“I want to honor my family and my grandparents”

Yeovil Zussmann, You played with your grandmother’s name on your back in the Alba Berlin Bundesliga match against Hamburg on Wednesday, Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel. Who is Liba yesterday?

She was born in Warsaw and belongs to a group called the Children of Tehran. She and her sister are the only survivors in her family from the war and the Holocaust. They were Jews, but they were raised on Christianity in order to survive. They fled from Poland to Russia. In the process, they lost their parents. They were practically orphans. On their journey, trying to survive, as far as I know, they came to Siberia, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. After all, they were brought to Palestine from Tehran in a group of about a thousand children – on ships. I asked her a lot about her past, often I wanted to know how she lives and how she lives. She doesn’t want to talk about it. She doesn’t want to remember.

Is your grandmother still alive?

she lives. Soon she will be 89 years old and will no longer be able to walk. Trying to watch every game I play. I feel proud to have her family name on the shirt. When we played with Alba in Maccabi Tel Aviv, it was very special. After the game I visited. Hope to see you again in the summer. I wouldn’t be who I am without her. Without it, I wouldn’t be in the world at all. That’s why I want to honor my family, my background, and my grandparents.

What happened to my father, Lipa yesterday?

She doesn’t talk about it. I’m sure my dad knows, but he didn’t tell me. I became more and more interested in my family’s history. My father’s father came to Israel from Russia. He also lost his family in the war and the Holocaust. My name is Zoosman originally the name Süssmann.

The date is in the name.

My first name also refers to the date. Yovel means jubilee in Hebrew, the year of rejoicing. Israel was founded in 1948 and when I was born in 1998 I was given this name. That’s why I wear the number 50 on my shirt.

You live and play as a pro in the country of criminals. how do you feel?

I have a feeling that people in Germany and in Berlin really want to remember what happened back then. I came across these shiny metallic plaques all over town…

…a stumbling block for commemorating the kidnapped and murdered Jewish citizens in their places of residence.

The Holocaust memorial in central Berlin: I see it as a sign of solidarity and an effort to come to terms with what happened in the past. As an expression of respect for what was happening to our people. Before I went to Berlin, I asked my grandmother what she thought of it. Not too bad. She said this is my life, my choice.

There have been anti-Semitic demonstrations in Berlin, most recently last week. how do you feel?

I don’t want to go into politics too deeply. This is not good. However, today I felt compelled to wear my name and to wear a black ribbon on the belt of my shirt. It’s the least I can do for my family, my country, and my religion.

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