A day after Poland's presidential plane carrying President Lech Kaczynski and many of the country's political and military elite crashed in Russia, many Israelis arrived at the Polish Embassy in Tel Aviv to show their support for the people of Poland.
Memorial candles and flowers were placed at the building's entrance, as well as a note from "the Tel Aviv neighbors." Several embassy clerks also arrived at the site. The Polish flag was flown at half-mast.
Urshala Lavdonska, a polish immigrant who made aliyah three years ago, placed flowers and lit candles at the site. "It's very sad. Kaczynski was a president we all loved," she said.
Symbolic death ahead of Holocaust Day (Photo: AP)
Avraham Ladar, a Ramat Gan resident who was born in Poland also came to pay his respects. "I immigrated from Poland 60 years ago and it's still very painful. Kaczynski was a great friend to the Jewish people. It's very symbolic that he died a day before the eve of the Holocaust Remembrance Day."
Tzvia Halachmi from Ramat Gan said she came to sign a memoir book which is due for release by the embassy on behalf of her friend, a 70-year-old Holocaust survivor from Haifa.
"Israel doesn't have many friends in the world like the Polish president. We are shocked and mourning the fact that he of all people has gone. We lost an avid supporter who always lent us a warm shoulder," she said.
Zoya Namensikov, a native Ukrainian said, "How is it possible that such a thing has happened? Letting a president fly in a plane that crashes? It feels like war."
Polish flag in the Patoka family's porch (Photo: Oren Patoka)
Oren Patoka from Haifa went an extra step and placed the Polish flag on his house porch. "I am the third generation of Holocaust survivors. I always had mixed feelings about the Polish people, but they were also the ones who saved my grandmother.
"When I heard about the crash I checked up about Lech Kaczynski and discovered he made honest efforts to commemorate the Shoah. He wanted to build a Holocaust museum in Warsaw. I felt a tingle in my heart for those Polish people who did help, not the anti-Semites."
Patoka also noted that by placing the flag he was honoring the unknown Righteous among the Nations.