In Israel — a country where approximately 200,000 Holocaust survivors live — there's a beauty pageant like none other. It's called Miss Holocaust Survivor, and it is an annual event for women who survived World War II.
And though it's a pageant, it's hardly about superficial beauty. The Huffington Post notes that participants and judges say the event is meant to recognize female survivors and offer them respect and honor.
The fourth annual pageant took place in the city of Haifa on October 30. The Times of Israel reported that it was organized by Yad Ezer L’Haver, or Helping Hand, an organization dedicated to assisting Holocaust survivors in Israel. The International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem is also a sponsor of Helping Hand.
“Tonight we’re letting some women who survived the Holocaust have something that was robbed from them in their youth,” Embassy member David Parsons told The Huffington Post.
“We want to give something back to them, tonight it’s for them to enjoy.”
Fourteen elderly women got to have their hair and makeup done before they walked down the runway, sang, danced, and posed for photos in front of a cheering crowd of 1,000 people.
The world's oldest choir also had the opportunity to perform. The collective boasts an average age of 91 and it is also made up of women who survived World War II.
Out of the 300 hopefuls that registered for the event, Russian-born Anna Grinis was crowned the winner. The 75-year-old was only two days old when World War II began. According to the Times of Israel, Grinis told the Wallas news website about her win, "I have no words to describe how excited I am."