Ghetto survivor: This act against entire country (JERUSALEM POST) By MELANIE LIDMAN 06/12/12)
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When Matityahu Droblas was a boy during the Holocaust, hiding out in
the forests of Poland, he sometimes believed that he was the last Jew
“The Poles told me that the Germans killed all the Jews,” he
remembered on Monday, at Yad Vashem.
Droblas escaped the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942 and survived by wandering
through the Polish countryside. Some days death seemed like it would
be better than staying alive, he said.
Droblas harbored one dream during those years of wandering: To come
to Palestine, a place where Jews once had their own land.
Droblas realized that dream, came to Israel, served as a member of
Knesset (from 1972- 1977), and headed the Settlement Division of the
Jewish Agency (1978-1992), during which he oversaw the creation of
380 towns across Israel. Today, he is as a member of Yad Vashem’s
Standing in the hot sun on Monday in front of the Warsaw Ghetto
Memorial at Yad Vashem, which had been defaced by vandals hours
earlier with virulently anti-Zionist messages, Droblas, 81, was in
shock. His voice shook and there were tears in his eyes as he tried
to make sense of the terrible act of vandalism, which police believe
was carried out by extremist haredim.
“The Warsaw Ghetto is a symbol of the Jewish nation, a symbol of
uprising, a symbol of freedom,” he said. “I don’t know who did this,
but without being a psychiatrist I can say they’re not normal, we
need to isolate them so they won’t harm society anymore.”
Droblas said he desperately wanted to believe that the vandalism was
not carried out by a Jew.
One slogan read: “To the respectable government of Poland, stop
allowing the Zionists to conduct manipulative commemorations at
Auschwitz.” It was signed “World Haredi Judaism.”
“In Israel, there are 200,000 Holocaust survivors,” said
Droblas. “But these acts aren’t just against those 200,000 people,
they are against the entire country.
Am Yisrael Chai – The nation of Israel lives. We will continue to
live, whether or not they want it.” (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post
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