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Yad Vashem No Child's Play

Toward a New Life

Israel Meir Lau

The young boy in this photograph arrived in the Port of Haifa in 1945 with his brother after having been liberated from the Buchenwald camp

The young boy in this photograph arrived in the Port of Haifa in 1945 with his brother after having been liberated from the Buchenwald camp. Eight-year-old Lolek arrived clutching a broken rifle given to him as a toy by a Jewish American officer. The British soldier who saw Lolek coming off the boat proudly holding the rifle insisted on taking it away from him. The boy pleaded, explaining that it was only a toy. This photograph was taken by a reporter, moments before the officer hit the child on the head and took the rifle away. The photograph appeared in the daily newspaper Ha’aretz the following day. Lolek settled in Israel with his older brother Naphtali, who also survived the Buchenwald camp. Lolek is the childhood name of Israel Meir Lau,  who later became Israel’s Chief Rabbi and is currently the Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council.