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Holocaust survivors with Alzheimer's are forced to relive Auschwitz.
September 21, 2002 2:12 PM   Subscribe

Holocaust survivors with Alzheimer's are forced to relive Auschwitz. "At Baycrest's Apotex Centre, Jewish Home for the Aged in Toronto, 50 per cent of patients with dementia are Holocaust survivors for whom the loss of short-term memory condemns them, once again, to the death camps."
posted by mcwetboy (20 comments total)

 
that's just plain awful.
posted by donkeyschlong at 2:21 PM on September 21, 2002


Surely the universe is just and kind.

*eyes God warily*
posted by mediareport at 2:27 PM on September 21, 2002


i recall and article where Cambodian women in california experienced loss of sight for no medical reason.
this is sad.
posted by clavdivs at 2:38 PM on September 21, 2002


alzheimer's are just following orders.
posted by quonsar at 2:40 PM on September 21, 2002


great article mcwetboy.

the misery these people have gone through and to be forced to relive the pain due to alzheimers is unthinkable. but the steps the hospital is taking to help them is inspiring.
posted by birdherder at 2:45 PM on September 21, 2002


Meanwhile...
posted by inpHilltr8r at 2:47 PM on September 21, 2002


clavdivs, I hadn't heard that, but found this:

Each one of the women had experienced and seen a family member murdered during the genocide. One woman saw her baby thrown against a tree. Another saw her husband disemboweled. Yet another witnessed the Khmer Rouge cutting the throat of her parents. And another saw her husband killed and was ordered not to cry.

"It's a coping mechanism," Van Boemel said to the St. Petersburg Times.


Absolutely horrifying.
posted by mediareport at 2:54 PM on September 21, 2002


Two squawking parrots named Rhett and Scarlett exclaim, "Oy vey!" in a giant aviary.

Ok, as somber as this piece is, I couldnt help but crack a smile at this. What birdherder said.
posted by jono at 3:01 PM on September 21, 2002


Horribly painful story to read but it offers some hope in the description of the home's staff and how they are trying to help.
posted by Coop at 3:03 PM on September 21, 2002


what Coop said... this is such a painful story, but there's hope in the compassion of the caregivers and in the research that many of us will benefit from in the future.

but still, the unfairness of it all finds me joining mediareport in a sideways glance at the universe.
posted by t r a c y at 3:41 PM on September 21, 2002


Thanks for a great link. More like this, please.
posted by Mo Nickels at 4:08 PM on September 21, 2002


My hope is that someday we'll never see links like this (but I second your real meaning Mo Nickles).
posted by dchase at 4:39 PM on September 21, 2002


thanks for the link MR: What raises hair on my neck is the poor people whom have to face this and the families.

I do not envy doctors at times.
posted by clavdivs at 5:11 PM on September 21, 2002


Surely the universe is just and kind.

*eyes God warily*


I think God needs to come back down here as a modern day Jesus to check out the latest ways in which people are suffering. Wait a minute.....he's already here as David Icke, isn't he?
posted by SpaceCadet at 8:43 PM on September 21, 2002


inpHilltr8r: If there is a relevant connection between this story and your link, I'm missing it.

My mom's a nurse on an Alzheimer's unit in a nursing home, which means I've heard countless hours of endless stories about people with Alzheimer's. It's such an awful illness--it's like a cruel joke. They get fixated on something, and they just keep repeating it over and over again. The people mentioned in this article don't seem all that confused, though, sadly. They've never forgotten the horror they lived through, and I think certain aspects of their living environment just trigger memories, and their survival instincts kick in. I mean, that doesn't change anything; it's just another tragedy of the Holocaust.
posted by Zulujines at 6:01 AM on September 22, 2002


I think the connection between these two posts is painfully ironic. While these elderly survivors are stuck reliving horrible events, Papon, who sent 1500 people to concentration camps, is set free after three years in prison, because he is ill. It turns my sideways glance at the Creator into a full-on glare.
posted by Miss Beth at 6:36 AM on September 22, 2002


It turns my sideways glance at the Creator into a full-on glare.
as if 'he' gives a shit.
posted by quonsar at 9:19 AM on September 22, 2002


this is awful...."never again" becomes "every single day for the rest of your life".....god....
posted by amberglow at 9:30 AM on September 22, 2002


as if 'he' gives a shit.

The feeling is mutual.
posted by mediareport at 11:46 AM on September 22, 2002


My step-grandmother is Jewish from Germany and escaped to Paris and then walked most of the way to the Med in southern France took a boat to Vichy Morocco and then a ship to NY City one of the last to get out (see "Casablanca"). She is now in a nursing home with dementia-like symptoms and often talks of her relatives killed in Germany as if they were still alive. It's interesting that these symptoms are a common and normal experience.
posted by stbalbach at 6:05 PM on September 22, 2002


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