Holocaust survivor leaders from here in Flroida and across the United States have sent a letter to Pope Francis asking that he intervene with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to persuade the German government to provide desperately needed financial support for the tens of thousands of Holocaust survivors worldwide who are living in poverty and suffering from unique and complex medical and mental health needs stemming from the actions of the German Nazi regime in the Holocaust.
"We are asking Your Holiness to apply your moral authority directly with today's Government of the Federal Republic of Germany to provide the promised, owed, and much needed compensation which was first promised by Chancellor Adenauer in the 1950s 'to care for survivors until their last breath.'"
The survivors cited the Pontiff's recent comments that "the great powers looked away and failed to take the military and other actions to prevent the murder of millions of Jews during World War II."
Today, while German Government under Chancellor Merkel may not be looking away, it is clear that the tragic, widespread suffering among survivors could and must be addressed by Germany providing 100 percent of the necessary resources to provide survivors with dignity in their final years, the Holocaust leaders said.
"Half of our fellow Holocaust survivors worldwide live in poverty," they said. "Survivors suffer from unique medical and mental health needs, identified by medical professionals, that resulted from or are exacerbated by our maltreatment under the Nazi German regime and its partners and industries, with the death camps, labor camps, medical experiments, torture, starvation, and death marches, which have left their brutal legacy till this very hour."
The survivors concluded optimistically: "We believe that if the plight of our brothers and sisters were made known to the German people, with your personal intervention, they will support the greatly needed and necessary funding levels to alleviate survivors' suffering."
As further support for their plea, the Holocaust Survivors Foundation released a powerful video and petition to Chancellor Merkel on YouTube (see below).
The Holocaust Survivors Foundation USA is a coalition of elected Holocaust survivor leaders from California, New York, Florida, Massachusetts, Virginia, Connecticut, Washington State, Nevada and Washington, D.C.