1,000 survivors of Hitler’s ‘Final Solution’ pass away every month, according to a study released by Israel’s Survivors’ Welfare Fund on the occasion of International Holocaust Memorial Day, Israel’s Channel 10 reported on Monday.
The Fund’s CEO, Ronny Kallinski said that, “We have a very small window of opportunity to guarantee that Holocaust survivors live the rest of their lives with dignity. Today, survivors are sicker, lonelier and more impoverished than ever before.”
While the data showed that approximately 123 thousand survivors have benefited from aid and assistance provided by the Survivors’ Welfare Fund, the study also revealed some disconcerting facts about the lives of Holocaust survivors living in Israel: 86 percent live on a monthly income of less than NIS 5,000; 66 percent live on less than NIS 3,000.
Overall, the Fund found that approximately 193 thousand survivors live in Israel, Channel 10 said.
This bleak picture of the current state of Israel’s Holocaust survivor community can be summed up with one particular statistic. “The figure of 60,000 survivors who are in need of the Fund’s assistance every year is a red light that is forcing Israeli society to reevaluate the needs of the survivors who remain,” said CEO Kallinski.
Yet while the study focused on the severe difficulties faced by Holocaust survivors living in Israel, the Fund also detected some encouraging signs and trends.
The average age of a Holocaust survivor living in Israel ticked up from 84-years-old in 2012 to 85 in 2013, Channel 10 reported. Also, the Fund’s “Life with Dignity” project, aimed at improving the living conditions of Israel’s Holocaust survivors, successfully renovated its 600th apartment in 2013. Furthermore, between 10 and 14 units have been revamped every week over the last couple of months.
Ronny Kallinski sees such developments as an omen of good things to come, saying that the, “…current government’s policy, along with the acknowledgement that time is working against us, has encouraged changes that we hope will continue.”