On December 1 an Israeli Air Force jet left India for Israel Monday, carrying 2-year-old Moshe Holtzberg, orphaned son of Rabbi Gavriel Noach Holtzberg, 29, and Rivka, who were among the slain in the Mumbai Chabad House attack, along with his parents’ remains and the Indian woman who rescued him, Sandra Samuel.

Six civilians were killed in the center in the three-day terror siege that ended Saturday morning, Foreign Ministry spokesman Andy David said. In all, more than 170 died in attacks on 10 targets across the Indian city.

Among the Jewish victims were two other Israelis: Bentzion Kruman, an American-Israeli from Bat-Yam, Yocheved Orpaz of Givatayim. The fifth and sixth victims were Rabbi Leibish Teitelbaum, a US citizen who lived in Jerusalem, and Norma Swartzblatt-Rabinovich, a Mexican Jewish woman who had planned to immigrate to Israel later this week.

The IAF jet left Mumbai on Monday, carrying Moshe, Samuel and the remains of his parents and the others killed at the Chabad House, the Foreign Ministry said.

Government officials planned a small ceremony upon the plane’s arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport late Monday, with funerals scheduled for Tuesday.

Moshe was accompanied on the trip to Israel by his maternal grandparents, Yehudit and Shimon Rosenberg, who were reunited with their grandson when they arrived in Mumbai on Friday.

The Foreign Ministry said the government would arrange official funeral send representatives to the ceremonies, as it does for victims of terror attacks at home.

Before the jet left for Israel, a memorial service for the Jewish victims was held in one of the largest synagogues in Mumbai on Monday morning. During the ceremony, Rivka Holtzberg’s father gave a tearful eulogy for his daughter and her husband, and praised Samuel for saving the boy’s life.

“With great resourcefulness Sandra saved the life of my grandson. Had she not [done this] he surely would have been murdered,” Shimon Rosenberg told more than a hundred family members and relatives of the victims, as well as members of the local Jewish community who attended the service.

The Israeli ambassador to India, Mark Sofer, also spoke during the event.

“The State of Israel will not sit quietly while Israelis and Jews are massacred just because they are Jews,” he said. “We will continue to work with India and with other countries in the world in order to prevent this kind of event from happening in the future.”

“This is a tragedy for India and a tragedy for Israel, but above all for the families,” Sofer continued, adding that this was not the time to weigh whether or not the international community is doing enough, but rather a time to think of the families.

“We, our Indian friends and the rest of the civilized world will continue to fight terrorism, until we win,” he said.

Also Monday, the Foreign Ministry announced that contact had been made with the last of the Israelis who were considered “missing” following the terror attacks in Mumbai, India which started last Wednesday and came to an end Saturday morning.

Six Jews have now been confirmed dead in the attacks which targeted, among other places, the Chabad House in the area, and which killed over 180 people.

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman from the Interior Ministry told The Jerusalem Post on Monday that no formal request had been made as yet for Samuel to receive either permanent or temporary residency in the State of Israel.

However, she added that Interior Minister Meir Shitreet was willing to find a solution that would allow the woman, an Indian native, to stay here, at least for the short-term.

Everything is possible

Nominations for the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize close on Friday, and among the entrants is a 98-year-old Briton, Sir Nicholas Winton, who transported 700 Jewish children to the UK before WWII.

The BBC’s Allan Little visited Prague to witness the legacy of a man known as the “British Schindler”.

In a school room in southern Bohemia, a class of teenagers sit mesmerised by a film about a young Englishman who came to their country a long time ago and did something so remarkable – brave as well as honourable – that 70 years later they petitioned the authorities to rename their school.

It is, now, the Sir Nicholas Winton School.

In the spring of 1939, the young Nicholas Winton cancelled a skiing holiday in Switzerland and, at the urging of a friend, went to Prague instead.

The city was full of people who had fled their homes in the wake of the Nazi occupation of the Sudetenland.

Nicholas Winton was particularly shocked by the condition of the children: many of them he found living in squalid – and freezing – refugee camps.


He resolved to do something about it.

With a group of others he drew up a list of children whose parents would agree to send them to Britain until the emergency – however long it was to last – was over.

When his list was complete there were 5,000 names on it.

He lobbied the Home Office in London. They said he could bring as many children as he liked, provided he could find foster families for them, and provided they went home when it was safe to do so.

The Winton group then advertised for families. “It wasn’t the ideal way to place children,” he told me, 70 years later.

“But if someone wrote to say they could take, say, a girl aged seven, then we sent some pictures of girls aged seven and said ‘choose one’.

“Not ideal, but it did work and it was quick.”

Father’s tears

He then organised a series of closed trains to take the children from Prague directly to Liverpool Street station in London.


Alicie Klimova was 11 in 1939. She took me back to the platform at Prague’s Masaryk Station, where she last saw her parents two months before the outbreak of war.

“The platform was full of children and parents” she said. “My parents did their best to keep on smiling, telling me it was so exciting that I was going to England.

“But at midnight when the train pulled out, my father couldn’t hold back his tears.

“I said ‘Daddy don’t cry – you’ll disgrace me!’ Of course I had no idea that we would never see each other again”.

When Alicie went back to Prague in 1945 she found that both her parents had died in Auschwitz.

Lost contact

The transports continued through the summer of 1939. The last one was due to leave on 1 September – the day war broke out.

There were 250 children on board, but the train never left the station. Most of them died in the Holocaust.


For 50 years Nicholas Winton, of Maidenhead in Berkshire, lost contact with the 670 children he had brought to Britain – and whose lives he had saved.

When he married he didn’t even tell his wife what he had done.

Then, when he was almost 80, some of his children began to get in touch. He found that the original group had grown to more than 5,000.

“Normally events that happened a long time ago diminish in importance as time goes on,” Sir Nicholas told me.

“This story is the opposite – it keeps on growing, because there are more and more people. They keep breeding, you see!”