Why did Holocaust survivors live longer than other Jews?

1-13-2019 unnamed file
Child survivors of Auschwitz, wearing adult-size prisoner jackets. Image credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum/Belarusian State Archive of Documentary Film and Photography

The horrors of the Holocaust were once thought to have inflicted a deadly legacy on the health of survivors.

But a new study suggests that those who survived the Holocaust actually lived longer than others from the same era who were spared the atrocities.

Researchers looked at the health records of 38,000 victims who were born in Europe between the years 1911 and 1945 and compared them to 35,000 people born in Israel during the same years.


They found that although they were more likely to develop chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes, Holocaust survivors were still substantially more likely to live for longer.

Lead researcher Dr Gideon Koren, of Maccabi Healthcare Services, which provided health insurance for all the participants, said:

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“There is a broad understanding that a genocide experience sustained for five years would have serious consequences on the psychological and physical well-being of individuals.


“Although many individuals in death camps died, those who survived may have had higher resilience from more favorable genetic, physical, and emotional characteristics.

“If you managed to survive it means that you are stronger physically and mentally.  We show how amazing these women and men fought and succeeded to do the best out of the worst possible place.”

Read full, original post: Holocaust survivors outlived those who were spared atrocity, study shows

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