"No Law can erase the Past" – Holocaust survivors from "Yad Ezer L'Haver" association in Haifa demonstrate in front of the Polish Embassy building in Tel Aviv, Thursday, 8.2.2018
Tuesday, 13th of February, 2018
“No law can erase the past” this is what dozens of Holocaust survivors, residents of the "Warm
House of Holocaust Survivors" of the “Yad Ezer Lechaver” Organisation in Haifa, said after they
broke out into protest this week (Thursday, 8.2.2018) in front of the Polish Embassy in Tel Aviv
against the Polish law passed in parliament denying Poland’s active role in the Holocaust.
“You should be ashamed; we ran away from Auschwitz and have cried every night since
because of what we went through there". "No law shall erase history," the demonstrators wrote
on the protest signs. Dozens of demonstrators protested loudly in front of the Polish embassy
building in Tel Aviv.
Shalom Sternberg, the "darling of Haifa" a Holocaust survivor, one of the last survivors of the
"Warsaw Ghetto" aged 95, cried out: "You should be ashamed. I escaped from Auschwitz and
live a constant nightmare of what I suffered there. Many of us have not managed to survive,
and we will not forget that the Nazis massacred us on your Polish soil".
The founder and director of the "Yad Ezer Lever" association, Mr. Shimon Sabag, who led the
protest, said: "A few days ago I met one of the residents of the ‘Warm House’ and saw that he
was in tears. He told me, "I have not slept all night since the Polish government passed this
law. I have not slept since I escaped from the camps. I have nightmares since I heard that the
Poles claim they are not responsible for the happenings on their soil ". At that moment I
thought about what action to take, and then another Holocaust survivor told me that he and his
friends wanted to demonstrate in front of the Polish embassy building in Tel Aviv. I did not
hesitate for a moment, and that is what we did. I see great responsibility here. If the police were
to approve more than 50 demonstrators, we would have gathered a few hundred. I know that
this protest is from the heart and blood of the people who lost entire families. "
It should be noted that even before they left for the demonstration in Tel Aviv, Holocaust
survivors from the “Yad Ezer L"Haver” organization sent a harsh letter to the Polish prime
minister, in which they wrote: " We, the Holocaust survivors who live in the “warm home” of “Yad
Ezer Lechaver”, want to tell you that we are in great pain at the new law that your government
enacted this morning" . They added, "Already in the first survivor testimonies, we have stated
that there were Poles who collaborated with the Nazis, and even worse, when the war ended
and the Jews returned from all sorts of places where they lived and hid during the war, the Poles
were the ones who massacred them."
A protest tent has been set up in front of the Polish embassy and in front of the "Yad Ezer
Lechaver" charity site, where Holocaust survivors and other citizens will be able to sign a
petition calling on the Poles to repeal the law. "We are here to express our protest and we
promise that it will not be quiet," concluded Shimon Sabag. Two Polish diplomats tried to calm
the situation, but when they came out, the 85-year-old Holocaust survivor from Haifa, Yaakov
Edelstein, jeered: "You made three-color soap from us. Now you say that you are not
responsible. You made soap from us !!! "
Photos: Joe Luciano
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