03 September 2003
Tomorrow Israeli Air Force pilots will fly over the extermination camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau. At the same time, a ceremony will take place at Auschwitz where the names of victims of the transport that arrived at Auschwitz on September 4, 1943 will be read. At the request of the Israeli Air Force delegation to Poland, Yad Vashem workers searched the Hall of Names for Pages of Testimony for individuals who were murdered on the same day, 60 years prior to the delegation’s trip.
The Air Force delegation is visiting Poland to honor the Polish Air Force in its 85th year.
Prior to its return to Israel, the Israeli delegation will perform a flyover of Auschwitz-Birkenau comprised of three F-15 jets. The flyover represents an integral part of the IDF ceremony, which is in the framework of the project “Witnesses in Uniform.”
During Yad Vashem’s computerized search in its Hall of Names, it was discovered that all of the victims from September 4 arrived at Auschwitz from a transport from Drancy, France that had departed two days earlier (Sept. 2, 1943). 661 of the individuals were sent to their immediate death in the gas chambers within hours of their arrival.
The following are the names taken from Yad Vashem’s Hall of Names that will be read at the ceremony. The actual Pages of Testimony will be in the planes that will fly over the ceremony at the same time.
- Sylvain Schnerb, born in Colmar, France, aged 64
- Mercado Cohen, born in Istanbul, aged 79
- Camille Amar, born in Algeria, aged 44 and children Robert, aged 16, Jacqueline, aged 14, and Silviane, aged 12, all born in France
- Georges Sasportes, born in Algeria, aged 54
- Children of the Atlanti family: Jacqueline, aged 4, Andre, aged 11, Raymond, aged 16 and their parents: Louise, 39 and David, 56
- Bernard Kramer, born in Strasbourg, France, aged 20
- Elise Abastado, born in Salonika, Greece, aged 56
- Leon Loeb, born in Strasbourg, France, aged 38
- Gabriel Levy, born in Belfort, France, aged 48
- Donna Hasson, born in Istanbul, aged 44
- Lea Khoutman, aged 66 and husband, Srowl-Leib, aged 77 both born in Poland
- Rosa Hoppen-Waldhorn, born in Lasina, Czechoslovakia, aged 56
The head of the delegation, Brig. Gen. Amir Eschel said, “the Germans and those that helped them tried not only to systematically destroy the Jews, but also to erase all traces of the victims and of the murder itself. In commemorating the victims by reading their names, we attempt to redeem the victims from the ruins and give them back their names and faces.” Brig. Gen. Eschel will give a short speech from his plane during the ceremony.
Yad Vashem’s Hall of Names currently holds over 2 million Pages of Testimony, all of which have been digitally scanned. Yad Vashem is taking great strides to digitize all names stored in its databases; until today 3.2 million names have been added to the digitized list.
In spring 2004, Yad Vashem will upload the entire list of names to the Internet, allowing international access to the database and the ability for every individual to search for names and to fill out Pages of Testimony via the Internet.