IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz spoke at the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland on Sunday, on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, saying that “Israel ensures that a horror such as this will not recur.”
Gantz, who was set to lead the March of the Living memorial event on Monday, said that “the IDF is the defensive shield of the national home – a safe haven for the Jewish people.”
The IDF chief said he was proud, in the name of Holocaust survivors, “to learn the lessons of the past in order to ensure the safety of the future.”
He landed in Poland on Sunday together with a delegation of senior military officials to take part in the March of the Living. Parents who lost their children in battle, disabled IDF veterans, and a Holocaust survivor have joined the delegation.
The commander of the IDF Human Resources Branch, Maj.-Gen. Orna Barbivai, and the new head of the Ground Forces Command, Maj.-Gen. Guy Tzor, are with the delegation.
On Monday, Gantz will lead the March to the Living memorial event – the first time a serving chief of staff will lead the ceremony.
During his visit, Gantz will also hold professional meetings with the Polish Defense Minister, Tomasz Siemoniak, and the Polish Chief of Staff, General Mieczys?aw Cieniuch. He is due to lay a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier in Warsaw during a military ceremony.
Back in Israel, Gantz’s deputy, Maj.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, will temporarily serve as acting chief of staff, the IDF said.