Newsletter : 5fax0124.txt
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>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
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
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
"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
"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
It was only those too sick to travel, and those who managed to
hide from the Nazi guards, who remained at Auschwitz to be
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
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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