Yair Lapid Tells Macron: “My Father & Benny’s Mother Were Together In The Ghetto”


Blue & White leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid met with French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday, who arrived in Israel to attend the World Holocaust Forum on Thursday.

Following the meeting, Lapid wrote on Twitter that Macron asked him and Gantz how they ended up forming a relationship. ‘”It was formed long before we knew each other,’ I answered. ‘My father and Benny’s mother were in the ghetto together.'”

It wasn’t long ago that Lapid and Gantz were unaware of this connection between them. In February 2019, Gantz surprised Lapid at a Blue & White meeting with the story of their shared past.

Gantz said at the meeting that he was told only recently about the shared histories of their families. “My mother Malka and Yair Lapid’s father Tommy lived in the same shared apartment in the Jewish ghetto in Budapest 75 years ago,” Gantz said. “And now, Tommy’s son and Malka’s son are standing in front of you on one stage – the state of Israel is a miracle.”

Tommy Lapid was born in Novi Sad, Serbia but during World War II, Serbia was conquered by the Axis Powers and became part of Hungary. Tommy’s father was taken to Auschwitz and died in a death march two weeks before the war ended. Tommy and his mother were deported to Budapest and survived due to Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg.

Gantz’s mother Malka was originally from Mezőkovácsháza, Hungary and was eventually deported to Bergen-Belsen. After the war, she ended up in Sweden and a few years later she made aliyah to Israel.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)