MDA teens return from Poland ‘changed’
The memories from the visit will remain with them for the rest of their lives, the MDA youth delegation members said.
Magen David Adom ambulances. Photo: REUTERS
A delegation of 15 teens who volunteer for Magen David Adom said they returned
from the eight-day trip to Poland determined to “remember what hate and
prejudice can do.”
The youth delegation went to Poland late last month to
remember the Holocaust and visit sites of Jewish significance.
representing the lifesaving MDA on the ground on which millions were murdered.
This is a genuine mission,” the volunteers said upon their recent return
Along with other Israeli high-school-age groups in Poland before
Holocaust Remembrance Day, which will be marked on Thursday, the MDA teens said
they were moved to tears as they heard stories of courage by survivors and by
non-Jews who saved Jews during the Nazi era.
Daniella Lock of the Ayalon
chapter of MDA youth, said she was proud to “stand on the cursed soil of Poland
wearing an MDA uniform that represents the good in humanity. This is the real
victory against evil,” she said. “We joined a state delegation of the Education
Ministry and visited [former] Jewish quarters, ghettos, synagogues, cemeteries
and murder sites in forests.”
The group also visited the former
concentration camps and ghettos in Birkenau, Lublin, Majdanek, Treblinka,
Krakow, Belzec and Auschwitz. The delegations raised the Israeli and MDA flags
at ceremonies and sang “Hatikva.”
The memories from the visit will remain
with them for the rest of their lives, the MDA youth delegation members
“We just remember what hate and prejudice can do. We must not
forget what happened to our people, remember that we have no other country and
to return from Poland as better people,” said Lock.
Nadav Greenberg, an
MDA volunteer from the Lachish region, said that he intends to be a “witness” to
what he saw and heard in Poland and tell others.
“We will tell our
friends, our family and our [future] children. If not, there is nobody else to
remember. It is our responsibility 70 years after the Holocaust. And we have
returned as Jews to the soil of Poland with the Israeli flag and the symbol of
MDA in our hands and on our shirts to prove that there are Jews, that the Jewish
people are alive and well and will exist for a thousand generations in the
Jewish state, the State of Israel, which will not let these [terrible] things
“Hearing about the Holocaust from testimony, watching
films and looking at photos can’t be compared to actually seeing” what remains
in Poland, said Helli Kosionovsky of Youth MDA-Carmel.
changed me. It isn’t just saying that the soil of Poland is completely cursed
and full of death, blood and the screams of people whose only sin was to be
Jewish... Some members of my family were among those murdered in cold blood.
Today I stand here to prove that those who tried to wipe us out did not
MDA director Eli Bin said that his organization has sent the
youth delegation to Poland for several years and found it of vital importance
for educational and symbolic reasons.
“What our young people saw in
Poland reflects only a tiny bit of the reality of the Jews who lived there, and
it can’t be described in words,” he said. “So we must remember that thanks to
the survivors, we have the right to life. We will never forget what happened
there. Our delegation returned much more appreciative of what we have, our
country and our freedom for life.”