Israeli fighter jets fly over the Nazi death camp, Dachau, on Aug. 18, 2020. (IAF) IAF
Israeli jet Dachau

“The great lesson of the Holocaust is that no one will protect the Jews if they do not defend themselves. Today we are defending ourselves. I salute our pilots!” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

By Algemeiner Staff

The air forces of Israel and Germany made history on Tuesday as they teamed up for a joint flyover of the site of Dachau — the former Nazi concentration camp on the outskirts of Munich — 75 years after its liberation.

“Today, 75 years after the Holocaust, IAF and @Team_Luftwaffe aircraft performed a historic flyby at the Dachau concentration camp and above the Fürstenfeldbruck airport, in memory of those murdered in the Holocaust and the 11 victims of the 1972 Munich Massacre,” the Israeli Air Force tweeted following the exercise.

Eleven Israeli athletes were murdered by Palestinian terrorists after they were taken hostage during the 1972 Olympic Games in the southern German city.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also paid tribute to Tuesday’s flyover.

“Our Air Force pilots flew over the Dachau concentration camp in Germany today,” Netanyahu tweeted. “In Dachau, a slaughter of the Jewish people took place. The great lesson of the Holocaust is that no one will protect the Jews if they do not defend themselves. Today we are defending ourselves. I salute our pilots!”


Last week, in the run-up to the flyover, IAF Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin met with Holocaust survivors and was given a belt belonging to Pesach Smieleg, who survived Dachau.

In addition to the belt, the Israeli contingent also carried a replica of Hellmut Bachrach-Barée’s drawing, “Death March — Dachau to Tölz,” that was provided by Yad Vashem, Israel’s national memorial to the Holocaust. Created in May 1945, the artwork depicts several Jewish prisoners being led on a death march by a Nazi guard.

Yad Vashem additionally supplied copies of two original letters sent by Jewish officers in the US Army who liberated Dachau.

In one, written on April 28, 1945, Corp. Jacob Goldstein told his parents: “I just returned from a visit to the place of the living dead… If you ever had any doubt in your mind of the authenticity of German atrocity stories, you can remove it right now. I spoke to the people, I saw the piles of dead bodies, and I went through their living quarters… Dead bodies were laying all over the ground. The Germans had left in such a hurry they hadn’t had time to cremate them. The way in which these people lived, if you could call it living, is indescribable.”

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