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Coronavirus Lockdown Deepens Holocaust Survivors' Loneliness

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tags: Holocaust, Israel, Holocaust Remembrance Day, coronavirus



JERUSALEM — Elias Feinzilberg, a 102-year-old Holocaust survivor, had to commemorate Israel's annual memorial day for the six million Jewish dead on Tuesday separated from his family because of the coronavirus lockdown.

From his third-floor Jerusalem home, he blew kisses to his daughter, grandchildren and great-grandchildren who stood in the street below to be with him, at a safe distance, as a siren sounded across Israel to honour those who perished.

"It pains me that I cannot be with my family, with my friends," said Feinzilberg from his window.

Below, his family members, including five of his 19 great-grandchildren, brandished a sign that read "Remembering close-by, embracing from afar", part of a nationwide campaign to show solidarity with Israel's roughly 190,000 Holocaust survivors at this time of coronavirus lockdown and enforced separation.

As the siren sounded, his family bowed their heads and then waved to Feinzilberg.

The average age of the survivors today is 84, putting them in the highest risk group for COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus.

Israel, which has about nine million people, has reported 13,833 confirmed COVID-19 cases to date, including 181 deaths.

Feinzilberg, born in Poland in 1917, was imprisoned with his family in the Lodz ghetto after the Nazi German invasion at the start of World War Two in 1939. His father perished there and his mother and sisters were murdered at the Chelmno death camp.

Read entire article at The New York Times

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