The Commanders Toured the Museum
“We can’t judge, because, luckily, we will never understand the significant matters”
“אי אפשר לשפוט, כי את הדברים המהותיים, לשמחתנו, לעולם לא נבין”
Commanders of the Force in “Yad VaShem”
Commander of the IAF: “The fact that we’re here is a result of hard work and many sacrifices”
“It’s hard for me to breathe on this day” Several days before the National Holocaust Remembrance Day, IAF executives arrived for a special visit at the Yad VaShem museum. Commander of the IAF: “We are standing here thanks to hard work and many victims. Today, we have the power to prevent such tragedies”
Lilach Gonen and Mai Efrat
“Days like this make me short of breath. But arriving here in uniform feels like a victory”, says Head of the IAF’s human resources, Colonel Ronit Farber, as she strolls around the museum with other IAF officials.
The Official blue IAF uniforms stand out amongst the visitors and students that arrive steadily at the museum. It’s the second year in a row in which commanders come from their various airbases and spend an entire day discussing the Holocaust.
As the hours of the awareness questioning day passed by, the officers observed different stations and displays within the museum, watched the only documented video of the Nazi crimes, and took part in a lecture about life, and Holocaust moral dilemmas. “There were entire families, and we tend to forget that. Even if parents could have tried to escape the concentration camp, the kids would’ve been left alone to face the last moments of their life”, says Dr. Naama Shik, who lead the conversation. “We can’t judge, because when it comes to the critical things, we will never understand. Fortunately for us”.
“We Have Children, but We Are Also Parents to Our Soldiers”
For the commanders of the force who are also parents, the topic had a deeper meaning. “We are parents, and as officers we feel like parents in a sense to our soldiers. Back in the day, different questions that no one wanted to ask were brought up, and today we brought them back to awareness”, said Colonel Farber. “I’m so happy to see this room filled with officers. This shows that the IAF has the values, power and great officers”.
The day was sealed with Tzila Yopen’s personal story, a holocaust survivor who grew up in Iwje, Poland. She and her family were transferred to a ghetto and finally to a family camp which was lead by Tuvia Beilski, where she lived until the war ended. “I don’t understand much about the army, but when I see our soldiers, advancement and development, I think it’s one of the world’s greatest wonders. We have to hold our head up high, I’m very excited to stand here in front of you”, she shared with the audience.
“I really do believe it’s a wonder”, agreed Commander of the IAF. “We are standing here thanks to hard work and many victims. Today, we have the power to prevent such tragedies”.