day, or every day.
"I have to pass these things on to future generations. I want to give the soldiers motivation, to tell them what happened to me, so they don't forget. There aren't many people like me. Every month dozens of Holocaust survivors die."
Dov and his grandson Dolev, photo: Oren Cohen
Lieutenant Dolev Zeichner says that as far as he was concerned, as soon as he was asked if he could invite his grandfather to tell about what he went through in the Holocaust, he had no doubts whatsoever.
"I took the offer with both hands. I am proud of my grandfather who came to tell his story, to instill meaning and mission in us."
Dolev adds that this is not the first time he has heard his grandfather describe what he went through in the Holocaust, but each time he learns more details.
"This is the third time I hear the conversation with my grandfather, but each time I hear more details. After all, it is impossible to summarize what happened during the years of the Holocaust in a conversation of an hour or an hour and a half. Every time I am moved when I hear more details, and proud of closing the circle, of The possibility of providing the soldiers with meaning."
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