A man sits on the railway tracks in the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau as thousands of people, mostly youth from all over the world, gather for the annual March of the Living t.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The parents of missing IDF soldier Lt. Hadar Goldin will read a letter written by their son during his visit to Poland, at the International March of the Living ceremony to be held in Auschwitz next week.
Goldin’s parents, Leah and Simha, will be attending the annual ceremony commemorating the Holocaust as part of an IDF delegation.
Goldin and Sgt. Oron Shaul were killed in action, and their bodies are believed to be held by Hamas
in Gaza since Operation Protective Edge in 2014.
In the letter, released Wednesday, which takes on added meaning following his death, Goldin wrote to his parents while on a high school class trip to Poland and told them that he has the strength to give “above and beyond” for his country.
Memorial service for IDF soldier Hadar Goldin , whose body is being held for ransom in Gaza after he was killed in Operation Protective Edge in 2014
“I am sitting in a freight car in Poland, in the corner,” he wrote. “I don’t know how many children like me and people similar and different to me passed through here – and they were all Jews. They were torn from their homes, their families, their parents and children and did not know where they were being sent and where they were going. But I want to tell you that because of you, I know where I am going.
“I am going to the State of Israel. My country and ours. And I understand, thanks to you, what my country gives me, but mainly – what I need to give of myself to the country. And when I look inward I know that I have the strength to give above and beyond.
“[I need] To be honest, fair and smart, and where there are no people, to be a man! And to be a human being, as you always say. With friends, at school to succeed and be the best possible. To represent and defend my country in the IDF with weapons, and before and after with a different kind Hadar Goldin of weapon. And always with the tools you have given me.”
Goldin continued to thank his parents for their support and for all that they had taught him.
“Everything I see in Poland brings me back to you, to my grandmothers, to Tzur [Goldin’s twin brother] and Ayelet and Hemi, and the thought that Tzur and I, and all of us, are the walking triumph of the Jewish people,” he wrote. “A tremendous undertaking that I am willing to take upon myself, and this is probably because from the second I was born, you instilled this task within me. Thanks to you.
“I am going to get off the [freight] car now. Like many Jews like me.
They walked on their last journey and died for the sanctification of God or survived, sanctifying life. I walk out of here on the path they ordered me to grow from the dust.”
Education Minister Naftali Bennett read the letter in a video posted on his Facebook page and called on teachers in the education system to read the letter aloud to students ahead of Holocaust Remembrance Day.
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