New book details ORTs help for Holocaust Survivors


01 February 2008 New book details ORTs help for Holocaust Survivors ORTs critical work training and educating tens of thousands of Holocaust Survivors in post-war Europe is examined in a new book, ORT, The Second World War and the Rehabilitation of Holocaust Survivors, just published by Vallentine Mitchell ( ORT trained and educated some 80,000 Holocaust Survivors in Austria, Germany and Italy between 1945 and 1951. In 1947, ORT was providing 597 courses in various trades and subjects in 78 centres and employing more than 900 instructors. The book is the result of extensive research of World ORTs massive archive a task made possible by the support of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany and the Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation. While it focuses on the huge programme in the DP camps, the book also examines ORTs life saving work in the ghettos of Eastern Europe during the war. For the books author, Dr Sarah Kavanaugh of Royal Holloway College, University of London, this was the first time in her extensive study of the Holocaust that she had examined what happened once the war had ended. Looking at the rehabilitation of Survivors is perhaps the only positive aspect of what Ive studied and learned, Dr Kavanaugh said. Not only did the ORT courses give them something to concentrate on while they were in the DP camps but with the ORT certificates they were able to get emigration papers for countries such as America, Canada and Australia. Professor David Cesarani OBE, an internationally recognised authority on the Holocaust, wrote in his foreword to the book: Sarahs sensitive use of life stories has recaptured the experience of ordinary Jewish men and women whose lives were saved and transformed for the better by the men and women of ORT. This book is a monument to their achievement and a memorial to the fortitude of Jews who surmounted persecution and genocide and, with the help of ORT, went on to rebuild their lives. Judah Harstein, World ORTs Head of Jewish Education, said: It is important to realise that the events described in this book are not simply a part of ORTs history; they are part of Jewish history. I am delighted that we have been given the opportunity to place this narrative into the public domain.