On the eve of the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, Chief of General Staff Benny Gantz attended a memorial ceremony in Germany: “We cannot repeat past atrocities. We cannot give into evil demands to elevate our doom. We will not stand helpless in the face of our enemies. The Israeli people will defend herself forever in the most skilled form.”
Chief of General Staff Benny Gantz in Germany Photo Credit: Channel 2
Chief of General Staff Benny Gantz spoke at a memorial service in Germany held in the Grunewald Train Station, where 55,000 Jews were deported to their deaths during WWII. “Our presence here today, our standing in establishing a monument is testament to our victory,” Gantz stated on the eve of the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the pilot project of the Nazi Party before they began the annihilation of the European Jewish community during the Holocaust.
“Today it is 75 years since Kristallnacht, the pogrom initiated by the Nazis against the Jews of Austria and Germany. Its spontaneous outburst marked a landmark journey in the Nazi governments’ aim to annihilate the Jewish people. During my visit in Berlin, I visited Villa Wannsee, which four years after the pogrom made the decision to initiate the Final Solution,” the Chief of General Staff stressed.
“Our presence here today, our standing with our heads held high, and the erection of a memorial to the Jewish people is testament to our victory. It is the testament to the heroism of those who died and the survivors of the Holocaust, who dared to establish the State of Israel, with the determination to build and to defend it. As head of the Israel Defense Forces and as the son of Holocaust survivors that transformed the country, I am excited to stand here. I am proud to stand here,” he stated.
“The IDF is the response to the crematoria and the gas chambers”
“The State of Israel of 2013 is a strong state, a Jewish state, a democratic state, a progressive state, with a powerful and daunting army. Even today, we still have to deal with states and organizations that seek to harm us, but unlike in the past, we face our enemies more steadfastly and strongly than in the past,” Gantz emphasized.
“In facing the vast number of deaths, we respond with 65 years of life. 65 years of independence, growth and prosperity. 65 years in which Israel defended herself with tens of thousands of young Israeli men and women in IDF uniforms, who view the State of Israel as their home, who love their country and are willing to endanger their lives to defend it,” he stated.
“We cannot repeat past atrocities. We cannot give into evil demands to elevate our doom. We will not stand helpless in the face of our enemies. The Israeli people will defend herself forever in the most skilled form. Against any threat, from any distance, we stand independently fortified to protect our people. We don’t bow our heads in front of the danger that threatens the Jewish people in our land. The IDF is the response of the Jewish people to the trains, the crematoria, the gas chambers and the death pits,” Gantz concluded.