In 2021, the Federal Foreign Office will provide 700,000 euro to AMCHA, the support organisation for Holocaust survivors and their families. The funds will primarily help provide psychosocial support services to the children of Holocaust survivors, as well as help fund research on how trauma is passed on from one generation to the next. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas today (26 January) issued the following statement in this regard:
For many survivors, the horrors of the Holocaust have remained with them long beyond the end of the Second World War. Many suffer trauma and other psychological burdens into the last years of their lives. The lives of many children of Holocaust survivors have also been overshadowed by the terrible things their parents experienced. Many say the Shoa was always present during their childhood, and that it was associated with feelings of guilt and fear.
This makes it all the more important for them, too, to receive professional support and services. In addition to assisting survivors, the organisation AMCHA also works hard and with great devotion to help all those affected. I had the opportunity to see this myself when I visited one of their centres in Israel. So I am very pleased that, this year, we are for the first time also supporting the very important psychosocial services that AMCHA is providing to the second and third generation, as well as its trauma research. We know that Germany’s responsibility for the Holocaust, that worst crime in the history of humanity, will never end.
AMCHA (which means “one of us” in Hebrew) is the largest institution in Israel devoted to helping Holocaust survivors and their families, and one of the largest organisations in the world working in this field. In Israel alone, it provides therapeutic services to more than 18,000 individuals every year, as well as opportunities for people to reach out to each other and build support networks at AMCHA centres.
With help from the German Bundestag, the Federal Foreign Office is providing 700,000 euro to AMCHA in 2021, whereby for the first time a special focus is being placed on the subsequent generations. Some 15% of children of Holocaust survivors – in Israel, approximately 15,000 people – struggle with some form of psychological disorder due to their parents’ traumatic experiences.
More information is available at www.amcha.de