The Stories of Holocaust Survivors Who Survived October 7

IFCJ Canada  |  May 6, 2024

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(Photo: Guy Yechiely)

About 2,500 Holocaust survivors were victims of October 7. On Yom HaShoah, Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day this year, their stories are more important than ever.

We must listen to stories like Ella’s. On the morning of October 7, Ella Panomarov, 87, and her partner tried to escape for shelter, but the terrorists were already outside their home, reports Ynet News:

“I was shocked. In my heart, I prayed, and slowly turned around – and went back to my house. I was sure he would shoot me. I remember that as I walked, I thought: ‘God, I have lived a full life. Take me, I’m old, just make them leave the children alone. Save their lives.’ It didn’t help. My neighbour’s two children were murdered that same morning.”

Since then, she can hardly sleep. “I’m tired, exhausted, but when I close my eyes, I see the terrorist’s eyes, get frightened and wake up,” Panomarov said. “We don’t have a safe room, so we always used to run to the bomb shelter outside, but since the morning when the terrorists waited for us by the door, I’m afraid to leave the house. I’m also still receiving psychological treatment. I love Ofakim, I don’t want to leave, but I’m afraid it isn’t safe here, and I’m worried about my children and grandchildren too.” …

Moran Ben David, head of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews’ Southern District Operations Division, explained, “Their main difficulty comes from the realization that it happened here. During World War II, they weren’t in the Jewish state. On October 7, it happened in Israel, in our safe place. Some of them lost neighbours, friends, people close to them.”

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