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‘Answering Hitler’ with great-grandkid 100

Michael and Marion Mittwoch both fled Germany to England, and then helped found Kibbutz Lavi

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Illustrative photo of newborn babies in an Israeli hospital nursery. (Chen Leopold/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of newborn babies in an Israeli hospital nursery. (Chen Leopold/Flash90)

Calling it their “answer to Hitler,” an Israeli couple who fled Nazi Germany in the 1930s, reached an emotional milestone as they welcomed their 100th great-grandchild to the world.

Michael and Marion Mittwoch, who were among the founders of Kibbutz Lavi in the lower Galilee, were both born in Germany, and fled separately to England after the Nazis came to power.

Their latest great-grandson was named Dagan Raz during his circumcision ceremony this week, after Captain Dagan Wertman, who fell in Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. Wertman was in officers’ school with the baby’s father Gadi, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.

Gadi and his wife Noa live in the West Bank settlement Ofra with their five children.

Michael (92) studied chemistry in England, then helped smuggle Holocaust survivors to Israel after World War II ended. Marion (90) worked with child survivors after the war, and used a forged permit to enter Mandatory Palestine.

The two met at Kibbutz Yavne. They moved together to found Lavi, and were the first couple to marry at the kibbutz.

The couple has five children, including a daughter Hadassah, the widow of prominent peace activist settler rabbi Menachem Froman.

“This is our answer to Hitler, may his name be blotted out,” said Michael. “He tried to wipe us out, and here we have brought our 100th great-grandchild into the covenant of Abraham.”

“It’s not just the number,” added Marion. “All the children and grandchildren live in Israel, and they all want to contribute to the state. It’s a feeling that we really created a large tribe.”

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