Sabonim - Sabra mistreatment of Holocaust Survivors
A couple of things I found so far on the Internet:
Moshe Sanbar, chairman of the Center of Organizations of Holocaust Survivors in Israel - an umbrella organization for 29 groups and 300,000 survivors - links the lack of interest to the survivors themselves.
"Israeli survivors did not want to have anything to do with these issues," he says. "They wanted to close the book on the Holocaust."
Sanbar traces this attitude to survivors' experiences just after their liberation from the death camps and arrival in the nascent Jewish state. "They called us the sabonim," he says - using Hebrew slang for "cowards." But it also sounds like the Hebrew word "sabon," or soap, which survivors perceived as a reference to the soap the Nazis made from Jewish corpses.
With some justice, survivors arriving in Israel felt stigmatized. Israelis were creating a "new Jew," symbolized by the suntanned kibbutznik working the fields or the fearless underground fighter. They looked down on the passivity of European Jews, who they felt went like sheep to the slaughter. Eager to fit into Israeli society, Sanbar says, many survivors tried to shake off their Holocaust experiences.
Here is another:
“It’s all lies,” she shouted. “They didn’t want us, any of us, didn’t matter where we came from, what we had been through. On the contrary, it was precisely because of what had happened to us that they wanted nothing to do with us.
“They even discussed building a second dining hall so they wouldn’t have to eat with us, the sabonim. That’s what they called us: sabonim, nothing but bars of soap. Because the Germans are supposed to have made soap out of Jewish corpses.”
I was shocked into silence. It seemed beyond belief, such a level of hostility, such cruel contempt. Perhaps she had misunderstood? Edith shook her head. I had never seen her look so grim.
“In a way, I wish they had put us in a different dining room. As it was, the sabras, the old-timers, always kept themselves to themselves, joking in Hebrew. They would glance across at us from time to time, so it was obvious they were talking about us.”
“‘Us’? So you weren’t quite alone.” “Yes and no. There was a woman from one of the camps who had lost her husband and two children. She didn’t last long: hanged herself in the kitchen one night.