The Gamaraal Foundation has set up a telephone hotline in Switzerland to provide support to Holocaust survivors during the coronavirus crisis. The hotline can be accessed directly by visiting https://gamaraal.com/.
Many Holocaust survivors show incredible resilience in the current situation, said Gamaraal Foundation President Anita Winter, who added that she deeply admired the positivity they showed the face of challenging difficulties. Many of the dozens of volunteers are students and young professionals, she said. “The solidarity between the generations is immense, it is deeply touching,” Ms. Winter said, expressing gratitude to all those giving their time to assist the survivors.
"The gratitude that we receive in turn from survivors cannot be put into words. It goes directly to the heart. I have tears in my eyes when I telll you." Winter said that one of the most helpful forms of outreach volunteers can provide is lending a listening ear to the survivors, who long for conversation to take them out of loneliness and isolation.
Ms. Winter added that the corona pandemic can also evoke threatening memories among Holocaust survivors. Some are currently experiencing renewed trauma, “The loneliness and isolation which they face during difficult experiences can be exacerbated due to the past they were forced to endure,” she added.
Volunteers also assist survivors with buying food or medicine. With demand for assistance on the rise, the volunteer team will be expanded in the coming days.