web analytics
December 20, 2014 / 28 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Third Generation Breaks the Silence of Holocaust Survivor

Senior IDF spokeswoman Lt. Col. Leibovich never was able to convince her father to speak of his horrors in surviving the Holocaust, even after she visited Auschwitz. Her daughter broke the silence.
Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich's father as a young boy IDF

Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich's father as a young boy IDF
Photo Credit: IDF

In 2004, I joined the Witnesses in Uniform delegation of 180 IDF officers to Poland. We had the chance to visit some of the major sites of Holocaust memory, including Auschwitz-Birkenau. We also saw the Lodz ghetto – the place where my father was imprisoned during the war.

Every participant on the trip had to spend some time preparing beforehand. I thought that this might be an opportunity to sit down with my father and have him share his experiences with me. He had never spoken about it with me before.

I took him through the entire itinerary of our trip, and I pointed out that we would be passing through the Lodz ghetto. I hoped that he would open up and talk about it. But he didn’t say a word. My father wished me a successful journey, but nothing more than that.

When we got to Lodz, our guides took us to what remains of the ghetto. I tried to imagine my father walking down the street, but I had no information about his time there. I did, however, experience the unique feeling all IDF officers feel when they land in Poland. It’s something I simply couldn’t compare to anything else I’ve done in my life. Our presence there alone was proof that the Nazis failed in their mission to destroy the Jewish people.

The delegation was made up of all types of people – officers young and old, Jewish, Bedouin and Druze. That’s something that makes the IDF a unique military force – we invest not only in protecting the country but also in educating our officers and passing on our heritage and our values from generation to generation.

When I returned from the trip, I sat down again with my father. I showed him all of my pictures, and hoped that he would start talking, but to no avail.

I thought I’d never learn what happened to him, but this year something changed. My daughter was doing a roots project for school, and as part of the coursework she sat down with my father and asked him to tell her his story. For the first time ever, we learned that before the war, he lived in a Polish village called Stieglitz. The Nazis killed all of the Jews who lived there, but he managed to survive.

It’s not unusual for Holocaust survivors to avoid speaking about their experiences. But perhaps it was easier for him to talk to my daughter than it was for him to talk to me. He needed some kind of trigger, and grandchildren are often that trigger.

It was finally time for him to pass on his legacy to the next generation.

This article was written by Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich, the head of the International Media & Communications Branch of the Israel Defense Forces Spokespersons Unit.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Third Generation Breaks the Silence of Holocaust Survivor”

  1. Danna Michelle says:

    I love this story and it is the truth. I'm a 3rd Generation and I just published a book called 3rd Generation and Beyond about the life lessons from my grandparents who were survivors from Poland. The third generation is an interesting case because if the survivors didn't talk before they actually began after they had grandchildren. These stories must be told over and over again.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Posted to Twitter in Ferguson, MO by St. Louis County Police: "Bricks thrown at police, 2 police cars burned, gun seized by police. Tonight was disappointing."  Their motto is, "To protect and serve."
Prosecutor in Ferguson Case: ‘Witnesses Lied Under Oath’
Latest News Stories
Posted to Twitter in Ferguson, MO by St. Louis County Police: "Bricks thrown at police, 2 police cars burned, gun seized by police. Tonight was disappointing."  Their motto is, "To protect and serve."

Prosecutor in Ferguson case said ‘some witnesses lied under oath’ to support officer’s version of events.

Arab youth shoot fireworks during clashes with Border Police in Shuafat in Jerusalem.

PA Arabs are continuing near-daily clashes with IDF soldiers; on Friday, fierce fighting broke out after sermons at mosques.

False Alarm 2

Rocket fire was directed by Gaza terrorists at southern Israel’s Eshkol district on Friday for the third time since the summer.

Hamas on Temple Mount

Police must have been too busy arresting Jewish children to notice the Hamas rally on the Temple Mount today.

Was top Hezbollah terrorist a spy for Israel?

Reshet Bet has released their latest election poll…

Radical US Jewish lawyer involved in attempt to unite terrorists.

Israelis will Celiac disease will now be allowed to join combat units.

Teenager attacked Jews on their way to holy site.

Four in serious condition; doctors not sure why.

Liberman and Kachlon may merge right after elections – and the larger party will recommend Liberman for Prime Minister to the President.

A Chabad rabbinic student stabbed in “770″ has returned home from the hospital.

Arabs attacked an Israeli bus traveling between Arad and Be’er Sheva along Highway 31 Thursday evening.

The UN General Assembly approves resolution to refer N. Korea to the Intl Criminal Court at The Hague.

Israeli soldiers stand guard near large public menorah near the site where Dalia Lemkus, 26, was stabbed to death at a bus stop near the entrance to Alon Shvut last month.

US teachers are learning “3-D printing” from the Dept. of Defense.

More Articles from IDF Spokesperson's Office
New York native and "lone soldier" Rotem Chiprut.

“I cried not because I had to undergo surgery, but because I had to leave the army.”

paramedikit-3

“I knew that being there would allow me to protect other soldiers.”

One missile explosion on Tel Aviv could cause a local disaster. One successful Hamas hack of IDF secrets could cause a national disaster.

During Operation Protective Edge, IDF soldiers were faced with deadly risks in the Gaza Strip. Sixty four soldiers were killed and many more were wounded in combat. This is the story of one IDF commander who put his life in danger to rescue a soldier kidnapped by Hamas. Lt. Eitan, 23, joined the elite unit […]

Sgt. O’s commander: “We do not fight indiscriminately. We are an army not a terrorist organization.”

The discovery of a Hamas “urban warfare” manual by IDF forces reveals Hamas’ callous use of Gazans

IDF video of 1st day in Gaza, Operation Protective Edge

Hamas dramatically upgraded its weapons stockpile, placing millions of Israeli civilians at risk.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/third-generation-breaks-the-silence-of-holocaust-survivor/2013/04/08/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: