web analytics
September 23, 2014 / 28 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Holocaust Survivors’

Maryland School Bus Kills Holocaust Survivor

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

A school bus killed a 91-year-old Holocaust survivor as he was crossing a street in a Maryland suburb of Washington.

Elia Miranski was using a walker when the bus hit him in Silver Spring near Washington D.C., on Wednesday, the Silver Spring Patch news site reported. He died later that day in a hospital.

The bus was returning students to Hammond Middle School in Howard County after a field trip to the White House, according to police. None of the 14 students or two chaperones on board were hurt, nor was the driver.

The school brought in crisis counselors for students and parents, the WBALTV television channel reported.

Authorities said Miranski had safely crossed the southbound lanes of Columbia Pike and was attempting to cross the northbound lanes when he was struck, CBS reported.

Montgomery County police believe the first two lanes of northbound traffic crossed by Miranski were stopped on a red, left-turn arrow. The bus was traveling on a green signal when it struck the man. The driver was identified by CBS as 52-year-old Lori Jean Latimer of Elkridge and the incident is under investigation.

Miranski, who was born in Poland, had escaped from German soldiers during the Holocaust, the Washington Post reported. He later fought in World War II in the Soviet military.

Last May, Miranski gave the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum an oral account of his escape. The recording is available on the museum’s website.

Increase in Benefits for Holocaust Survivors Sails Through Knesset

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Thousands more Holocaust survivors in Israel will receive benefits under a law just passed by the Knesset.

The law received its third and final reading and was passed by unanimous vote on Monday, Feb. 10.

The law does several things: first, it makes eligible all 18,500 Israelis who survived the death camps and the ghettos during World War II, not just the 6,000 who had already been receiving welfare assistance; and second, survivors will receive the benefit in cash, instead of in vouchers for services. The benefit amounts to more than $1,000 per individual.

The cost of the program is estimated at 6o million NIS.

The new law also includes a retroactive payment to 2013.

Many elderly Holocaust survivors in Israel, as well as in the United States and other countries, live in poverty.

“This bill will benefit survivors, but it’s a fraction of what is needed,” Labor, Welfare and Health Committee chairman Haim Katz (Likud Beytenu) said when the panel approved it last month.

“We need to make sure Holocaust survivors get all they deserve,” he added.

JTA content was used in this report.

White House Names First Envoy for Holocaust Survivor Services

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

The White House on Friday announced the appointment of Aviva Sufian as the first Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Special Envoy for U.S. Holocaust Survivor Services.

Vice President Joe Biden had announced the formation of the new position in December 2013. Sufian “will focus on those [Holocaust] survivors currently living in poverty, as well as those who may not be receiving services for which they are currently eligible,” according to the White House.

“She will coordinate with colleagues at HHS and across the Federal government to advance programs that help Holocaust survivors, including national service programs such as AmeriCorps VISTA,” the White House said. “She will also collaborate with nonprofit organizations and the private sector to raise awareness about the needs of this vulnerable population and explore public-private partnerships that could provide additional support.”

According to the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), one-quarter of Holocaust survivors in the U.S. are living at or near the federal poverty line.

“We are thrilled to be working with Ms. Sufian as we launch this new effort to provide Holocaust survivors the support they need to live in dignity,” said Michael Siegal, chair of the JFNA Board of Trustees.

Sufian is currently director of regional operations for the HHS Administration for Community Living, and previously served as senior advisor at the Social Security Administration.

Germany to Pay Amsterdam Jews for ‘Voluntary’ Ghetto Labor

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

More than 1,000 people have applied for new compensation of a one-time payment of $2,700 from Germany for labor performed in Amsterdam’s Jewish ghetto during the Holocaust.

The compensation is offered to people who lived in three districts of the Dutch capital that served as ghettos for the city’s Jewish community during the German occupation and performed voluntary labor there, the ANP Dutch news agency reported.

The distribution of money for the labor was announced this week by the Dutch Union for Holocaust Survivors, which is known in the Netherlands by its Dutch-language acronym, VBV.

Some 1,200 applicants have submitted requests for payment as compensation for labor performed in the so-called Jodenbuurt in central Amsterdam, the Rivierenbuurt area in the capital’s south and Transvaalbuurt, east of the center, according to VBV.

“Dutch Jews were driven out of their professions and forced into ghettos before their deportation to concentration camps,” VBV Chairwoman Flory Neter told ANP. “In the ghettos of Amsterdam they often did random chores such as sewing bags to feed their families. It wasn’t forced labor but they were coerced to live in the ghettos so it wasn’t voluntary either.”

