95-year-old Holocaust survivor and survivor of Hamas attack share powerful message

Josh Haskell Image
Wednesday, November 29, 2023
95-year-old Holocaust survivor, survivor of Hamas attack share stories
The two were at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley Tuesday, touring the exhibition on the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Their message? Never again needs to mean never again.

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. (KABC) -- A 95-year-old Holocaust survivor who lives in Woodland Hills and an Israeli who survived the Hamas attack last month spoke out on the Israel-Hamas war, sharing a powerful joint message.

Both survivors were at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley Tuesday, touring the exhibition on the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

During his tour, David Lenga reflected on his childhood in Poland and his time in Germany, fighting for his life in Nazi labor camps and concentration camps - just because he's Jewish.

"How I survived, only God knows," said the 95-year-old.

Ariel Ein-Gal of Israel has a similar story - targeted because he is Jewish. The difference was that he fought for his life less than two months ago on the morning of Oct. 7.

"6:30 ... We woke up to explosions and sounds of bangs and missiles exploding," he recalled. "We hid everywhere we could. We were on an open beach so there was nowhere to hide. They shot hundreds of rounds in our direction. It was like in the movies when the bullets hit the sand, the sand pops up. We were all running for our lives and the sand was just dancing and moving all around from the bullets. All I can think of is the next bullet is going to be to my head and I'm going to die."

Ein-Gal was with friends spending the night on Zikkim Beach in southern Israel near Gaza when the Hamas terrorist attack began.

One of Ein-Gal's friends who he was with did not survive.

He now has this tattoo on his arm to honor her in a similar style to how the Nazis identified Jews in concentration camps during World War II.

"My experiences during the holocaust have such strong parallels to what he experienced," said Lenga. "Never did I ever believe after the war ended that I'm going to see a repeat of history like this."

Ein-Gal said it can happen again.

"If people stay silent, and if they don't react to it, and if people keep denying it or won't stand up to people denying it, it will happen again," he said. "The Holocaust is the perfect example of that because after the Holocaust, the whole world united and said, 'Never again.' It can never happen again. The UN was formed and it did happen again."

Two survivors of hate united during Tuesday's tour of an exhibit about a Nazi concentration camp where Lenga spent time during the war.

Their message: never again needs to mean never again - sharing their stories so the world doesn't forget.

The Auschwitz exhibit runs through Jan. 28, 2024. Click here for more information.