Eliezer Sherbatov with Beibarys Atyrau in 2017. by the Forward

Israel’s hockey captain signs to play in Oswiecim, aka Auschwitz

Image by wikimapia

(JTA) — When the captain of Israel’s ice hockey team takes the ice for the coming season, he will be just a short walk from the notorious Auschwitz concentration camp where Nazis murdered nearly 1 million Jews during the Holocaust.

Eliezer Sherbatov, 28, signed last week to the local team in Oswiecim, the Polish name for Auschwitz. He told Yedioth Ahronoth, an Israeli newspaper, that he had felt welcomed and was not fearful that hockey fans would wield anti-Semitic taunts the way that Polish football fans have drawn criticism for doing.

“People here in Poland are happy that a Jew from Israel came to play for Auschwitz,” he told the newspaper. “I am happy to make this history, and of course want to help not forget the Holocaust.”

Sherbatov said he would be especially motivated to help the team succeed because of the dark history that unfolded less than two miles from its home rink.

“I have a great deal of motivation because it is Auschwitz,” Sherbatov told Yedioth Ahronoth. “I want to win the championship, the Polish Cup and the continental title, and then everyone will know the one who did this is a Jewish-Israeli.”

Sherbatov has played hockey since moving from Israel to Canada as a child. He is the captain of Israel’s national team, which is mostly composed of non-professional hockey players. “People would hear that I’m from Israel and they would laugh, but then see me on the ice and realize how fast and strong I am,” he said in an interview last year with the Israel Sports Excellence Foundation,

The post Captain of Israel’s hockey team signs to play in Oswiecim, otherwise known as Auschwitz appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Israel’s hockey captain signs to play in Oswiecim, aka Auschwitz

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Israel’s hockey captain signs to play in Oswiecim, aka Auschwitz

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close