Holocaust survivors in Austria, Vienna receive COVID-19 vaccine on Holocaust remembrance day

PRI's The World
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Six years ago today. January twenty seventh nineteen forty five soldiers from the soviet. Red army liberated the auschwitz-birkenau death camp in occupied poland. More than one million people. Most of them. Jews were sent a gas chambers of the nazi camp or died from starvation cold and disease this year most international holocaust remembrance day commemorations are being held online because of the pandemic in israel home to many holocaust survivors. Fewer will be present for such remembrances about nine. Hundred holocaust. survivors died of covid. Nineteen in israel last year. A fifth of the country's cova deaths in austria. The jewish community in vienna is marking the anniversary in a unique way. That's both symbolic and lifesaving they've arranged for more than four hundred jewish and non-jewish survivors to get their first dose of covid vaccine. Erica yakubovitch community. Vienna and organiz. Today's vaccination drive. She joins me from vienna. And i gathered. The drive right now erin. Described to us. What's going on. What have you been seeing today. So we had almost four hundred people already here for a vaccination day. Everybody's very very happy and relieved that they finally get the vaccination vaccination started in australia very late and is also not enough vaccine and we are happy to do something that we can do for holocaust survivors. I think it's our obligation to take care of our most vulnerable group in the community. What made you decide to arrange this event. I mean these survivors given their age. Aren't they already in the front of the line for vaccines in austria. No only the people who have been in old age homes where vaccinated Old you other people not yet. And as i am a daughter of holocaust survivors survivors of auschwitz. And my grandparents were killed there I think this is something that i owe to my family and other family like mine and the four hundred survivors who have been On the receiving under these vaccine today how they taken in this event. What does it mean to them. I would like to mention that. We have also some Elderly people at the age of eighty five plus who are non holocaust survivors who came from other areas like the former soviet union and minister of housing also offers us to Vaccinate them and i immediately say. Of course we do it. We had contact with each of those people. And they are very thankful and happy that they had a chance to get the vaccination and we have a chance to because they're with their family their children grandchildren and

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