A Holocaust survivor has marked her 104th birthday by achieving a life-long dream of visiting the Western Wall, with her enormous extended family in tow.
Shoshana Ovitz, who survived the Auschwitz concentration camp some 74 years ago, was pictured at the holy Jewish site surrounded by 400 of her descendants including children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
According to her grandson, after arriving at the death camp aged 30, Ovitz remembers the horrifying moment her mother was torn away and ordered to go with Josef Mengele, the sick Nazi doctor who performed gruesome medical experiments on Jewish prisoners. That was the last time she ever saw her mom.
Staggeringly, the brave and stoic woman managed to survive the camp, which facilitated the murder of over one million Jews.
“After the war, she met Grandpa Dov, who lost his wife and four daughters in the camps. They got married and went to Haifa,” explained her grandson, Meir Rosenstein, according to Israel National News. “She worked as a seamstress and helped him run the chicken shop. Now Grandma celebrated her 104th birthday and asked for a gift: That all her descendants come together to the Western Wall.”
One of the granddaughter’s Panini Friedman admitted that it “wasn’t a simple thing,” to organize such a massive event. “There are probably 400 grandchildren and descendants,” she added to Israeli outlet, Walla, noting that this still didn’t cover everyone in the extended family unit. “We’re missing about 10% of them” she added.
The gathering, Friedman said, was a wonderful demonstration of victory over the Nazi’s. “Everyone was there with tears in their eyes,” she said. “It was very emotional.”