Those we have lost

Sgt. Karin Shwarcman, 20: Air Force technician was huge cat lover

Killed by Hamas terrorists while off-duty at the Supernova music festival on October 7

Sgt. Karin Shwarcman (IDF)
Sgt. Karin Shwarcman (IDF)

Sgt. Karin Shwarcman, 20, an Air Force technician, from Holon, was killed on October 7 while off-duty at the Supernova music festival.

She was slain at the rave along with her boyfriend, Amit Ben Avida, who was attending along with his aunt, Ziv Abud, who survived and her boyfriend, Eliya Cohen who was kidnapped to Gaza.

Karin was buried on October 13 in Holon. She is survived by her parents, Asya and Ivgeni, and her sister Maya.

She had enlisted in the military just a few months before she was killed. Karin attended a specialized high school in Tel Aviv that was designed to prepare her for a career in the Air Force. In a video several years before she was killed, she joked that in 10 years she would want to be the first “female IDF chief of staff.”

While in high school she volunteered at an animal shelter, as well as with the nonprofit Krembo Wings, which serves children with special needs around the country. In a post on Facebook, Krembo Wings noted that Karin was “a central figure in the [Holon] branch thanks to her big and wide smile, pleasant aura, openness and professionalism… she entered everyone’s hearts.”

Lishay Esh, who worked at Karin’s high school, described her as “pure hearted, all one big heart. I was privileged that you were part of my life, I was privileged that you love me and I love you. I was privileged to see you every day for years, my good girl, we spoke so much about your future” and her decision to study for two more years before enlisting. “You told me that life was long… they took you from me, those monsters, before you got to accomplish your dreams.”

Karin was a noted animal lover, in particular cats, and her family and friends have sought to memorialize her in that way. At the elementary school she attended, pupils made cartons into cat feeders and placed them around Holon in her memory.

“From a young age, Karin loved animals, cats and dogs, and wanted to feed them at every opportunity,” her mother, Asya, told Ynet. “When we flew abroad she would always go around with a bag of dry food in case she met a hungry cat.”

Asya noted that Karin drew two little cats in a love letter she wrote to Amit, and that drawing has since been tattooed on a number of family and friends in the couple’s memory.

“Karin loved to draw all the time, in classes and lectures, this was how she would focus,” said Asya, noting that her husband as well as Amit’s mother tattooed the image of the cats, “and I tattooed a different drawing of hers. Karin would say that cats were her angels.”

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