An 11-year-old Israeli boy who survived the Mumbai terror attacks almost a decade ago returned for the first time on Tuesday to the house where his parents were killed.
Moshe Holtzberg was two-years-old when Pakistani militants stormed Chabad House on 26 November 2008, killing six people, including Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, who ran the Jewish centre. The assault was part of a series of co-ordinated attacks across the Indian city, including on its main train station, that lasted three days and left 166 people dead.
Moshe was saved by his Indian nanny, Sandra Samuel, who managed to escape. He now lives in Israel with his grandparents.
On Tuesday, Moshe made his first visit to Mumbai since the tragedy. Samuel held his hand
as the pair, along with Moshe's grandfather, battled their way through reporters at Mumbai’s airport after touching down around 8:30 am.
“I’m very happy,” a rather startled looking Moshe told reporters in Hindi.He was later taken to Chabad House in south Mumbai where on Thursday he will join Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the unveiling of a memorial to the victims of the 26/11 attacks.The memorial is for everyone who lost their lives in the attack. While the names of all the victims would be engraved in the garden area, there would be a special corner for Moshe’s parents.
Ahead of Moshe’s visit, Israel Kozlovsky, the centre’s rabbi, said that it would be a very emotional occasion.“This is the place where he got his last hug from his father and mother,” he said.
Samuel has said she found Moshe standing crying over the bodies of his parents and grabbed him before fleeing the house to safety. She also lives in Israel now.