For Holocaust survivors, help must come now

9 Jun , ESLI in Media, News

Within a few years, about half of the world’s 500,000 Shoah survivors will pass away, and the opportunity will be missed to ameliorate their suffering.

On May 27, 1942, the Czech underground assassinated Reinhard Heydrich, number 3 in the Nazi hierarchy, among the architects of the Final Solution and a believer in cruelty to the Czech people. Last Wednesday, on the anniversary of the assassination, a conference was held in Czernin Palace, which was the Nazi headquarters in Prague, in the hall in which Heydrich would speak from time to time. Participating in the conference were representatives from 39 countries and 54 civil organizations. The conference was entitled “Living with Dignity: International Conference on Welfare for Holocaust Survivors and Other Victims of Nazi Persecution.”

The conference at the palace, which today houses the Czech Foreign Ministry, was organized by the European Shoah Legacy Institute. The ESLI was established in Prague following the last conference, which concluded with the Terezin Declaration of 2009, signed by 47 countries. The signatories pledged to assist the organization in working to return private and public assets stolen during the Holocaust, particularly art treasures, and to care for the welfare of Jewish survivors and other victims – Gypsies, Soviet prisoners of war and people with political or sexual preferences that went against the Nazi doctrine. The purpose of last week’s conference was to examine what had been accomplished since the signing of the declaration six years ago, and what could still be done.

For the whole article, written by Dina Porat, one of the moderators of the International Welfare Conference, click here.