Phoenix out of the Ashes

Phoenix out of the Ashes – Post-Soviet Child Survivors

Our networking reveals how the Jewish spirit prevails under the most adverse circumstances. We share this experience with “Phoenix”, which is
the “other” group in Germany, the Association for Post-Soviet Child Survivors.

Only in fairy tales does it look easy to “rise like a phoenix out of the ashes”. Very few Jewish children survived the persecution of the Nazis in Eastern Europe, and those who finally managed to come as immigrants to Germany have adopted “Phoenix” as part of their name to cope with and
try to overcome the impacts of the disaster.

Since 2009 CSD has been cooperating with Phoenix and the “Bundesassoziation der Holocaust – Überlebenden, Immigranten aus dem
postsowjetischen Raum e.V.”, the association of Holocaust survivors, who emigrated from the post-Soviet region. See
and with president Dr. Alexej Heistver in Wismar. At Bad Sobernheim he contributed an impressive report on the persecution by the Nazis and about ensuing difficult times in the former Soviet Union, and finally about the limited support now given in Germany to post-Soviet immigrants. Phoenix 2014 has more than 300 Child Survivors as fully documented members, 120 of them have provided startling reports about their three-fold difficult fate. Starting with Nazi persecution, continuing with often demanding challenges in the Soviet Union and. finally, as 

immigrants in Germany, to where they had been invited, but were immediately put on welfare status, with all kinds of strict administrative limitations. Conditions which in Germany are perceived as unworthy, as undeserving, given the background of the very bad circumstances of life in the Soviet Union caused by Nazi Germany, has, nevertheless, been welcomed by many post-Soviet immigrants as an essential improvement of their lives.CSD has tried repeatedly to help Phoenix in its clash with the German authorities, for instance, with appeals to the German parliament (Bundestag). The underlying problems are caused because the immigrants arriving are seen as a kind of “Jewish alien”. They have, however, unavoidably become a majority in the Jewish communities. Tensions and friendly encounters are legend, but integration, especially through 2Gs and 3Gs, is making progress.The immigrants are important time witnesses, whose experiences, by and large, are unknown to German society. Excerpt from a project appeal by Phoenix :“The collection of the memories of the Jewish children imprisoned in the concentration camps and ghettos is a reflection of the tragedy experienced by most Jewish children from the very first days of the Nazi Wehrmacht’s invasion of the Soviet Union. This tragedy was also caused by the fact, that a large Jewish population was concentrated on the territories of Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus, Right-Bank Ukraine and Moldovia which were occupied during the first three weeks of the war as the result of the rapid advance of Nazi troops. It is evident from the published material, archival documents and oral narrations, that the Jewish population often did not realize that mortal danger was coming from the Nazi invaders.”What is still more important, the people who survived the Holocaust nowadays visit the countries (Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Moldovia, Russia) where Nazis and their local accomplices put the “Final solution of the Jewish Question” into practice. They visit these places together with young Germans. There in the East, thousands of kilometers from Germany, manythe Jewish children parted from their childhood forever. Through such visits with survivors to the places of mass extermination of Jews, places, about which there is no (or almost no) information in German school books, young Germans comprehend the magnitude of the crimes of their forefathers. By narrating their experiences, the former child prisoners take part in the important process of providing for an anti-fascist upbringing of today’s youth in Germany.

„Phoenix from the ashes “- International Association of Holocaust survivors, the former Jewish ghetto and Nazi concentration camp prisoners – immigrants in Germany from the former Soviet territories. Registered association)

The summary and tasks of the Project

  • The specific aims of the project: on the bases of memories collection of the little prisoners of the Nazi regime, the children of the World War Two, to present to the young generation of the modern Germany, RF and other countries the dehumanizing nature of the Nazis ideology and to show, that the Holocaust was the practical realization of its basic principle by “The final solution of the Jewish question” – the complete extermination of the Jewish folk.

Publication of the collection of Memories of children – survivors the Holocaust in the hell of concentration camps and ghettos – is a kind of memory relay to the existing and future generations from the last live witnesses of the unprecedented crime of the Nazi regime against not only the Jewish folk but against the humanity and mankind in the whole. Simultaneously this is the book of evidence of acts of bravery (exploits) of the people who saved the Jews risking their own lives and the lives of their closest surrounding. The authors and the compilers of the collection of the memories are sure that its publication in german language will definitely play a great positive role humanistic upbringing of the young generation of the modern Germany. The active interest manifested by the pupils and students to the meetings with the last witnesses of the Holocaust, which were regularly held during 2008 – 2012 before the young audience of the FRG by the members of All-German Association speaks in favour of that opinion. (Those are the answers to items 2, 4, 5, 6 of the Claims Conference Form).