On the eve of Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, a survivor beseeches PM Netanyahu to prevent such a tragedy from ever happening again.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Wednesday in his Jerusalem office with Avraham Niederhoper, an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor, originally from Romania, on the occasion of Israeli Holocaust Remembrance Day, which began that evening.
When Niederhoper was only 12, he witnessed the gruesome murder of several of his family members by a Romanian soldier. He was later deported on a livestock cargo freight train to Moldova, and from there to the Shargorod ghetto in Ukraine.
Niederhoper told Netanyahu that after surviving the Holocaust, he walked back to Romania. Due to the persistent refusal of the Communist authorities in that country to permit his emigration, he came to Israel only in 1969. where he worked for the Construction and Housing Ministry as an engineer and construction supervisor, “contributing to the building of the country,” as Netanyahu put it.
Niederhoper told me his story with great emotion, so much so that he had to pause several times.
Netanyahu then showed him a copy of a book by Rabbi Phil Chernofsky, And Every Single One Was Someone, which he received several years ago and in which the word “Jew” is written six million times in commemoration of the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis.
‘Today, it is Possible to Fight’
“There is only one word in this book – Jew, repeated six million times. I keep it here to remember, not only to remember, but to prevent. What they did to you, they want to do to us. Today it is possible to fight; then it was not,” the Israeli leader declared.
Prime Minister Netanyahu invited Niederhoper for a meeting after receiving a request via the Prime Minister’s Office.
“Prime Minister,” Neiderhoper said, before the meeting’s conclusion, “It is your duty to prevent another Holocaust.”
Netanyahu responded: “That is exactly how I see my responsibility, that is exactly how I see my responsibility.”
Earlier this week, a newly published survey showed that nearly 50 percent Israelis believe that the Holocaust could happen again.