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German grandson of Nazis volunteers in IDF, seeks to enlist to support Israel's war effort

Edgar standing outside the Knesset with a sign that reads in Hebrew "I want to enlist in the IDF" (Photo courtesy)

A 23-year-old non-Jewish German man is trying to enlist in the IDF after having volunteered in Israel since January, reported the Mako news outlet.

After witnessing the events of the Oct. 7 massacre in Israel unfold in the news, Edgar immediately felt compelled to help.

“I was sitting at home watching the Jews go through something resembling the Holocaust. I texted my friends to see if they were okay, but I felt like I had to do something,” Edgar explained.

Remarkably, Edgar’s grandparents were members of the German Nazi party during World War II.

“October 7 basically showed that the IDF is the only thing protecting Jewish people and the Jewish state,” Edgar added.

He arrived in Israel in January and volunteered on various military bases and soon after decided he wanted to help the Israeli military in its war effort by enlisting in the IDF.

Edgar receives a certificate of appreciation for volunteer work in the IDF (Photo courtesy)

Edgar contacted government offices, including the Ministry of Interior, but his wish to enlist was rejected each time.

“I basically went from recruitment office to recruitment office to recruitment unit and whenever I called someone new, the answer was pretty much the same: ‘We can’t help you, but maybe they can help you.'” he said.

Ultimately Edgar decided to sit in front of the Knesset (parliament) building in Jerusalem with a sign, hoping to persuade members of Knesset to intervene on his behalf.

“I’m pretty sure I’m going to join the army and there is no way I am going to give up,” he said. “Even if I don't succeed in enlisting, I have no doubt that I would do it all over again. It was an amazing experience [coming to Israel],” he shared. “Most of my ancestors… were Nazis. Some of them served in the Wehrmacht. How could these people, whom I met as very nice people, do these horrible things?"

Edgar also said antisemitism in Germany was on the rise and that he received threats because of his pro-Israel stance. He explained, “Recently they … tried to leak my address and tried to intimidate me from what I am doing here [in Israel]. I lost a lot of friends over the course of my life, but I also gained very good friends that stayed.”

Edgar is covered in tattoos and one of them is in his Hebrew.

“Leolam lo od [Never again]. It was the first tattoo that I ever got – when I was 16. I had it tattooed on my arm so that whenever I look at my arm, I see it and am reminded of the right thing to do.”

Edgar has a message to Israel and its people:

“There are way more people that actually support Israel and understand what is going on that it may seem sometimes, so stay hopeful, stay put and you will never be on your knees again.”

Edgar plans to spend his time in Israel continuing his quest to enlist in the IDF until his tourist visa expires.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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