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>Israel Faxx
>PD Jan. 24, 1995, V3, #16

Sunday's Bombing Victims Buried

By Al Pessin (Jerusalem)

Israelis buried their dead Monday in a series of funerals across the country for 17 of the 19 people killed in Sunday's terrorist bombing north of Tel Aviv. All day long, Israel Radio broadcast the schedule.
"Sgt. Daniel Tzikuashvili, age 19, will be buried at two this afternoon. At 3:30 lt. Yuval Tuvya, age 22. Corp. David Hasson, aged 18 from Ashqelon, will be buried at the Military Cemetery in Ashqelon at 2:30."

It was like an invitation to pour out communal grief, and thousands of people responded -- attending the funerals of people they had never known, but whose loss they felt. Most of the dead were young soldiers, and with Israel's compulsory military service virtually everybody was a young soldier once, and their children or grandchildren are, or will be, too.

In some instances, grief gave way to anger. Sunday night, police arrested six demonstrators in Jerusalem chanting "Death to the Arabs" when they tried to march through the city.

Palestinians were angry, too, at Israel's decision to close its borders and keep them from their jobs. But top leaders on both sides vowed the peace process will go on, saying that is the only way to fight terror and dissatisfaction in the long term.

Eighteen of the 19 killed were IDF soldiers. Of the 66 injured in the attack, 42 remain hospitalized, nine in serious condition.

Authorities at the scene of the attack have identified the bodies of two Palestinian terrorists responsible for the bombing. A preliminary IDF investigation shows that the terrorists arrived at the Beit Lid junction Sunday morning at approximately 9. The site was packed with IDF personnel waiting to return to their bases after weekend leaves. A bomb was placed against the wall of a cafeteria where soldiers had gathered, and was activated by remote control. Shortly afterward, one of the terrorists detonated explosives strapped to his body just as people nearby had arrived to assist the injured and as other soldiers attempted to apprehend him.

In a pamphlet published Sunday, the Islamic Jihad organization took responsibility for the attack. Security officials believe that the Islamic Jihad and Hamas cooperated in carrying out the bombing. In addition, it is believed that Yihya Ayash, a senior Hamas member suspected of involvement in several previous terrorist attacks, was also involved in Sunday's suicide bombing. On Sunday, Prime Minister
Yitzhak Rabin met with IDF Chief of Staff Maj. General Amnon Shahak, the head of the General Security Service and other top security officials to discuss ways to prevent future attacks.

The Cabinet, meeting on Sunday in special session, decided to close the territories and suspend both the planned release of any additional Palestinian prisoners and the opening of the safe passage routes between the Gaza Strip and Jericho area. The government also decided to strengthen the security forces and cancel plans for any IDF or police budget cuts. The Cabinet also voted to continue negotiations in the peace process.

The following is a list of the victims: Lt. David Ben-Zino, 20; Lt. Adi Rosen, 20; Lt. Yuval Tuvya, 22; Sgt.-Maj. Anan Kadur, 24; Staff-Sgt. Damian Rosovski, 20; Staff-Sgt. Yehiel Sharvit, 21; Staff-Sgt. Yaron Blum, 20; Sgt. Maya Kopstein, 19; Sgt. Daniel Tzikuashvili, 19; Sgt. Avi Salto, 19; Sgt. Rafael Mizrahi, 18; Sgt. Eran Gueta, 20; Cpl. Soli Mizrahi, 18; Cpl. David Hasson, 18; Cpl. Amir Hirschenson, 18; Cpl. Gilad Gaon, 18; Cpl. Ilie Dagan, 18; Cpl. Eitan Peretz, 18; Shaptain Mahpud, 34.

Syria Refuses to Condemn Islamic Jihad Bombing

By Ron Pemstein (State Department)

Secretary of State Warren Christopher has telephoned Syrian Foreign Minister Faruk al-Sharaa to try to get Syrian help in cutting off support for the Islamic Jihad organization that has claimed responsibility for Sunday's bombing at an Israeli bus stop that killed 19 people.

The United States has repeatedly urged Syria to stop giving safe haven to Palestinian groups that use terror against Israel.

Islamic Jihad says two of its members carried out Sunday's bombing in israel that killed 19 people. The Jihad belongs to a Palestinian alliance based in Damascus. State Department spokeswoman Christine Shelley says Christopher telephoned the Syrian Foreign Minister after he heard about the bombing.

