Naphtali Lau-Lavie / נפתלי לאו-לביא

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Naphtali Lau-Lavie (Lau)

Hebrew: נפתלי לאו-לביא
Also Known As: "Naftali"
Birthdate: (88)
Birthplace: Kraków, Kraków County, Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Poland
Death: December 4, 2014 (88)
Place of Burial: Jerusalem, Jerusalem District, Israel
Immediate Family:

Son of Harav Moshe Haim Lau and Chaya Lau
Husband of Private User
Father of <private> Lavi; Private User; <private> ארז (LAVI) and <private> LAVI
Brother of Shmuel Issac Lau and Rabbi Israel Meir Lau
Half brother of Yehoshua Lau

Managed by: Shmuel Farkash
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Naphtali Lau-Lavie / נפתלי לאו-לביא


Naphtali Lau-Lavie

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Naphtali Lau-Lavie (Sometimes Naphtali Lavie) (1926-December 6, 2014) was an Israeli journalist, author and diplomat.

Lavie's entire family was murdered during The Holocaust, with the exception of his brother, Yisrael, who would later become the Chief Rabbi of Israel.

Lavie served as a spokesman for Moshe Dayan, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Shamir. In 1981 he was appointed Israel's consul-general in New York.

Lavie was the author of several books.

Shoah survivor and diplomat Naphtali Lau-Lavie dies aged 88

The brother of an Israeli chief rabbi, he survived Nazi concentration camps, and as a Haaretz reporter, covered the Eichmann trial. Later, he was Israel's N.Y. consul general.

By Ofer Aderet | Dec. 7, 2014 | 4:11 AM

Naphtali Lau-Lavie

Naphtali Lau-Lavie Photo by GPO



Nothing to do but pray

By Naphtali Lavie | Apr. 29, 2011 | 11:13 AM | 23

The boy from Buchenwald

Apr. 29, 2011 | 11:13 AM

Naphtali Lau-Lavie, Holocaust survivor, Haaretz correspondent between 1956 and 1970, diplomat and public figure, brother of former Chief Rabbi Yisrael Lau, died on Saturday, aged 88.

Lau was born in Krakow, Poland in 1926. As a child, his family moved around often due to the career of his father, who was a scion of an important family of rabbis and was appointed the rabbi of different cities in Europe. He spent his first years in Romania, then Slovakia and Poland.

After the Second World War broke out his family was sent to the Piotrkow Ghetto in Poland. In 1941, at 15, he was kidnapped from his home and sent to forced labor in construction in Auschwitz, side-by-side with Polish criminal and political prisoners. "I didn't know what it was, I had no idea," he later testified to Yad Vashem.

During his stay there, he said, he heard of executions, including by gas, and saw prisoners hanged. After 40 days, he was smuggled back to his family. When he reunited with his mother, she told him that "one day" she would tell him how exactly his rescue came about, and that in the meantime, he must forget he has been to Auschwitz.

Later, his father, Moshe Chaim, was murdered in Treblinka. His mother, Chaya, was murdered in Ravensbruck. His younger brother, Shmuel, was also murdered in the Holocaust. Naphtali and his brother Yisrael – later chief rabbi of Israel – who was 11 years his junior, were sent to the Hortensia and Czestochowa camps. In early 1945, they were transferred to the Buchenwald camp, and survived the Holocaust.

In October 1945, they immigrated together to British-mandate Palestine by boat, and were detained by the British in the Atlit camp.

Lau lived most of his years in Israel in Ramat Gan. Between 1956 and 1970 he worked for Haaretz, covering the Eichmann trial in 1961, among others. Later he held several public positions, including adviser to Moshe Dayan, defense ministry spokesperson in 1977, and general consul in New York in 1981.

As a consul, he tried to form a Jewish front around Israel. "This is the only way we can surface a unified position facing the administration in the hard road ahead. A Jewish front can strengthen Israel and assure it the support of the media, the House and the Senate – and thus, the administration," he said at the time.

His next position was as director in Israel of the United Jewish Appeal. In recent years he worked as deputy chairman of the WJRO, the World Jewish Restitution Organization.

Journalist and author Naphtali Lavie dies at 88

His funeral will take place on Sunday, December 7, at 3:30 p.m.

Journalist, author, diplomat, and international community leader and activist Naphtali Lau-Lavie died on Saturday. He was 88.

According to Jewish tradition, only the righteous die on Sabbaths and Jewish holidays, and Lau-Lavie, a Holocaust survivor, certainly qualified as a righteous man. Within a few months of his arrival in the Land of Israel after being liberated from Buchenwald, he joined the Hagana and spent almost all of the rest of his life in service to the state and the Jewish people.

He was among those who welcomed a shipload of illegal immigrants on the Herzliya beach; he was a Mossad operator; and he went to Europe to recruit fighters for the War of Independence, in which he served himself. After the war he worked for several newspapers, most notably for Haaretz, where he was military correspondent and later head of the news desk. He served as a spokesman for Moshe Dayan, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Shamir.

In 1981 he was appointed consul- general in New York and after his return home, he headed the Israel Office of the United Jewish Appeal.

He was also vice chairman of the World Jewish Restitution Organization, working tirelessly to learn what happened to Jewish properties that had been confiscated first by the Nazis and then by the communists and conducting negotiations with local and state governments, mostly in Eastern Europe.

On the 71st anniversary of his bar mitzva, Lau-Lavie, together with members of his immediate family, returned to his hometown of Piotrkov in Poland, to once again be called up to the Torah. He prayed in the town where his father, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Lau, a renowned scholar of generations of rabbis, had been rabbi and where Lau had spent so many Sabbaths of his childhood.

The synagogue is now a public library, but former residents of Piotrkov had come from Israel, the United States, and England for a reunion and joined the Lau-Lavie family at Friday night dinner and at synagogue services. Lau-Lavie who had been in ill health in recent years, was already ailing at the time, but was determined to retrace his own and his father’s footsteps with his wife, Joan, and their children.

One of his greatest joys was seeing his brother, Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, who had been entrusted into his care by their mother during the war, follow in their father’s footsteps and become a chief rabbi of Israel. They were the only two members of their family to survive.

Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau’s son, David, is now chief rabbi of Israel, so the tradition has continued. One of Lau-Lavie’s sons, Rabbi Benny Lau, is a well known broadcaster, educator and writer.

Lau-Lavie’s funeral will take place on Sunday, December 7, at 3:30 p.m.

at Beit Hahesped at Har Hamenuhot, Jerusalem.

He is survived by his wife, Joan, three sons, a daughter, and many grandchildren.

He is survived by his wife Joan and four children, including Dr. Rabbi Benny Lau, and grandchildren.

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Naphtali Lau-Lavie / נפתלי לאו-לביא's Timeline

June 23, 1926
Kraków, Kraków County, Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Poland
December 4, 2014
Age 88
December 7, 2014
Age 88
Jerusalem, Jerusalem District, Israel