Tomorrow, January 27th, the world will mark the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

On this date, 70 years ago, the Red Army liberated the Auschwitz death camp.

1 million and 100,000 Jews were brutally murdered in Auschwitz, just for being who they were. Only 7500 survived the atrocities. My grandmother, Miriam, was one of them.

Since I began writing on the Times of Israel, I have mainly showcased my work, celebrating the beautiful landscapes of Israel. This time I would like to use the platform I’ve been given to post something completely different and much more personal.

My grandmother, heroic survivor of Auschwitz, sadly passed away in 2006 aged 81. Her memories from hell on earth, of how she used to steal potato peels from the garbage of Nazi guards, risking her life in order to survive, will forever linger in my head.

She lived through the worst horrors in the history of mankind. She experienced some, and witnessed them all.

She survived, came to Israel after the war, and established a successful family of which I am proud to be a part.

However, nine other members of her family, all deported to the death camp with her, did not survive. Today I would like to pay tribute to them.

I would like to introduce you my grandmother’s sister and mother.

This is Barbra Weinstein-Klein (1919-1944), her sister. She was murdered together with her 1 year old daughter, Aniko Marta (1943-1944).

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Barbra Weinstein-Klein (1919-1944)

This is Gizella Weinstein (1889-1944), her mother. 55 years of age at her death in the camp.

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Gizella Weinstein (1889-1944)

Barbra’s picture has been previously published on my Facebook page, while Gizella’s picture is being published here for the first time. It has been seen before only by a few family members.

They may not have had the chance to live on, but until their lives were brutally taken, they had existed just like you and I and deserve to be known and remembered.

Today, at the Holocaust Memorial Museum of Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, the capital of the Jewish state, IDF soldiers learn about the deportation to Auschwitz. This picture, in which Israeli soldiers stand next to a cattle car that used to transfer Jews to their death, means only one thing: We triumphed.

The Jewish people lived on to create new generations, to establish a powerful Jewish country with one of the world’s strongest armies, lived on to become an inspiration to the world.

We triumphed, and we will never forget.

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Triumph, IDF soldiers at Yad Vashem. Photo: Noam Chen

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