"The presence of these groups in Damascus is one of the reasons that Syria remains on the US terrorism list. We've raised this matter repeatedly with the syrians and at the highest levels and yesterday, after we got the word that this had occurred, the secretary did telephone foreign minister shara after learning of the attack. We've made very clear to the Syrians the need to cease providing safe haven for terrorist groups."

The spokeswoman did not give Syria's response to the secretary of state but she notes Syria has not condemned the deadly attack in Israel.

Auschwitz: an eyewitness account

By Al Pessin (Jerusalem)

Friday is the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz Nazi death camp by Soviet troops during World War 2. The liberation ended the killing and suffering at the Nazis' largest and most active facility for the killing of Jews and others deemed undesirable by the Nazis. But ironically it did not end the suffering of most of the people who were still held prisoner at Auschwitz in January of 1945. One such man in Jerusalem described
the last months of Auschwitz, and beyond.

Henryk Francuz was just short of his
20th birthday when the Soviet troops advanced toward Auschwitz. But by the time they arrived on Jan.26th and 27th, he was long gone -- one of thousands taken on what became known as "the death march," walking hundreds of miles deeper into Nazi-controlled territory.

"Matter of fact, a very small amount of people were liberated in January in Auschwitz. Jan. 1945 Is not a liberation day. Most of the people were evacuated and sent away."

It was only those too sick to travel, and those who managed to hide from the Nazi guards, who remained at Auschwitz to be liberated.

The death march and what followed amounted to five more months of suffering for Francuz, and he had lived in miserable conditions for years in the Jewish ghetto in the Polish city of Lodz before being send to Auschwitz. But his months in the Nazi's most notorious death camp were the most difficult, and had the most profound impact on his life.

He lived with a combination of fear, uncertainty and lack of control that psychologists say can have an almost unfathomable effect. "The Germans were very organized and they had some bit of fantasy, so you never knew what will this day bring."

Francuz says some days were fairly normal -- work 10 hours or so, a bit of food, some sleep. But other days the Nazis would single out one group or another for extermination -- Russians, Poles, political prisoners, and one day not long after he had arrived, inevitably, they came for the Jews.

"And one day the day came and Jews were also on the list. And I was staying in this camp and I simply decided not to go out from the row and I am -- que sera -- and I didn't go out."

Francuz simply did not step forward when the Jews were called. His identification patch was blackened by soot from the coal mine where he worked sometimes. He stayed behind.

It is that kind of split-second act of survival which leads to another great problem of survivors -- guilt. Many agonize over why they were allowed to live while their friends and families were killed. There is, of course, no answer to this question. For Francuz and thousands of others it was a combination of their own actions and the intentional or accidental contribution of others.

The fact that Francuz was Jewish and had not gone to be killed on the required day was, in fact, discovered by a senior camp official. But he was allowed to stay, perhaps because he was a trained electrician who became popular among the guards for his ability to repair small equipment and appliances.

So Henryk Francuz survived Auschwitz, and the death march, worked as forced labor on a farm for a few months and ended up, in may of 1945, on a ship filled with prisoners. He believes the Nazis were planning to sink the ship, and three others, but they came under attack from british forces, who did the sinking for them. After years in the ghetto and months at auschwitz, francuz found himself drowning in the cold waters of the Baltic Sea.

"I found a piece of wood drifting on the cold, terrible sea. But there was another prisoner who saw also this piece of wood. And by some miracle, we didn't fight. We didn't know each other, (but) we didn't fight. We both glued up to this piece of wood in some way."

Francuz was rescued by the British, and for him the Holocaust came to and end -- at least in one sense. But in another way it has stayed with him all these 50 years.

"The lesson that I have learned in Auschwitz is not to divide people along the line of the nationality or the beliefs. I suffered not only from Germans. And I got help from different people, and not only from Jews."

Henryk Francuz got married, had a son, became a successful economist, traveled the world. But, like so many others, he carries with him the legacy of Auschwitz -- a legacy of pain and death, and also of lessons for life.

An Ending Thought:

A leader of Israel must not think that the Lord of the world chose him because he is a great man. If the king chose to hang his crown on a wooden peg in the wall, would the peg boast that its beauty drew the gaze of the king to it?

--Martin Buber in the Joy of Jewish Humor compiled by Ralph L. Woods, Essandess Special Editions, Ontario, Canada 1969

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