Beautiful survivors

Beauty Pageant>> Holocaust • Israel

Published: Monday 30 November -0001

imageWith a 79-year-old as the winner, it was an unlikely beauty contest. The pageant was for Holocaust survivors in which 14 women, aged 74 to 97, walked the red carpet and described their sufferings at the hands of the Nazis during World War II. Hava Hershkovitz, who had to flee her native Romania, was crowned the winner.

Organisers said the contest was a celebration of life, but critics denounced it as offensive. Judging women who had suffered persecution on physical appearance was inappropriate, they said. “It sounds macabre,” Collete Avital, chairperson of Israel’s Holocaust survivors’ umbrella group, said.

“I am in favour of enriching lives, but a one-time pageant masquerading (survivors) with beautiful clothes is not going to make their lives more meaningful,” she added.

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