The Daily Lives of Survivors of the Holocaust
How did the Holocaust influence the survivors' daily lives ?
Holocaust survivors are Jews who came to Israel in two immigration waves:in the 1930's as victims of the Nazi per secution and in the late 1940's as survivors of the "Final Solution".
I began to work on this project confident that I knew quite a bit about the Holocaust. I had read books and I had seen a lot of documentary films. I realize that the experiences of the survivors are more varied than I would have imagined, and they are often miraculous and completely unexpected and very lucky.
Though we are young , we remember that when we were growing up one question that was always asked about survivors. Why did they go to their deaths like sheep to be slaughtered? All the years it was a time when those who did not experience the Holocaust found it to be a subject that was distasteful, and they did not want to be reminded about it. The survivors were reluctant to discuss such fresh and painful topics.
In this project we present the survivors stories and check how the sad experience of Holocaust influenced their life for good. Our research question is :How the Holocaust influenced the survivors' daily life ? The other topics of our project are: The history of the survivors. Survivors' testimonies. Survivors in Israel.
There are nearly 250,000 Holocaust survivors in Israel . Israel is the nation with the largest population of survivors anywhere.
In addition, the medical and thus the financial needs of the population are growing, as even the youngest of the survivors are now well over 60.
About 170,000 of the survivors are now living in poverty . They are entitled neither to the monthly pensions sent other survivors by the government of Germany, Austria and Switzerland nor the pensions supplied by Israeli and international Jewish organizations.Most of the survivors are living alone.
60 years after the war the emotional scars of the survivors are highly visible.
The history of the survivors
Between September 1,1939, when Nazi troops invaded Poland , and Germany's surrender on May 8,1945,Hitler waged two wars. One was against allied forces on three continents. The other one was against the Jews- the Holocaust.
Jews who fell under German control in Eastern and Central Europe were quickly stripped of their rights and property. They were isolated from their neighbors, first by the requirement that they wear stars on their clothing, and then by being herded into crowded ghettos.
As a Final Solution conference held in Berlin, German ministries were informed that the deportations would commence from west to east. Jews by the trainloads arrived in Poland from Germany,Holland and Belgium.Initially placed in transit ghettos before they were deposited directly in the death camps.Meanwhile, one Polish ghetto after another was liquidated.
The balance of power was one sided in the extreme. The deception was as brilliant as it was cynical. The indifference and often hostility of the outside world was a sad reality.
The concept of choice is a major theme in the lives of the survivors who came to Israel. When World War 2 ended, most of the survivors chose to rebuild their lives in other continents and the majority chose to do so in the land of Israel, the land they called home. For some, this was to late, but most discovered vast inner resources to forge new lives for themselves.