Medical Fund for the Righteous
"What astonished us after the torment, after the tempest, was not that so many killers killed so many victims but that so few good people cared about us at all." (Elie Wiesel)
The Medical Fund for the Righteous was established in 1987 on the initiative of the ANNE FRANK FONDS (AFF) in Basel. Its purpose is to guarantee basic medical care for non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews from certain death during the Second World War. Some of these "Righteous Among the Nations", as they are called by Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, are dependent on medical support today. The impetus for setting up the fund and for cooperation with the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem was due to the initiative of John D. Goldsmith, Vice-President of the ANNE FRANK FONDS. As Mr Goldsmith pointed out, people are fascinated by the "Righteous" and there exists a close emotional attachment to these life-savers. After all, Anne Frank's family depended on help and care from non-Jews during their time in hiding.
The benefits of the Medical Fund for the Righteous are provided exclusively to those requiring aid in former Eastern Bloc states, in order to improve their quality of life and life expectancy. The medical supplies needed are dispatched in cooperation with a pharmacy in Basel. These supplies usually consist of cardiovascular medicines and medicines for chronic diseases, but frequently also include hearing aids, spectacles, blood pressure monitors, and blood glucose meters.
The current annual expenditure of the Medical Fund for the Righteous amounts to about 60,000 Swiss francs. The AFF covers half to two-thirds of this, and the rest is financed through personal donations. In 2009, the number of individuals supported was 53, and in 2013 it was 47.
In Poland, as an example, the Association of the Righteous Among the Nations informs eligible individuals of the existence of the Medical Fund for the Righteous and about the services it provides. Contact partners from Yad Vashem pay regular visits to the Association.