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helping holocaust survivors in croatia

The Union of Jewish Women in Croatia has long tradition of social and humanitarian work (200 years) and has always focused on the most important problems in Jewish community.
 
After the Holocaust, in which 80% of the Jewish population in Croatia was killed, Jewish women who survived organized  shelter, food, social and psychological support for the survivors who returned in 1945 from the concentration camps, ghettos, and from hiding and living with the partisans, and especially for the children, many of whom had lost their entire family.
 
Today these Holocaust survivors again need our help because of their desperately low standards of health and their vulnerability to illness. 
 
Our Jewish women's organization concentrates its work on the most vulnerable group in Jewish population in Croatia -  Holocaust survivors.
 
The Union of Jewish Women in Croatia has established a Survivors Center with database, archive and library which help survivors in their rights and application for different international funding because in many cases their personal and communal documentation has been destroyed or is missing.
 
It is important to know that first support to Holocaust survivors in East European  countries (including Croatia) started only in 1998, after the fall of communism.

IN 1998 we organized a major project to locate all the Holocaust survivors in Croatia who then lived in 60 places, and then to help 935 of them  (90%) to get funding from the Swiss Fund.
 
The UJW organized two surveys of the social and health status of Holocaust survivors, with the support of the JOINT, to help in the planning and organization of social services and funding. We established a network of volunteers, humanitarian projects, health education, recreation activities, different workshops and gatherings. 
 
Every year we organize Café Europe - 7 days of recreation during the winter on Croatia's Adriatic Coast for all the Holocaust survivors living in 10 communities around Croatia. 
 
The work is constant and has been successful in helping about 500 survivors to get monthly support and pensions from the  Claims Conference and CEEF.
 
The CJW has organized 3 international conferences of Holocaust survivors in Zagreb and has organized extensive research about the Jews in Croatia, collecting documentation and artifacts for a future Jewish museum in Croatia. We have involved local Jewish youth in this research program, and we have established a website www.cendo.hr (together with the CENDO research and documentation center)  and published books and articles. 
 
We have founded EUAS - the European Organization of Holocaust Survivors (established in Prague in 2000) and Dr. Melita Švob, President of Union of Jewish Women of Croatia, has served as vice-president, and now secretary.  We also cooperate with the World Organization of Holocaust Survivors (New York) of which Dr. Melita Švob is vice-president.  
 
In Croatia we cooperate with all the Jewish organizations and communities, including participation in education about the Holocaust.