During The Holocaust
by Amy Walker
During the Holocaust, the mentally ill were treated as inhumanely as one can imagine.
“PARDES HANNA, Israel — Some patients refuse to shower because it reminds them of the gas chambers. Others hoard meat in pillow cases because they fear going hungry.
At the Shaar Menashe Mental Health Center in northern Israel, it’s as though the Holocaust never ended.
As Israel on Sunday night begins its annual 24 hours of remembrance of the Nazi genocide, the focus is on the 6 million Jews murdered and on the survivors who built new lives in the Jewish state.
Much less is ever said about the survivors for whom mental illness is part of the Holocaust’s legacy.
At Shaar Menashe, patients remain frozen in time. Even today, 65 years after the end of World War II, there are sometimes screams of “The Nazis are coming!”
“These are the forgotten people. These are the ones who have been left behind, the people who have fallen between the cracks,” said Rachel Tiram, the facility’s longtime social worker.”
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