Monday, April 16, 2007

Yizkor - Remember


Yizkor - Remember, originally uploaded by Daedalus42.

Today is Yom Hazikaron Lashoa ve la Gvurah – Holocaust Remembrance Day. Literally translated as “The Day of Remembrance for the Holocaust and Bravery”*.

Today we need to remember the millions that were slaughtered because of who they are: the Jews in World War II, as well many other minorities at the time, such as the gypsies, homosexual, and many children and adults who were sick or disabled. But the genocide nightmare continues to this day, and we should not forget the Armenian Genocide, the Kurdish Genocide and the more recent genocides in Rwanda and now in Darfour. People are murdered every day because of their ethnicity, religion or political views and the world stands by and does nothing for the most part, except for some minor things that probably help the helpers more than the situation and the people who are being murdered.

Another thing that I would like to bring up today is the extreme misery that many Holocaust survivors are experiencing to this very day. This year, the state of Israel dedicates the Holocaust Remembrance Day to preserve the stories before the generation of Holocaust survivors disappears. Perhaps if the state of Israel took better care of the survivors and gave them their basic needs such as food, shelter and medications, they would trust us feel more comfortable sharing their stories with us. Unfortunately, as many as 80,000 Holocaust survivors are living in extreme poverty and barely manage to survive the daily hardship of old age. Ironically, some even prefer to move to a different country, Germany for instance, where they are getting better care and are not required to pay for medication and health care. The money that belongs to them from the moneys and properties belonging to Holocaust victims as well as the compensation money from Germany seems to have been lost somewhere in the Israely and Jewish beurocracy systems, or were already used to build the state of Israel in its early days.

Related articles and links:

YNet: Few Holocaust survivors get subsidized health care

Haaretz: For a handful of shattered people, little will do

BBC: Holocaust survivors 'in poverty'

Haaretz: When being thrifty is unjust

Petitions:

One third of all Israeli Holocaust survivors are stricken by poverty!

If you know of more petitions on the matter, please let me know.

* The word “bravery” refers in particular to the few who attempted to resist the Nazis. This date was chosen to commemorates the uprising in the Getto of Warshaw.

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4 Comments:

At April 17, 2007 2:55 AM, Blogger helg said...

I am joining your prayer for a solution in the ongoing problems in the middle east and the respect with which victims of genocides should be treated in general.

I am especially touched you chose to mention as well the disabled and sick, the gypsies, the homosexuals (because Nazis were about the extermination of all those) and the victims of other important genocides happening all over the planet.
Thanks and may the world see the errors of its ways before it is too late....

 
At April 17, 2007 11:01 PM, Anonymous Flora said...

I am shocked by the information about the survivors who do not get the care they need - how can this be? If they cannot find refuge in Israel of all places, it makes no sense. I hope something is being done for these poor souls.

All of us must keep fighting to withstand the onslaught of those who would have us believe it never happened, or that it was somehow the fault of the victims. If we fail to honor those who really lived through the worst part of it, how can we claim to stand up for anyone?

 
At April 19, 2007 8:28 AM, Blogger Ayala Sender said...

Helg,

Thank you for your comment and for sharing your point of view. May peace and understanding rule in this world rather than hatred and greed.

 
At April 19, 2007 8:29 AM, Blogger Ayala Sender said...

Flora,

This is terrible indeed. I was in Israel on the Holocaust Remembrance Day, and prior and during that day this was the most talked about topic. There was a provocative documentary broadcasted about that, two journalists that tried to track down where the money is and who's in in charge etc. a-la-Michael Moore's style. It was terrible to see how the survivors suffer and don't get the treatment they deserve from their government. Learning those details make me feel ashamed being an Israeli. I wish there was something I could suggest we do, but I don't know that there is.

I have just edited this post to add a few links to related articles, and one link to a petition. Please sign it to support the survivors!

Many thanks,

Ayala

 

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