"Holocaust survivors holding applications to regain citizenship of the land where once they faced persecution gathered in the shade of a stunted palm tree in Tel Aviv.There have been 2,500 applications so far this year, up from 1,500 in 2003 and 500 in 2002.
"Dozens of Israeli pensioners, reading Hebrew newspapers but chatting in Polish, greeted old friends who also fled Poland after September 1939, escaping the fate of countless less fortunate relatives.
"Few of these Jewish grandparents actually plan on moving back to Poland or any of the Eastern European countries that have just joined the European Union.
"They will live out their years in the Levantine sun, but are here at the behest of their Israeli-born children and grandchildren, who have taken note of the entry of ten new countries into the EU and realised the benefits of having Polish or Hungarian-born ancestors. Some are businessmen seeking to increase work opportunities, others are fearful of rising Middle Eastern tensions.
"'I escaped Poland on horseback with my parents when I was five years old. We lost the whole family during the war, four uncles, my grandfather and his daughter,' said Moshe Laschuv, 70, who was born in Plaszow. 'I don’t want the passport for myself, I have a wonderful life and I went through all the wars here; that’s not the reason. I want it for my six grandchildren. You don’t know what will happen here in 20 or 30 years’ time.'"
Thursday, June 24, 2004
The London Times reports:
Posted by Miriam at 7:49 PM