Brooklyn, NY – On Tuesday, June 7, hundreds of Holocaust survivors in Brooklyn welcomed Hon. David Gill, Germany’s Consul General in New York at a socialization event hosted by the Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island (JCCGCI), under funding provided by the German government and administered by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (“Claims Conference”).
The event, a monthly gathering known as Club 2600, included music, dancing, and a festive lunch. The survivors, many of who endured unimaginable suffering in concentration camps and ghettos at the hands of Nazi Germany, were eager to welcome Consul General Gill and discuss the suffering and torment they endured during the Holocaust and the years following.
After being introduced by Rabbi Moshe Wiener, JCCGCI’s Executive Director, the Consul General addressed the group, thanking them for the warm welcome and acknowledging how meaningful it was for him to be in attendance. He said, “It is an honor for me to be with you today…you who survived the Holocaust, who survived what was done to the Jewish people in the name of Germany. It is very special and very meaningful, and I feel honored that you share your table with me.”
Mr. Gill also spoke about the ongoing negotiations between the German government and the Claims Conference, as they discuss the annual funds to be allocated for social services and reparations to support Holocaust survivors in New York City and around the world. He thanked the JCCGCI for their Holocaust Survivor Support Systems, which provides homecare, meals, transportation, homebound visitation, and case management to thousands of survivors throughout Brooklyn.
Rabbi Wiener reflected upon the visit, saying, “This was an incredibly significant moment for our Holocaust survivors, to hear words of support and compassion from a representative of the German government. Consul General Gill is an individual of immense caring, sensitivity, and empathy, and an important partner in the JCCGCI’s ongoing efforts to provide comprehensive support services to Brooklyn-based Holocaust survivors. We are grateful that he took the time to meet directly with the survivors that are benefiting from the funding.”