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Holocaust survivor celebrates 104th birthday with 400 family members at Western Wall

Western Wall (Golasso/WikiCommons)
August 08, 2019

A Holocaust survivor wished to spend her 104th birthday with all of her living family at the sacred Western Wall in Jerusalem, and her family was able to make that dream come true.

Shoshana Ovitz, who lived through the Auschwitz concentration camp 74 years earlier, celebrated her 104th birthday with some 400 family members at the Western Wall last week, the New York Post reported.

Ovitz’s children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren showed up for her at the Western Wall.

Panini Friedman, the oldest of granddaughters said, “We do not have an exact number, but there are probably 400 grandchildren and descendants.”

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Friedman said Ovitz “asked us to make her a list of all the grandchildren and great-grandchildren so she could pray for them, but it was too complicated,” according to the Algemeiner.

The family communicated via email, phone calls, and SMS messages to make this happen for Ovitz. “It wasn’t a simple thing to organize this rare event,” Friedman noted.

While there were around 400 in attendance, everyone wasn’t able to make it.

“We’re missing about 10 percent of them,” Friedman said.

Friedman added that the gathering was to celebrate a victory over the Nazis and “everyone was there with tears in their eyes. … It was very emotional”

Several pictures taken at the gathering show a large crowd at the Western Wall with men and women on different sides, which is customary in the Jewish Orthodox tradition.

One picture shows Ovitz in her wheelchair with a big smile on her face as she holds the hand of a little boy.

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Meir Rosenstein, one of Ovitz’s grandsons, said Ovitz experienced seeing her mother taken by Nazi doctor Josef Mengele, who was known to conduct lethal trials on his prisoners at the time.

Mengele killed about 4,000 Jews between 1943 and 1945 in Auschwitz and earned the nickname, “Nazi Angel of Death,” Newsmax reported.

Ovitz met her husband, Dov, when the Holocaust was over. Dov’s wife and four daughters perished in the slaughter. They married and resided in Austria for a while in search of surviving family members and then moved to Haifa and started their family, having four children together.

The Western Wall in Jerusalem is sacred to the Jewish people, who believe it is the holiest place on Earth. To the Jews, this is a place of prayer and worship that was built by Herod the Great in the first century BC.