P. 179

       Three of the injured in the terrorist attack: Walter Eytan, Gershon Avner, Aura Herzog (a later photo)
Aura Herzog, who had married Chaim Herzog, the son of the Chief Rabbi Yitzhak (Isaac) HaLevi Herzog, less than a year before, had arrived at the building for an unscheduled visit. Even her husband – a regular employee of the building due to his position – was unaware of it. She was accompanied by Dr. Aharon Katchalsky (Katzir), who at the time had established the Hemed – the Science Corp of the "Haganah", that would soon become the IDF. Herzog wrote in his memoirs: "I did not know that she had set to meet with Leo Cohen, the Political Secretary of the Agency, that day. At the time, Leo sat in Golda Meir's room, right above the entrance to the building. My office was further down the hall." Suddenly "a huge explosion" was heard, as Chaim Herzog recalled it, "and the world around me blackened. For a brief moment I did not know what was happening to me. When I recovered and opened the door, a heavy cloud of dust burst in. Gradually, ghostly images began groping their way out of the ruins. Blood was visible everywhere."
Herzog described the horror he saw with his own eyes:
Reuven Shiloah was injured in his cheek (which would bear a scar from this moment onward); Blood streamed from the forehead of Eliyahu Sasson, who would eventually become Minister of Postal Service and the Minister of Police; Gershon Avner, the future Cabinet Secretary, who was in a nearby office, was covered in blood and blinded due to glass shards that penetrated his eyes.
But as far as Herzog was concerned, despite not being injured – the worst was yet to come. He burst into the corridor and saw his wife Aura laying on the floor, in the rubble, injured and bleeding. "What are you doing here," she yelled – and passed out. With the help of Aharon Katzir, Herzog carried her to the ambulance waiting outside. The ambulance left the building's parking lot, its driver activating its sirens and speeding to the "Bikur Cholim" Hospital, about a kilometer from the National Institutions Building.

   177   178   179   180   181