In an unusual move, out of thousands of rescue operations for children, the sick, and the elderly throughout Ukraine, members of an Israeli organization managed to rescue four Holocaust survivors to bring them to Israel.
The four, elderly over the age of 80, were rescued from Kyiv under heavy fire by the Russian army and went through a grueling journey until they reached a field hospital set up by Israel. The Israeli medical staff received them exhausted after the rescue, and they are now undergoing treatments and tests to ensure their safe arrival in Israel.
One of the survivors is Natalia, an 82-year-old resident of Kyiv. During the Holocaust, Natalia was still a soft baby and her family survived after fleeing from city to city until the end of the war. "We have been through so much, I did not believe that the State of Israel would do so much to save us," she said. "70 years ago there was no one to save us and take care of us the way they take care of us now."
At the hospital, she underwent extensive tests: diabetes, blood pressure, and muscle, and it was decided that she could travel to Israel. However, emotionally it is difficult for her to leave Ukraine: "We have experienced so much difficulty here, all these years it is difficult for Jews to be in Ukraine, but this is my home, how will I move to a new country at my age? And my daughter and her children have to leave everything.
In contrast, 86-year-old Yazek, a Holocaust survivor from Babi Yar, is already looking forward to coming to Israel: "I lived so many years apart from my family, it's time to reunite even if it's only for a short time. In a sense, I feel like I'm coming home."
Sofia, 89 A strike in Kyiv destroyed, is a Holocaust survivor from the Lodge ghetto. Unlike the others, she decided she was going to her home living in Germany: "I needed help getting on the train, in Germany my daughter is waiting for me. I hope to see you soon," she said.
Another survivor who was rescued last night, also Natalia, an 86-year-old resident of Kyiv. During the Holocaust, when she was 6, she survived a Babi Yar camp where her entire family perished and only she survived after finding refuge in a pit in the ground.
Shimon, one of the rescuers from the Yad Ezer LaHever organization that led the operation, said that now that they have been rescued from the horrors, they will be able to live their last years with dignity. "Under fire, we rescued 4 people, one of whom had to pass through the Israeli hospital to see if she could immigrate to Israel. We reserved a special room for her in Haifa at the association's Holocaust survivors' hothouse. End their lives with dignity.”
Translated article reposted from walla.co