Ukrainian Holocaust survivors find refuge in Germany
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Amid the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, groups of elderly, frail Ukrainian Holocaust survivors have been safely evacuated to Germany – the very country which unleashed the Holocaust and murdered six million Jews during WW2, the Associated Press (AP) reports.
Germany had registered 250,000 Ukrainian refugees last week, although the number is likely much higher as no visas are required for entry. Among the refugees are 3,500 Jews of all ages, including very sick and vulnerable Holocaust survivors. All the Jewish refugees are being offered a special path to permanent immigration, AP said.
Working to evacuate Holocaust survivors from Ukraine, Ruediger Mahlo of the Claims Conference in Germany said in a statement: “No one can imagine the nightmare survivors have lived through during the Holocaust. Getting them to a secure place of comfort and providing all we can is a top priority for us. Everybody was working like crazy, but still, it is a miracle that we got them out successfully.”
The survivors have been taken to Jewish or interfaith nursing homes across Germany, where some told AP about German kindness to them.“When I was a little girl, I had to flee from the Germans with my mom to Uzbekistan, where we had nothing to eat and I was so scared of all those big rats there,” Larisa Dzuenko said. “All my life I thought the Germans were evil, but now they were the first ones to reach out to us and rescue us.”
Germany has publicly repented of the Holocaust, not just in words but in ongoing actions such as extensive financial reparation to survivors and the offer of citizenship to them and their descendants. Nazi flags, statues, and other Nazi memorablia were taken down immediately after WW2, and their use is banned in the country.
Upon arriving in a good safe place in Germany, Ukrainian survivor Tatanya Zhuravliova told AP: “To me, it looks like this country has learned from the past and is trying to do something good for us now.”
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