VBV has negotiated for years with the German government to obtain the compensation and lost a lawsuit against Germany, but was able to obtain the payments in further talks.

Among those eligible for payments are Holocaust survivors who worked in the ghettos as children, Neter also said.

Senate Considers Plight of Impoverished Holocaust Survivors

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

The U.S. Senate’s Special Committee on Aging held a hearing on the plight of Holocaust survivors in the United States.

Both Republicans and Democrats on the committee said at the Wednesday hearing that survivors are better off aging at home.

“The emphasis on caring for aging survivors must be on creating a safe space surrounded by a trusting caretaker, familiar environment, and a basic sense of control over daily life,” said Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), the committee chair.

“For many of these seniors, this means staying in their homes to receive medical care in their twilight years, a model of care not supported by the traditional Medicaid model, for instance,” Nelson said, referring to the federal medical funding program for the impoverished.

According to the Senate committee, one fourth of the roughly 140,000 survivors in America live at or below the poverty line, the Washington Jewish Week reported.

Many face significant health and mental illnesses beyond normal aging due to nutritional deprivation and the lack of medical care during World War II.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), the committee’s top Republican, said institutional living presents added challenges for survivors.

“The emotional triggers that can be set off by institutional care can be devastating for them,” she said. “Things that other residents would likely ignore can take aging Holocaust survivors psychologically and emotionally back to their traumatic youth or childhood. Confinement is an institutional setting with certain rules, schedules and uniformed staff can literally bring back nightmares. Everyday experiences — showers, doctors, hunger, a lack of privacy — can trigger flashbacks and nightmares.”

Vice President Joe Biden last month laid out a program to assist impoverished Holocaust survivors, including appointing a Health Department envoy to the community and creating additional capacity for volunteers to help the survivors.

Jack Rubin, a constituent of Nelson’s and a survivor of several Nazi concentration and death camps, said many Holocaust survivors are living below the poverty line and can’t afford two hearing aids let alone someone to come into their house daily to help out. He suggested that the German government should contribute.

“U.S. taxpayers are already burdened enough,” he said, adding, “We are not schnorrers. We are not beggars. What we are asking for is what we deserve.”

Besides Rubin and Anat Bar-Cohen, a daughter of survivors, several organizational leaders testified for the need for increased funding, including the Jewish Federations of North America and Selfhelp, a community services organization that helps survivors living in New York.

“Living in poverty, plagued by immeasurable loss, they are at risk of falling into isolation and despair,” Lee Sherman, the president of the Association of Jewish Family and Children’s Agencies, said in his testimony.

The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany provided written testimony.

Lithuanian Jews to Get Compensation for Holocaust, Soviet Occupation

Friday, November 8th, 2013

Government officials in Lithuania said they would offer symbolic reparations to nearly 1,800 Jewish Holocaust survivors.

The officials told the Baltic News Agency on Wednesday that each survivor will receive a payment of $622 this year. The compensation was also for “suffering during the Soviet occupation,” according to the announcement.

Lithuanian governments have faced criticism by international bodies, including the Simon Wiesenthal Center, for drawing parallels between Nazism and communism.

In 2011, the Lithuanian Parliament voted to offer Holocaust survivors and the Jewish community compensation for assets seized during the Holocaust. The government set up a $50 million fund to support the “religious, cultural and social” needs of Lithuania’s Jewish community.

Lithuania had a Jewish population of 250,000 in 1939, but 95 percent of its Jews were murdered during the Holocaust by Nazi soldiers and Lithuanian collaborators. Today Lithuania has some 5,000 Jews, according to the European Jewish Congress.

Holocaust Hideout in Warsaw Destroyed by Polish Couple

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

A Polish couple pleaded guilty to the desecration of a historic site for destroying a Holocaust-era Jewish hideout in the Warsaw apartment the couple was renting. The hideout was made into an official historic monument in 1999.

A Holocaust hideout built by a Warsaw ghetto inmate was destroyed by a polish couple who pleaded guilty to the desecration of historical property.

Dariusz P. and Elzbieta P. were indicted after their actions were discovered in 2012. They had removed the wardrobe hideout to make space for a kitchen. The original hiding place was built by Warsaw ghetto inmate Leon Jolson.

He and his wife, who survived the Holocaust, hid their family there from 1942 until September 1944, but his mother died while in hiding, the Associated Press reported.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/holocaust-hideout-in-warsaw-destroyed-by-polish-couple/2013/09/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: