Jewish Child Survivors - Lost Childhood



The histories of the child survivors have not yet been adequately brought to the attention of research and the public. Some people have come to terms with the trauma they suffered and as successful artists and writers have bequeathed the world significant testimonies.

Others have made substantial contributions to science or economy. But others suffered breakdowns due to post traumatic stress disorders. Many child survivors have raised families and are proud of their grandchildren and great grandchildren. But others were never again able to perceive assurance or warmth and overcome the loneliness.

With increasing age the child survivors experience the painful cracks in their own identity. They suffer the permanent burden of the grief and the pain that they were not allowed to live out as children.


Finding solidarity with people with similar experiences can have a healing effect and replace the lost family. This is why towards the end of the 1980s the child survivors began to join forces and establish organizations that represent their interests. The activities of the organizations and groups that exist worldwide are many and varied. They are united in the World Federation of Jewish Child survivors of the Holocaust and Descendants and the Center of Organizations of Holocaust Survivors in Israel.

Child survivors worldwide

There are 400,000 to 450,000 child survivors living all over the world; almost half of them live in Israel, about 100,000 in the USA and some 80,000 in former Soviet Union countries.

Family and support

All over the world centers of organizations and voluntary groups support Child Survivors and acknowledge their history, trying to take care with medical or psychological help, offering the possibilities of meetings, dialogues with youngsters or creative courses. To name only a few of them: The Centre of Organizations of Holocaust Survivors and AMCHA in Israel, the Czech public service organization Zivá Pamet, TAMACH in Switzerland, Zentralwohlfahrtstelle der Juden in Deutschland, or programs run by The American Joint Distribution Committee and other Jewish agencies with the financial support of the Claims Conference in e.g. Ukraine, Poland, the United States and other countries.



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