About Yad Vashem
The Eliezer Ayalon Memorial Fund
"For 37 years I didn't tell anybody what had happened to me; and then I understood that it was my duty. I became a witness."
Eliezer Ayalon, a Holocaust survivor who recently passed away, was an integral part of the Yad Vashem family. A resident of Jerusalem, Eliezer shared his story with countless groups of all ages and backgrounds here at Yad Vashem and around the world. His personal story of survival, as told in his memoir “A Cup of Honey”, has inspired and touched thousands of people.
Born in Radom, Poland, in 1928, Eliezer was incarcerated in the ghetto in 1942 with his family. However, his family begged him to save himself. His mother told him, “If there is anyone in the family with a chance to stay alive – it’s you. Azoy ist Beshert [This was meant to be]. May you have a sweet life.” She accompanied him to the gate with a cup of honey. Eliezer was transferred to the Blizyn camp near Kielce, where he worked as a shoemaker. His mother, father, sister and two brothers were all murdered at Treblinka.
In the spring of 1944, Eliezer was moved to Plaszow, and then to Mauthausen and Melk in Austria. In April 1945, he was sent on a death march. Despite a previously broken leg, he made it to Ebensee. On 6 May 1945, the camp was liberated by American forces. “Soldiers from the Jewish Brigade took us from hell and prepared us for aliyah. I remember the joy, the dancing and the singing when we heard we had received visas for Eretz Israel.”
In 2010, Eliezer was one of the six torchlighters at the Holocaust Remembrance Day opening event at Yad Vashem. We were privileged to know and work with him. His smile and presence will be missed.
As a gesture of respect for his tireless work on behalf of the millions of Jews murdered during the Holocaust, Yad Vashem has created the “Eliezer Ayalon Memorial Fund” dedicated to continuing his important work of education and commemoration to ensure that future generations never forget.