Falafel given to homeless in scheme to mark Auschwitz Death March anniversary
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Falafel given to homeless in scheme to mark Auschwitz Death March anniversary

Israeli Embassy in London gives meals as part of global 'Operation Dugo' initiative, inspired by survivor David Leitner who was 14 when he marched from the notorious death camp

Falafel (Photo by Anton on Unsplash)
Falafel (Photo by Anton on Unsplash)

London’s Israeli Embassy has donated falafel meals to the homeless as part of a global initiative to commemorate the 76th anniversary of the Death March from Auschwitz.

The initiative is based on the life of David Leitner, also known as ‘Dugo’, who was 14 when he marched, hungry and exhausted, with 60,000 other Auschwitz prisoners and would dream of the warm ‘Bilkalech’ buns that his mother made.

Dugo survived and eventually moved to Israel. After visiting Jerusalem’s Machane Yehuda market, he noticed a falafel store, reminding him of his mother’s buns of which he once dreamt. 

Since then, he has marked the anniversary of The Death March each year by eating falafel to give thanks for his survival. 

It’s inspired thousands in Israel, including the president, to join him through ‘Operation Dugo’, founded by Testimony House, an Israeli Holocaust Museum and educational centre, in 2018.

Israeli Ambassador to the UK, Tzipi Hotovely, said: “The 2021 UK Holocaust Memorial Day theme is ‘Be the light in the darkness’. David Leitner’s survival of the Death March 76 years ago and Operation Dugo embodies this, and I am glad we are commemorating this anniversary by sharing his testimony and participating in this important initiative.”

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