While we realise that it will never be possible to be absolutely equitable in the distribution of such funds, as and when they become available, there is one overlooked group who we believe should be a priority, to whom funds must be made available now.
Of the approximately 6 million Jews, and 7 million other victims of the Holocaust, there are still some half a million survivors living today. Many of these survivors are still emotionally and mentally tortured by their experience. In many cases the difficulties of these survivors have grown more severe with old age. We propose that an appropriate international body should administer the substantial funds needed so that adequate emotional and appropriate medical support for the long-term effects of trauma can be guaranteed to these people.
Perhaps by this act we will enable survivors finally to find some respite. The children of Holocaust victims suffer disproportionate emotional problems. These have also been largely unaddressed, thereby perpetuating the legacy of this violation of humanity.
Survivors still endure the ongoing consequences of the Holocaust, and we believe that the first duty is to help them. At present there are grossly inadequate funds for the necessary ongoing support that many survivors require. We urge all those who are looking for what is just and equitable not to forget the needs of those living - especially those who still inhabit a private world of torture, created by experiences that few of us today can imagine.
Director, the Sir Robert Mond Memorial Trust
Director, the Medical Foundation for Victims of Torture
The Hon DAVID BERNSTEIN
HELENA KENNEDY QC
LORD LESTER QC
KATHARINE, VISCOUNTESS MACMILLAN
Rabbi JULIA NEUBERGER
Rabbi JOHN RAYNER
Sir SIGMUND STERNBERG
Dr ANTHONY STORR
Dr STUART TURNER
President, European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
Professor JAMES WATSON
Chairman Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, United Medical and Dental Schools of Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals
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