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Auschwitz Meeting to Honor Dwindling Group of Survivors

By Bill Hoffmann   |   Tuesday, 17 Dec 2013 04:57 PM

A coming meeting of World War II death camp survivors and members of the Israeli Parliament at Auschwitz is a way to honor a group of people "leaving us too fast," says Jonny Daniels, an adviser to Israel's deputy defense minister.

Daniels, who has created FromTheDepths.org to publicize the bittersweet event in Auschwitz, told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV that the idea sprang from his realization that history is disappearing.

"I grew up around survivors. Survivors [were] a part of my upbringing. My great grandparents were survivors from Poland, and my wife's family as well, survivors actually from Auschwitz-Birkenau," Daniels, who grew up in London, said Tuesday.

"My whole connection to Israel and even to Judaism really came about as a result of being around these incredible people . . . and understanding that as a Jewish person, I have nowhere else but Israel, and Israel is my safe haven and my home."

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But I realized that, unfortunately, my daughters – my eldest is 4 — [aren't] going to have the opportunity as I did to speak to a survivor, to hear what they have to say. This is a generation that is leaving us too fast."

On Jan. 27, the largest-ever delegation of Israeli Parliament members will meet with Holocaust survivors on the grounds of Poland's Auschwitz-Birkenau, the most notorious of the Nazi death camps, where countless numbers of Jews were gassed.

The event takes place on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which honors the 6 million Jews who died at the hands of the Nazis. It also marks the 69th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau by Allied troops.

The Israeli delegation will include more than 60 members of the Israeli Parliament — called the Knesset — and will be led by Speaker Yuli Edelstein.

Holocaust survivors from all over the world will attend.

"In Israel, we have a horrific statistic that a survivor's dying every hour, and I really thought about this and decided that something needs to be done, first of all, and really foremost, to honor those survivors that are still with us and to remember those that we've lost," Daniels said.

"I thought, what's the biggest, most profound, important event that I could do, really, to honor them and also to help bring the idea and notion of the Holocaust, really, back into the education of my age group.

"I'm 27 years old, and I see my friends and people surrounding me, and the lack of knowledge dealing with the Holocaust is truly, truly frightening. So, I decided to pick up and go with this."

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