AGAIN: After Surviving The Nazis, Holocaust Survivors Flee Ukraine To Israel


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About 525 Holocaust survivors have made aliyah to Israel from Ukraine since the Russian invasion, including nine who arrived in Israel last Wednesday night, on Yom HaShoah.

Another 113 Holocaust survivors made aliyah from Russia and one from Belarus.

The survivors that arrived on Wednesday were brought to Israel on a special medical rescue flight, organized by ZAKA and other groups.

The body of the late Holocaust survivor Aharon Skamorovsky, who was rescued by ZAKA from his home in Kyiv but passed away in Kishinev, was also brought on the flight for burial in Israel.

One of the survivors was Nanel Zelinsky, 88, who fled from the besieged city of Kharkiv.

“I have already beaten Hitler once, I survived the Holocaust,” Nanel told Ynet. “I have a daughter, two granddaughters and three great-grandchildren – and now I’m a refugee again, trying to save my life.”

“The situation in Kharkiv is now worse than it was in World War II… The entire city was devastated. Everyone in my building went down to hide in the subway station, but because of my medical condition I could not get there myself. I was left completely alone in my apartment for ten days. I felt like I was in prison, in solitary confinement. I was left alone in a nine-story building, with no electricity and no ability to communicate with the outer world… After that, I decided to move to Israel.”

Valery Kanievsky, 83, and his wife Nelya, 80, also fled Kharkiv. “When World War II broke out, I was little, but I remember very well our escape,” Valery told Ynet. “We ran for our lives under the bombs, I was not sure we would survive the road. I remember the bombings, the fear. The same feeling accompanied us now. I never thought that at my age, I’d be forced to go through this again.”

Tatiana Riabaya, 98, said: “My uncle and his family were all murdered in the Holocaust. My family and I managed to escape, that’s how we stayed alive. Now, at my age, I’m running away from my city again. I did not believe we would have to flee until the very last minute.”

“Back then, we also traveled to a remote area of Russia, even then the road was dangerous… I did not believe that at my age, almost 100 years old, I would have to go through this again… I am most grateful that we have the Jewish state where I will have a home.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)