Holocaust survivors, who are first-person testimony to the Nazi death machine, are disappearing. On the eve of Holocaust Memorial and Remembrance Day, statistics show that their death rate in Israel is 35 a day – 13,000 a year.
The Welfare of Holocaust Survivors Foundation reported that 208,000 Holocaust survivors remain in Israel, a decline of 26,000 from 2009. The decline of the number of living survivors coincides with increasing anti-Semitic campaigns that deny, belittle and even mock the Holocaust. The Palestinian Authority teaches the Holocaust denial doctoral dissertation of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas throughout its educational curriculum.
Only three percent of Holocaust survivors in Israel are under the age of 70, while half of them are over the age of 80. Projected figures indicate that only 145,000 survivors will still be alive in 2015.
Their most common health problems are hypertension, heart disease, chronic neck and back pain and arthritis. A study has shown that 92 percent of Holocaust survivors live in their home community, while the others are in institutional housing.
The Holocaust Welfare fund assists approximately 60,000 survivors, nearly three times the number of those who required financial help in 2005.
Chairman of the Foundation for Holocaust Victims Elazar Stern said, "Our data show that in the coming years due to aging, the needs of needy Holocaust survivors still will continue to grow…. The younger generation will not forgive us if we do not deal respectfully with the older generation."