On August 21, Ambassador Emerson met a group of Executive Board members of the World Federation of Jewish Child Survivors of the Holocaust and Descendants. The Ambassador had an opportunity to hear stories first-hand from survivors about being pursued and persecuted as children, making lives for themselves after World War II, and how these experiences affected them and their families. The Ambassador also discussed with the group Mission Germany’s longstanding consultations with German officials on justice for victims of human rights atrocities, not only during the Nazi era, but also since then in other parts of the world.
For the first time, the World Federation is hosting its conference of child survivors of the Holocaust and their families in Germany. Organizers expect over 350 survivors and their families from countries around the world, including the United States, to gather in Berlin and reaffirm their bonds as a community and discuss topics such as coming to terms with the past, telling their stories, and looking at the future of Holocaust education and commemoration. The World Federation was created in the 1980s for child survivors and their families to discuss shared experiences in light of the added stigma and special issues and needs of child survivors – those who fled, were hidden, and usually grew up with adult family members. The World Federation has since united hundreds of child survivors, providing them with opportunities to connect with others who can understand the suffering of their shared past.