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April 20, 2020 2:26 pm
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On Holocaust Remembrance Day, Data Shows 189,500 Survivors Live in Israel

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Survivors at the Dachau concentration camp cheer their liberation by US soldiers. Photo: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.

On the eve of Israel’s annual Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Finance Ministry’s Holocaust Survivors Rights Authority stated there were 189,500 survivors currently living in Israel.

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, there were to be no public ceremonies to mark the occasion, and the main official memorial was filmed in advance at the Holocaust museum Yad Vashem in Jerusalem without an audience. It was to be broadcast at 8 p.m. Monday night throughout Israel.

The traditional one-minute sounding of the country’s air raid sirens in memory of the victims of the Holocaust will take place Tuesday at 10 a.m.

The Israeli news site Walla reported that, according to the Rights Authority, 77% of Israel’s Holocaust survivors were 80 years old or above, 16% over 90 and 800 are over 100 years old. Their average age is 83.9. The majority, 60%, are women.

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European-born survivors are 64% of the total: 36% from the former Soviet Union, 12% from Romania, 6% from Poland, 3% from Bulgaria, 2% from Hungary and 1% each from Germany and the former Czechoslovakia.

Of non-European survivors, 36% are from Morocco or Algeria, who lived under the pro-Nazi Vichy French regime. 11% are from Baghdad, where another pro-Nazi regime engaged in the Farhud pogrom, killing many and forcing others into exile. Another 7% are from Tunisia and Libya, where the Nazi presence was strong.

German and Austrian survivors were the earliest immigrants to Israel, with 66% arriving before the state was founded in 1948. After the establishment of the state, 26% of the survivors immigrated to Israel by 1951, and 34% after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989.

The city with the largest population of survivors is Haifa with 13,300. Some 11,600 live in Jerusalem, 10,500 in Tel Aviv and 9,350 in Ashdod.

More than 15,000 survivors passed away over the past year, at an average of 41 per day.

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