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April 19, 2023 2:35 pm

Gal Gadot Hosts Gathering for Yom HaShoah With Youngest Holocaust Survivor Saved by Oskar Schindler


avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Gal Gadot with Holocaust survivor Celina Biniaz. Photo: Tori, DMWA (Provided)

Israeli actress Gal Gadot hosted at her California home a small gathering with a local Holocaust survivor who shared her life story and experiences during World War II with Gadot’s friends and family to coincide with Holocaust Remembrance Day on Tuesday.

“Hearing her testimony about the horrors she and her family went through and seeing the strong inspiring woman she became, left no dry eye in the room,” Gadot wrote in the caption of a photo slide she posted on Instagram from the event featuring Celina Biniaz. “At the end of her testimony Celina looked to me and said –  ‘life is just like what you said in your Wonder Woman movie – only love can save the world’ and this moment will stay with me forever,” added the actress, whose grandfather also survived the Holocaust.

Oskar Schindler was a German factory owner whose saved thousands of Jews from being murdered in the Holocaust by employing them at his factories during World War II. Biniaz was the youngest female that Schindler rescued, also known as those on Schindler’s List, according to the USC Shoah Foundation, which has also recorded her life testimony for its visual history archive.

Biniaz was born in Krakow, Poland, on May 28, 1931. She previously said she was 8 years old when the Nazis invaded Poland. Biniaz and her mother were part of the transport of women who were accidentally sent to the Plaszow concentration camp instead of Schindler’s factory. She was also transferred to Auschwitz concentration camp and when Schindler discovered the mistake, he personally made sure the two women went to the factory with him.

Biniaz and her parents survived the Holocaust because of Schindler’s efforts and the family later immigrated to the United States, where Biniaz became a teacher. She did not speak out about the ordeal she faced during the Holocaust for 45 years, opening up only after seeing Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning film Schindler’s List, she told the USC Shoah Foundation.

Biniaz’s testimony in front of Gadot’s friends and family was followed by a performance by Israeli musician Tomer Adaddi for the guests in attendance, including actor Sacha Baron Cohen his wife, actress Isla Fisher, actor Harvey Keitel and Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins. The gathering was organized by Zikaron BaSalon, an Israeli non-profit organization that works around the world with the USC Shoah Foundation to help facilitate intimate events where Holocaust survivors can share their testimonies with small groups.

“There are fewer and fewer survivors each memorial day and by the year 2035 there will no longer be any survivors left to tell their stories,” Gadot concluded her Instagram post by saying. “It is our responsibility to keep sharing these stories, for ourselves and for the world – to hear, to know, to learn. To never forget.”

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