Just imagine– people who survived the Holocaust of WWII. A time when Adolf Hitler was ruling Germany beginning in 1933. The old black and white pictures, the news reels of tanks, bombers and battlefields littered with dead soldiers. The war lasted until 1945. Next year, 2015, is the 70th anniversary of the end of that war.
Many of the Survivors we visit and have come to know were children during the war, born around 1936 to 1943. These dates would mean they are between the ages of 71 to 78 years old today. They have memories of the war, some sharper than others, but still experiencing nightmares. Due to the lack of food and vitamins in their childhood, it has affected them physically and their health is quickly declining. Most plan carefully when they will go out but prefer to stay home.
Smaller numbers of the Survivors were adults during this time but still enough of them to amaze us with their will to live. Many are still in the same “survivor” mode that helped them live through terrible conditions, creating a false sense of health as they seem to live on and on. Born between 1924 to 1934, today they are 80 to 90 years old. Their memories are often clear, including details, smells and sound. They have night terrors even after all these years, are plagued with health issues and many no longer leave their homes.
There are a few… imagine being born in 1914, turning 100 years old this year, and still your body continues to live on. Your short term memory is not very good anymore, but you remember the past with a clarity you wish was not there. All the sounds, sights and smells repeat every time you are alone, which is all too often. Your health is gone along with your teeth, hair and many times, family. Maybe you have not left your apartment for ten years, or more. You have amazed everyone by surviving cancer, operations, falls and outlived everyone you ever loved.
These are the people who long for a visit, someone to write about their family, to read a few words of encouragement and love. These are the people we want families around the world to “adopt” so the Survivor can experience family once again in their final years.
* They are not pen pals and most likely will not write back.
* They cannot travel and meet you somewhere when you visit Israel
* They would not be pleased for you or your friend to suddenly show up at their door; they would be scared and frightened…
They do want to have letters, pictures, cards and know someone actually does care about them, really does love them * They sometimes have children and/or grandchildren who want to know who you are
* They sometimes are active and involved, trying to hold onto life; they still need to know someone cares about them
* They all want to be remembered. They want to know they will not be forgotten when they are gone.
Time is almost up. The sand in the hourglass will soon stop falling as it will all be gone. Please, help them. There are thousands of those who survived the Holocaust, but they are struggling to survive the life sentence they have been given. They are overcome by the past, by memories that threaten to bury them alive. Reaching out to them can bring them new life.
Adopt a Survivor and write new memories on their hearts. The application is on the Apply to Adopt page.
Remember them- they will remember you.
Promising not to forget,