SIMCHA ROTEM (Kazik), the last survivor Warsaw uprising 370.
(photo credit: Moshe Milner/GPO)
Three days before traveling to Poland for a governmentto- government meeting,
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met on Sunday with Simcha Rotem (Kazik),
described by the Prime Minister’s Office as the last survivor of the Warsaw
Rotem, 89, fought alongside Mordechai Anielewicz in the
Jewish Combat Organization.
He told Netanyahu, as well as Education
Minister Shai Piron and Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver, how he
served as a liaison between the bunker inside the ghetto and the underground on
the “Aryan” side of the city. He also explained how people were smuggled out of
the ghetto through the sewage pipes.
“We are a people known for its many
talents, but ultimately these talents were not suited for the strength required
of us to survive the horrors of the Holocaust,” said Netanyahu, who called Rotem
a national and international hero.
Piron said Rotem “saw the human spirit
over personal interest, and therefore did not hesitate to go back through the
sewers to rescue his friends, Poles and Jews alike.”
Netanyahu will be
accompanied on his two-day visit to Poland by five of his ministers, who will
hold talks with their Polish counterparts in Warsaw.
to a Channel 2 report, decided to appoint Public Security Minister Yitzhak
Aharonovitch as his deputy prime minister during his absence. Unlike in his last
term, Netanyahu has not named a permanent deputy prime minister.
addition to going to Warsaw, Netanyahu will participate in the opening of the
new permanent exhibition “Shoah” in Block 27 at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State
The exhibit was designed and built by Yad Vashem, in coordination
with the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, and funded by the state with
assistance from the Claims Conference. A statement put out by Yad Vashem said
the old exhibition at the concentration camp, dating to the 1960s Communist era,
had become outdated in terms of both content and display, and most visitors to
the camp chose not to enter it at all. In 2005, Israel charged Yad Vashem with
renewing the exhibition, which also entailed the preservation of the original
The Yad Vashem statement said the new exhibition “presents the
main elements of the Holocaust, placing the murder at Auschwitz-Birkenau in the
larger context of the Nazis’ systematic attempt to exterminate the Jewish