This Holocaust Survivor Is Leading The Battle Against COVID-19 In Bnei Brak

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BNEI BRAK (VINnews) — Professor Motty Ravid, the director of the Maayanei Hayeshua hospital in Bnei Brak, is at the forefront of the battle against coronavirus, but at the same time he himself has a fascinating story of survival which he related in an interview with Israel’s channel N-12.

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Ravid was born in Bialistock, Poland in 1938 and when he was less than three the Germans invaded his hometown and his family fled to Lvov where they hid in what later became the ghetto. Ravid vividly remembers the Germans entering the ghetto and removing entire families, the sound of their hobnailed boots, the shots and the cries. His parents fled from the ghetto but Ravid remembers the unfortunate choice of hiding place they found- under a German tank in a training camp for soldiers.

“The Germans quickly found our hiding place. Suddenly we saw boots surrounding the tank and somebody shouted “raus.” The three of us crawled out from under the tank and we were surrounded by German soldiers who didn’t know what to do with us. After arresting them the Nazis decided to return them to the Lvov ghetto. “The German soldiers hit us many times and we felt our end was near.

Ravid related how his father ran away and tried to save himself and his mother was left with him alone.

“They put us on a train to the Yanowska labor camp and then the unbelievable happened: we succeeded in jumping off the train and hiding inside a doorway. It happened so quick that nobody paid attention.” That jump from the train saved his life.

Ravid and his mother hid inside a small room in Lvov with a Polish family known to his mother. “And then the long-range bombings of the Russians began,” Ravid recollects, adding that they did not even go down to the cellar “because what would happen if I needed to urinate and they discovered that I was circumcised?”

During the war Ravid and his mother managed somehow to maintain contact with their father and at the end of the war they reunied and after wandering across war-torn Europe came to Israel on the refugee boat “Orion.”

Ravid referred to the difficult situation of Holocaust survivors and elderly people who are trying desperately to survive, and sharply criticized the Israeli government. “what we see today is just a continuation of the ongoing neglect for those who survived the Holocaust and helped establish the state. You would expect that the moment they found coronavirus patients in nursing homes they would act, but it didn’t happen.”

Ravid believes the neglect was more a lack of organization than a lack of knowledge: “People knew that the moment you have a closed place with people in a susceptible age group, it would be a ticking time bomb. The state should have acted and solved the problem immediately and this has not been done to this day despite public and media pressure. This is symbolic of the way the elderly are treated.

“One of the quality tests for a society is how it treats the weak. The state of Israel has an obligation, both moral and symbolic, to care for those who immigrated after the Holocaust, fought in the wars and established the state.”

Ravid decries the way in which nursing homes have turned into death traps for senior citizens. “The nursing homes don’t interest the country because people there are anyway going to die, so what’s the difference. They are at the bottom of the list, being elderly in Israel has become a pejorative.”

The sprightly 83-year-old Ravid is doing all he can to help the elderly patients as well as younger ones but because of his age and susceptibility, he does not have direct contact with the patients but provides guidance for his dedicated team of doctors. “I do what I can as the director of a hospital to ensure that treatment by my team will be the best,” he adds humbly.

 

 


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