Naomi’s Zyklon B Holocaust Hanukkah miracle 

About 20 people were in line for the Nazi gas chambers before her when Naomi’s Hanukkah miracle happened.

 Naomi Yakobovich and her granddaughter Doron, an officer in the IDF.  (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
Naomi Yakobovich and her granddaughter Doron, an officer in the IDF.
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

Naomi Yakobovich will never forget her own private Hanukkah miracle. It occurred in December 1943 when Naomi and her family were sent to Auschwitz from their home in Hungary. 

Naomi grew up in an affluent family in Transylvania, along the border between Romania and Hungary. Her father was a law professor and her mother took care of Naomi and her two siblings. When the war broke out, the Hungarians took the family’s property and four years later, the Yakobovichs were sent to a concentration camp. After a few months in the camp and despite efforts by Naomi’s older sister to make her look taller, older and healthier, the two sisters were sent on the Death March to Auschwitz where they were placed in line for the gas chambers. 

About 20 people were in line before them and then Naomi’s Hanukkah miracle happened – the chamber ran out of Zyklon B - the cyanide-based pesticide used in death camps during the Holocaust - at that moment. Naomi and her sister were sent back to the work camp where they survived through the rest of the war. 

A few years later, Naomi and her husband Meir immigrated to Israel where they raised two children and four grandchildren, including Doron, currently an officer who specializes in physical fitness for soldiers going through basic training.

"My grandmother always said that our state is important and we need to guard it. For me, it's a given that in my service I wanted and needed to have a meaningful service and to continue my grandmother's legacy," said Doron. "Three of my grandmother's grandchildren became officers and just two days ago her second granddaughter was born — Our light during Hanukkah. An additional Hanukkah miracle."
 Images of Hanukkah are splashed on the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM) Images of Hanukkah are splashed on the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

"My biggest dream and that of my grandmother is that we'll be able to fly in uniform and salute at the block that my great-grandfather and great-grandmother lived, at the place that my family was captured, while my grandmother is alive."