Humanitäre Hilfe für die Ukraine e.V. DEEN
How everything began

In 1992, after the Soviet Union fell apart, Dr. Aleksander Schwarz returned for the first time to his native homeland and was shocked: the Jews who still lived there were incredibly destitute. Many of the elderly – who had survived the Holocaust – were unable to afford such necessities as food, clothing, and medicine. The housing situation was a disaster, the communal dwellings long in disrepair. With their minimal pensions most could neither afford electricity nor heating fuel.

In the aftermath of this alarming trip, together with his wife and some friends in Munich, Aleksander Schwarz established a relief fund. Since 1993 he has helped the Jewish population living in Lviv and the surrounding region with his direct, unbureaucratic engagement. From its very outset his initiative has been supported by the "B'nai Brith Loge Hebraica Menorah" in Munich, and "B'nai Brith Loge Leopolis Emil Domberger" in Lviv.

In 1993 a scientific colloquium was held in Lviv, The Holocaust of Galician Jewry. Dr. Aleksander Schwarz took part in the academic conference as one of the few survivors of the Yanivsky labor camp. Since the end of the war every attempt to keep alive the memory of the camp's some 200,000 victims had been in vain. Following its liberation by the Red Army in 1944, the labor camp was converted into the prison it today remains – now under Ukrainian charge. Aleksander Schwarz succeeded in erecting a granite monument at the site of the "Valley of Death," which lies just outside the Yanivsky labor camp. There great numbers of Jews were murdered and buried in mass graves. To this day he fights for the creation of a memorial site.