Israel Straight Talk #117: Personal Reflections on Visiting the Nazi Concentration Camps

23 years ago, I was privileged to be a participant in one of the first organized groups for Jewish youth that went to Poland to first hand learn about the holocaust. We visited many of the concentration camps and had the chance to see, with our own eyes, the places where many of the atrocities of the holocaust took place. Still today, many of those places and memories are etched into my mind. One such memory was my personal struggle with how I was dealing emotionally with being in those places that were hell for some of my personal family members. After one week in Poland we then flew to Israel. Even though I always knew I wanted to make aliyah, because Israel is the eternal homeland of the Jewish people, flying from Poland to Israel strengthened my resolve that Israel is the only country in the world for me to live in. If anything, the holocaust proved to all, that only in their own Jewish homeland can Jews protect themselves, so we say thank G-d for the State of Israel! And I thank G-d each day that I live here and I have the privilege to serve in the Israeli army to defend my people and my homeland, a privilege that my ancestors never had.

Published: April 19, 2012
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