survivors walk the red carpet in Israel beauty pageant
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[November 01, 2016]
HAIFA, Israel (Reuters) -
Their hair styled and make-up applied, a group of
elderly women carefully take to a red carpet catwalk,
waving, blowing kisses and posing for pictures to
Wearing dresses adorned with sashes, the women strut down the
runway, at times assisted, for the fourth Holocaust survivors'
beauty pageant, a contest in Israel honoring those who saw the
horrors of World War Two when they were young.
Fourteen women took part in this year's pageant, held in the
northern city of Haifa on Sunday.
"Tonight we're letting some women who survived the Holocaust
have something that was robbed from them in their youth," said
David Parsons of the International Christian Embassy in
Jerusalem, a sponsor of the Helping Hand group which organized
the event. "We want to give something back to them tonight it's
for them to enjoy."
Walking along to tunes like "Pretty Woman", the participants
included German-born Malka Gorka, 73, who came to Israel in 1948
with her parents and Hungarian-born Carmela Ben Yehuda, 89, who
arrived in British-run Palestine in 1945 after surviving the
Nazi German Auschwitz death camp.
Judges named 75-year-old Russian-born Anna Grinis, who was
two-days old when the war started, as the winner.
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"When my mother was alive, she always used to tell me about
this period (when) we ran way from Moscow ... and there was
nothing to eat there," she said. "We barely survived."
Some commentators and survivors have said the event cheapens the
memory of the Holocaust, in which six million Jews were killed
by the Nazis. They say a beauty contest is a superficial way to
acknowledge the hardship the women went through early in the
lives, and point out that it might just as well involve men.
Participants and judges say critics are missing the point,
saying the contest is about recognition and respect rather than
(Reporting by Reuters Television)
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