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The Last Swiss Holocaust Survivors: Keeping the memory alive
Nina Weil survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camps. Photo: Gamaraal Foundation
After the Second World War, 90 per cent of the Holocaust survivors were between 16 and 45 years old. Today, the youngest survivors, who were born in the last phase of the war, are over age 70. Some endured concentration and extermination camps, while others escaped by fleeing or hiding. Portraits of Holocaust Survivors tells the stories of individuals who are among the last survivors and how they carried on with their lives in Switzerland after the war.
For the majority, returning to their homeland was not an option, so they emigrated to Israel or the United States.
It wasn’t until the investigations of the Bergier Commission on dormant assets in the late 1990s that the public became aware of the Holocaust survivors living in Switzerland – most of whom travelled to the country only after the war.
Switzerland – which now presides over the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance that unites governments and experts to strengthen and promote Holocaust education and remembrance globally – sponsored the exhibition on survivors at United Nations Headquarters in New York.