A Wonderful Encounter

March 6th, 2019 – A Shalom House took place in the March of Life Villa in Caesarea for 15 Holocaust survivors from Netanya. A family from the March of Life International Movement volunteered a day from their vacations to serve the Holocaust survivors. They helped with cooking and setting the place for the afternoon meeting. It touched the volunteers to hear the survivors’ expressions and reactions of delight when they first saw the place. There was a small “traffic jam” at the entrance of the house because most of them wanted to take pictures of the beautiful tables the volunteers helped to prepare.

A member of the family shared what he found out about his grandfather going to the Napola Institute (National Political Institutes of Education) during War World II. The Napola Institutes were secondary boarding schools during the Nazi regime. Their main task was the “education of national socialists, efficient in body and soul for the service to the people and the state”. The pupils attending these schools were meant to become the future leadership of Germany – political, administrative, and military.

He humbly shared his family story to the survivors and spoke about how much he, his wife and his two children love and support Israel. The children were very excited for days before the Shalom House meeting to have the honor to volunteer this day to serve the survivors. They were helping to prepare food, cleaning the place and performed a special dance for the meeting. At the end of the event, they gave gifts to each survivor.

One of the survivors could not hold back her tears, saying how much she appreciated what happened in the meeting. She was only two years old when she lost all her family in the war, and now she had met a family coming to Israel to serve her, the descendants of a young man who was taught to do the opposite. This is one of the purposed of such encounters – to bring reconciliation between peoples who were once enemies and to bring peace into the hearts of the survivors.