A group of Israeli students visiting the Auschwitz death camp in Poland last week were accosted by a German mother who told them she had a yellow postcard for them from Germany.
The 11th- and 12th-graders initially weren’t sure why she wanted to give them a postcard with a rectangular yellow sticker, and only when she began peeling little yellow hearts off of it and sticking them on their jackets did they realize the significance of her act.
“My people marked you with yellow stars and I brought this from Germany with love,” said the woman, who said her name is Ruth, as she affixed the hearts with one hand, held a red rose in the other, all while her baby slept in a harness on her chest.
“I cannot ask you for forgiveness of what my people committed to you, but as a sign of love and an outstretched hand, I would like to put a heart on the place where my forefathers have put a yellow star,” she said.
Zvi Schwartzman, the teacher who recorded the encounter, told TheBlaze he didn't know what was happening at first.
“I at first thought it was a game, not real, especially when I asked her how many times she’d been to Auschwitz,” he said.
Ruth said it was her 10th visit to the notorious death camp, Schwartzman said.
She told Schwartzman that she feels obligated to come to Auschwitz to apologize to Jewish visitors for the acts committed by the older generation of Germans, even though it means being away from her four other children who stayed in Germany with her husband.
One of the Israeli adult chaperones can be heard in the video telling the students, “I’m very moved. That’s never happened to me before. Maybe her grandfather took part in the war … but why is she responsible? She’s asking how do I make up for what they did?”
Even as she lamented the past, the German visitor expressed her concern about the future.
“We see what’s happening with Iran and that we’re not far from history repeating itself,” she said. “Today, I can’t say for sure it’s not going to happen again, but I want you to know that you’re not alone and that there are people outside of Israel who are still standing with your nation and who pray for the peace of Jerusalem.”
Then she said to them in Hebrew in the middle of a row of now deserted Auschwitz barracks, “Welcome to the land of the living.”