Finding Healthcare Justice for Aging Holocaust Survivors
With the youngest among them now in their 70s, Holocaust survivors are facing late-in-life issues compounded by the traumas from the policies of targeted persecution just over seven decades ago. Dementia has returned some to the nightmares of their youth, while social isolation, physical ailments, and other mental health issues stemming from the violence of the period have left many with high care needs as they age.
In the U.S., home to more than 100,000 survivors (most Jewish), politicians have begun calling on the German government to do more for victims, arguing that current caps on assistance leave many survivors struggling. While reparations have expanded since the 1951 establishment of the Claims Conference, questions over who shoulders the burden for late-in-life care have yet to be resolved. The increasing needs that come with aging have reignited debates about Germany’s obligations to those its government systematically disenfranchised, impoverished, and subjected to physical and mental anguish that outlived the liberation of the final concentration camp.
“As Holocaust Becomes More Distant, Survivors’ Needs Intensify“(The New York Times)
“Federal grants to assist Holocaust survivors draw praise, concern” (The Sun-Sentinel)
“Harrowing story of the Holocaust survivors still fighting for a dignified life 75 years on” (The Daily Mirror)
“Romanian Holocaust survivors aging without benefits” (Ynetnews, July 2015)
“Holocaust survivors deported from France can now apply for reparations” (The Washington Post, November 2015)
“Germany to Pay 772 Million Euros to Survivors” (Der Spiegel, May 2013)
(Image Credit: Kacper Pempel/Reuters, via The New York Times)