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Friday, May 24, 2024

245,000 Jewish survivors of Holocaust are still alive: Report reveals

he report highlights the vast discrepancy between pre-war Jewish populations and the survivors who emerged from the ghettos, death camps, or hiding places.

Approximately eight decades after the Holocaust, a recent report has unveiled that roughly 245,000 Jewish survivors persist worldwide, scattered across more than 90 countries. This revelation stems from a comprehensive study conducted by the New York-based Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, commonly known as the Claims Conference. The report, titled “Holocaust Survivors Worldwide: A Demographic Overview,” sheds light on the distribution of survivors as of August.

Among the survivors, 49% currently reside in Israel, constituting almost half of the total population. The study further delineates that 18% are situated in Western Europe, 16% in the United States, and 12% in the countries of the former Soviet Union. These statistics provide a clearer understanding of the global dispersion of Holocaust survivors, a demographic previously marked by vague estimates.

The demographic report underscores the urgency of acknowledging the dwindling numbers of survivors, whose advanced age and fragile health contribute to a median age of 86. Distinctly, 20% of survivors are older than 90, with a notable gender disparity—61% are women, and 39% are men.

The report emphasizes that 96% of survivors fall into the category of “child survivors,” born after 1928. Greg Schneider, the executive vice president of the Claims Conference, emphasizes the need to view the individuals behind these statistics, underscoring the harrowing experiences they endured during the Holocaust, facing a world that sought their destruction.

Very few left in Germany

Reflecting on the historical context, the Holocaust claimed the lives of six million European Jews and individuals from other minority groups at the hands of the Nazis and their collaborators. The report highlights the vast discrepancy between pre-war Jewish populations and the survivors who emerged from the ghettos, death camps, or hiding places.

In Germany, a nation deeply entwined with the Holocaust’s tragic history, the Jewish community faced drastic reductions in population. From 3.3 million Jews in 1939, only about 300,000 survived in Poland, and in Germany, where 560,000 Jews lived in 1933, their numbers dwindled to approximately 15,000 by 1945. Despite subsequent growth post-1990, with over 215,000 Jewish migrants arriving from the former Soviet Union, only 14,200 survivors remain in Germany today.

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The Claims Conference’s report provides valuable insights not only into the statistical landscape but also into the profound individual stories of resilience and survival that characterize the lives of these Holocaust survivors. The German government’s ongoing commitment to compensation programs, with an extension of $1.4 billion for 2024, underscores the ongoing responsibility to address the enduring repercussions of Nazi persecution, with more than $90 billion already disbursed since 1952.