IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz participated in a memorial service at Yad Vashem on Wednesday and said: "The Nazis' successors are numerous; they stick by anti-Semitic ways and plot (to create) a modern Auschwitz."
"The IDF stands against intentions to wipe out the State of Israel, and we have sworn that Jewish blood will not be abandoned," Gantz added.
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The service was held five days before Israel's Holocaust Remembrance Day. Gantz was met at the museum by Esther Friedman, 80, a Holocaust survivor from Auschwitz-Birkenau, whose life was saved by the Chief of Staff's mother, Malka Gantz.
Benny Gantz and Ester Friedman (Photo: Yaron Brener)
While at the concentration camp, Friedman fell ill and was thrown on a pile of bodies, left for dead. Gantz's mother, also a prisoner, took her and shared her food with her, saving her life.
The memorial service (Photo: Yaron Brener)
In his speech Gantz also remarked on the importance of remembering the Holocaust: "We're gathered here today as emissaries of a nation which has managed to tame the wilderness, but has also committed to remember the scorched earth from which it came.
"We're gathered here as commanders of an army which has vowed to guard the people of Israel from the next calamity, and we also vow today to remember, and forget nothing."
Gantz added: "Our safety does not rely only on tanks and airplanes, and isn't summed up by Iron Domes. For our safety, for our future as a nation and a state we are committed to preserve the memory."
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