Holocaust survivor pens letter to IDF general accused of comparing Israel to Nazis
The survivor recalled the atrocities that befell the Jews of Europe during the Holocaust.
In response to controversial comments made by Maj. Gen. Yair Golan during a Holocaust Remembrance Day address in which he compared Israel to Germany in the 1930s, a Holocaust survivor wrote a rebuttal letter first published in French language weekly Le P’tit Hebdo on Monday imploring the IDF officer to reexamine his position.
Rachel Zaney, a 94-year-old survivor of Auschwitz, penned a powerful reply to Golan’s assertion that “horrifying developments that took place in Europe are beginning to unfold” in Israel.
In her letter, Zaney articulates the stark differences between Israel today and her horrifying experiences during the Holocaust. Among them, she touches on the discrimination Jewish students experienced in the University in Berlin and explained that her father was forced to travel to Budapest in 1916 to study due to “class limitations” banning Jews from studying in Berlin.
She compares this discrimination found in the early influences of Nazism in Germany to the complete academic freedom of Arab-Israelis who “can study at any institution that suits them, and even benefit from affirmative action.”
Zaney points Golan to the horrors of the Nazi doctors, among them, the profound cruelty of Doctor Josef Menegele. In utter contrast to this, she describes her experience with the Israeli doctors at Hadassah Medical Center, who she relays provide equitable care to all their patients, including “the terrorist who laid in the bed next to her.”
The survivor proceeded to recall the atrocities to which she bore witness.
“I remember the Hungarian leadership that forced the Jewish lawyers to clean the streets with toothbrushes. I witnessed the sadism of the Commander of Kraków-Płaszów concentration camp that sicked his dog on my friends to rip her breasts off to the backdrop of shouts of ‘JUDE.’ I heard the stories of my nephews as they described how the Hungarian soldiers managed to turn the ‘Blue Danube’ to a red river from the blood of the Jews they would slaughter.”
Zaney reminisces that there was no end to the cruelty of the French police, “who sent the Jewish children to their deaths, even when the Nazis did not request it.”
Zaney concludes her letter by evoking the names of those she lost to appeal to Israel to maintain a strong and compassionate army– “In the name of my father Alder Chenki who believed in Democracy and paid with his life at the Sobibor Concentration Camp. And my sister Chanah, who was slaughtered in the gas
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