Disabled IDF Veterans Visit Auschwitz
A delegation of 45 disabled IDF war veterans aged 20-70 toured the extermination camps in Poland.
The veterans visited Auschwitz, Majdanek and Treblinka and also enjoyed a tour around Poland. The delegation was led by Shimon Navon, an officer in the Golani combat unit who was severely injured during his reserve duty while on a routine patrol in the district of Hebron in 1988. Navon is Chairman of the National Committee of the IDF Disability Organization.
Two Bedouin IDF fighters requested to join the journey back to the scenes of the Jewish Holocaust. For “A,” a Bedouin combat soldier who was hit by an explosive device while serving in the Gaza Strip, this was a meaningful journey. “I had no doubt that it was important to take this tour. We are learning about the Jewish people’s legacy, teaching it at home, to our children and community, and thus strengthening the blood connection between our peoples. We feel part of the people of Israel and part of the defense of the state. We also need to know the past of the Jewish people and the history that led to the establishment of the state. Soldier “A” is part of the Rahal clan, a Bedouin family many of whose sons have volunteered and fallen while serving in the IDF to protect the Jewish nation.
Wounded veteran Navon who headed up the mission said, “There are different types of trips to Poland, but one of the most powerful journeys that passes on Jewish history and connects people to the State of Israel is the journey of the IDF’s Disability Organization Mission. We, who have paid our bodies and souls for the safety and security of the State of Israel, are proud to come here and despite the physical and other difficulties we are experiencing to salute the memory of the Holocaust.”