Yad Vashem announces survivors to light Holocaust Remembrance Day torches

Six survivors will be torchlighters at this year's ceremony.

SURVIVORS AND guests walk past the barracks at Auschwitz, during the ceremonies marking the 73rd anniversary of the liberation of the camp and International Holocaust Victims Remembrance Day, in Oswiecim, Poland, January 2018 (photo credit: KACPER PEMPEL/REUTERS)
SURVIVORS AND guests walk past the barracks at Auschwitz, during the ceremonies marking the 73rd anniversary of the liberation of the camp and International Holocaust Victims Remembrance Day, in Oswiecim, Poland, January 2018
Polish Holocaust survivor Zipora Nahir is set to speak on behalf of survivors at this year’s Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at Yad Vashem, after which survivors from six different countries will light torches in memory of the 6 million Jews who were killed in the Holocaust.
Zipora was born in 1930 in Hrubieszów, Poland. She survived the Bedzin concentration camp, and after its liquidation in May 1944, the family was sent to Majdanek. After Majdanek was abandoned in July 1944, she was freed by the Red Army. After liberation, her family moved to Łódz, where Zipora rejoined the Hashomer Hatzair youth movement, and waited to immigrate legally to Israel, which she did in 1950. For years, she worked as a lab assistant and a librarian and translated survivors’ testimonies for Yad Vashem. Today she volunteers on the Commission for the Designation of the Righteous Among the Nations.
The torchlighters:
• Mirjam Lapid was born in 1933 in Deventer, Netherlands. She survived Westerbork detention camp and later Bergen-Belsen. After surviving the “lost train,” Mirjam and her family returned to the Netherlands. In 1950, Mirjam immigrated to Israel, and since 1960 she has run the secretariat of Kibbutz Tzora. When her late son Ran, a helicopter pilot in the Israel Air Force, was asked to fly the German chancellor during a visit to Israel, she said: “Nothing could be greater for me than to have my son, a pilot in the IAF, fly the German chancellor. That is my victory.”
• Shmuel Bogler was born in Bodrogkeresztúr, Hungary, in 1929 to a family of 10 children. After Germany invaded Hungary in 1944, the village’s Jews were deported to the Sátoraljaújhely ghetto. Shmuel and his family were then sent to Auschwitz. His parents and three cousins were immediately killed in the gas chambers.
Shmuel and his brother Chaim were sent to a labor camp near Breslau. In 1945, the two brothers were sent on a death march to Buchenwald, where the US Army liberated them. Four of their siblings also survived the Holocaust. In 1947, Shmuel boarded an illegal immigrant ship bound for Palestine. After detention by the British in Cyprus, he eventually arrived in 1947.
Shmuel joined the Palmah, and when Gush Etzion fell, he was taken prisoner by the Jordan’s Arab Legion. Shmuel joined the POW camp’s police force in Transjordan and became the second-in-command. In April 1949, after nearly a year in captivity, Shmuel was freed and joined the Israel Police. Today he volunteers in Yad Vashem’s Righteous Among the Nations Department, translating testimonies from Hungarian to Hebrew.
• Dr. Thea Friedman was born in 1924 in Chernovitz, Romania. Thea survived the Chernovitz ghetto and later the Mogilev-Podolski ghetto. In December 1942, she fled the ghetto, crossed the frozen Dniester on foot to return to Chernovitz, where she hid in the house of Prof. Kalman Gronich and his wife but was caught in a surprise search. She was eventually freed with the help of a bribe paid by the Jewish community. She emigrated to Israel in 1958 and worked as a doctor. She is an emeritus professor of the Faculty of Ophthalmology at Tel Aviv University.
• Raul-Israel Teitelbaum
was born in 1931 in Prizren, Yugoslavia. After the Germans and Italians invaded Yugoslavia in 1941, the Italian Army requisitioned the family’s apartment. Thrown out on the street, Raul joined the Yugoslav underground. In the summer of 1943, Raul and Paula moved to Albania to visit his incarcerated father. In 1944, the Teitelbaums were caught and sent to the Sajmište concentration camp and from there to Bergen-Belsen.
After surviving the camps and the “lost train,” Raul and his mother immigrated to Israel in 1949. He enlisted in the IDF and served as an artillery officer, rising to the rank of major. As a journalist, Raul wrote about the Holocaust, society and economy. He was a formulator of “Our Living Legacy” – a call by Holocaust survivors to educate toward humanitarian values, democracy, human rights and tolerance and against racism and totalitarian ideologies.
He has been active in the Center of Organizations of Holocaust Survivors in Israel since its establishment in 1987 and is a lecturer, researcher and an initiator of a project highlighting the contribution of Holocaust survivors to the founding and development of Israel.
• Yisaschar Dov Goldstein
was born in 1929 in Bratislava, Slovakia. His father, Moshe Shraga, was the rabbi of the Jewish community. Dov’s mother and two siblings were deported to Auschwitz and murdered. Dov and his father were deported to the Sered’ concentration camp and then to Birkenau, where Moshe Shraga was murdered on arrival. Dov was transferred to a factory in a satellite camp of Buchenwald and always strove to maintain Jewish practice.
In August 1946, Dov boarded an illegal immigrant ship bound for Palestine. After a seven-month incarceration by the British in Cyprus, and a month at the Atlit internment camp, he settled in northern Israel. He was one of the first members of Kibbutz Ein Tzurim and fought in the War of Independence. Dov established the Bnei Akiva yeshiva in Beersheba, taught Talmud and Bible for many years and guided students and tourists around Israel. In the 1990s, he was the rabbi and kosher butcher in Košice, Slovakia.
• Abba Naor was born in 1928 in Kovno, Lithuania. In August 1941, two months after the German invasion, the Kovno ghetto was sealed, with the family imprisoned inside. His older brother Chaim was caught and murdered. In 1944 Abba and the rest of his family members were transferred to the Stutthof labor camp, where they were separated. His mother and brother were killed in Auschwitz. Abba and his father separately survived sub-camps of Dachau. They were reunited at a DP camp near Munich and moved to Poland.
After detention by the British in Cyprus, Abba reached his destination, Palestine, in 1947. He fought in the War of Independence and later worked in the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), the Weizmann Institute and the Mossad. Abba was a participant in “Operation Moses,” during which 5,000 Ethiopian Jews were brought to Israel. Abba delivers lectures at German schools about his experiences during the Holocaust and participates in Dachau- and Holocaust-related ceremonies in Bavaria. He is vice president of the World Organization of Former Prisoners of Dachau.