Homeless after the Holocaust


Yevgeny Bistrizky survived the massacre at Babi Yar as a three-year-old, though he can’t remember how. He trekked through the snow, endured the hunger and the cold, and managed to find his way to Israel. Today, he sleeps in a park in Tel Aviv because no one will rent him an apartment. A non-profit called Latet is trying to help, but unsurprisingly, Israeli bureacracy is not being proving itself particulary efficient in this case, according to Ha’aretz.

Here’s how Bistrizky wound up in the park:

Yevgeny moved to Israel in 1993 with his wife and daughter. He lived and worked in Ariel, but then the factory that employed him closed. Then he found work in Tel Aviv, so the family moved there.

Two years ago, he was fired from that job, and after that, everything fell apart. He separated from his wife; his daughter went to study in Germany. He returned to Ariel, but no one would rent an apartment to an unemployed senior citizen with no collateral or guarantors. He found an abandoned Amidar apartment (public housing) that had no electricity or running water, but eight months ago, he was evicted.

Officials in Ariel advised him to go to Tel Aviv, saying its welfare department was excellent. He did, but got no help.

He found a cleaning job that pays NIS 2,000 a month, and he also has his Israeli old-age allowance and the monthly 270-euro pension that he has received from Germany for the last three years. But he still cannot find anyone willing to rent him an apartment, given his age and his lack of collateral and guarantors. So he sleeps in the park.

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