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President Peres Salutes the Fighters of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising on the 70th Anniversary of the Uprising

President Shimon Peres, today (Thursday, 17 January 2013), at the Ghetto
Fighters' House Museum
at kibbutz Lohamei HaGeta'ot, took part in a ceremony to commemorate 70
years since the outbreak of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising
along with fighters from the ghetto, Holocaust survivors and their

President Peres spoke to the fighters and said, "To sit between you is to
sit between a legend and a dream. It is hard to fathom the heights of your
bravery. One cannot understand the depth of the Nazi atrocities when
compared alongside the heroic bravery of the Warsaw Ghetto fighters. I stand
in awe of the heroism of the fighters and shocked, to this day, by the Nazi

Two fighters from the uprising who survived the atrocities of the war told
their story in the presence of President Peres - Chavka Folman-Raban and
'Kazik' Simcha Rotem. Chavka Folman-Raban, who served as a young liaison
during the uprising spoke of her sense of mission and of the individual and
group preparation before the uprising began, "For me to be in Israel is a
dream, when I was a fighter in the Warsaw Ghetto, when I was caught and I
sat in German prison, when we were deported and sent to the camps, on the
death march and in the face of murderous atrocities and the flames and the
smoke we never stopped dreaming of the land of Israel. We prayed that we'd
arrive here and set up a kibbutz, and create a new life."

'Kazik' Rotem spoke during his testimony of the preparation work for the
uprising and the rescue of the fighters from the sewage pipes under Warsaw.
At the end of the event, Ayal Zukerman, granddaughter of Zvi and Antek
Zuckerman, spoke and said that she felt, "great pride to present her
grandparents, fighters of the uprising" and stressed that "the memory and
legacy of my grandparents and the heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising must
be passed down as a torch to future generations." President Peres turned to
her and said, "The Warsaw Ghetto uprising is one of the peaks of bravery of
the Jewish people. We salute the fighters of the uprising; future
generations will continue to carry the memory of the uprising."

A particularly emotional moment in the ceremony was the presentation to
President Peres, by fighters from the ghetto uprising, of a rare and
authentic diary written by one of the fighters of the uprising from inside
the ghetto detailing the deportations and the stories of those who went to
their deaths while the uprising began. In the diary, which is translated
into Hebrew, the author describes from his viewpoint the actions and bravery
of the Jewish fighters. The diary, which is published for the first time
today for the general public, was discovered alongside other documents as
part a collection which was given to the Ghetto Fighters Museum in the 1970s
by Adolf Berman who survived the war and arrived in Israel.

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