Abramowicz, Karol

A survivor from Poland, Karol’s experience is different from many of the Polish Jews we have interviewed.  When the war closed in, Karol and most of his immediate family made their way east, into the Soviet zone – his story reminds us of the Polish partition.  From eastern Poland they entered the USSR, where they

Adler, Amek

Amek Adler was born April 20, 1928 in Lublin, Poland, and he grew up in Lodz. After Nazi occupation in 1939, his family escaped to Warsaw and then to Radom. In 1943, Amek was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, and from there he survived the brutality of a series of work camps.  The end of the war

Baranek, Martin

Martin Baranek  was born August 15, 1930 in Starachowice, Poland.  His was a small family, just him, his mother, his father, and his younger brother.  In his early years, he was often bullied at school for being a Jew:  anti-Semitism was a fact of life in Poland.  Martin was 9 when the war started; as

Baskin, Genya

Genya Baskin is a the Holocaust survivor. She was born in Poland in 1932 and lived with her parents, siblings and grandmother. When she was about five years old, she and her family had to leave Poland when the Germans invaded. Genya and her family had moved to different places during the war, spending most of

Baum, Claire

Claire Baum was born in Rotterdam, Holland in 1936. A young child when the war began, she remembers little from the prewar period, but her memories of the attack on Rotterdam are vivid.  Once the German occupation began, her life became one full of restrictions.  And when the government began rounding up Jews, Claire’s parents

Becker, Bronia

Bronia grew up in a small town called Kosowa, in eastern Poland. Her family consisted of her parents, and three brothers who were all married and had children. She also had an older sister; both girls were unmarried. They lived comfortably in Kozowa. It was a quiet town… When the war began, her town was

Bem, Esther

Esther Bem was raised in Zagreb. Two of her older sisters, Jelka and Vera, joined Tito’s Underground Resistance Army in 1941. Jelka was caught by the Croat Fascist Ustashi in 1942 and executed. Vera was cited for bravery by Tito’s Partisans and became an officer. Esther and her parents survived by hiding in Italy with

Bensimon, Marian

Marian Bensimon was born in Czechoslovakia; she was 6 years old in 1942 when her family moved to Budapest, Hungary.   Marian’s parents sensed the danger on the way; her father was taken to a labour camp and the family placed in a ghetto, so Marian’s mother arranged to have her daughters taken to a convent, where they were hidden

Berci, George

George Berci was born March 14, 1921 in Szeged, Hungary, and when he was a toddler his family moved to Vienna.  They stayed there until 1936, when the family returned to Hungary.  By this time antisemitism was obvious on both sides of the border.  Hitler took Austria in the 1937 Anschluss, and Admiral Horthy took

Berkovitz, Helen

Helen Berkovitz was born in 1921 in Tacsava, Czechoslovakia. The eldest of three sisters, Helen lost both parents in Auschwitz and was interned with her sisters in Bergen-Belsen and Theresientadt. After liberation, Helen met her husband at a collection point for the camps near the Austrian border, and they went through the DP camp life together as

Bibla, Harry

Harry Bibla was born in 1930 in Miedzyrzec, Poland. As a 9 year-old boy, Harry witnessed the Nazi invasion and the immediate impact it had on his country. While Mr. Bibla initially was hidden with a Gentile family, when conditions became too dangerous he took to the forest to hide. When conditions in the forest

Black, Judith

Judith Nemes Black was born November 15, 1941 in Budapest, Hungary.  She grew up against the backdrop of the war and the mounting restrictions that Hungarian Jews were forced to endure, including the conscription of her father into forced labour.  In 1944 the situation deteriorated for Hungarian Jews; Nazi Germany invaded and the fascist Arrow

Blay, Shirley

Shirley Blay is from Poland, but in the chaotic days at the start of the war she and her family found themselves in the Soviet side of Poland, and they were subsequently transported deep into the USSR, to Kazakstan and Uzbekistan.  They endured many hardships but unlike many Polish Jews they were able to escape

Blium, Reuven

Reuven Blium survived the Holocaust in Lithuania, a country where as many as 95% of Jews were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators.  Reuven was born in 1930 in Kaunas, into a family of limited means.  Reuven’s father passed away when Reuven was only 3, and his mother had no alternative but to put

Boeki, Jack

Jack Boeki’s World War Two story is a unique one.  Born May 31, 1924 in Rotterdam, Jack grew up with fond memories of the city and its people, and of his family and childhood.  All of it was shattered in May 1940, when the German blitzkrieg turned west towards the Netherlands, and Jack’s city came

Bohm, Hedy

Hedy Bohm grew up in prewar Romania, in a region that later came under Hungarian control. As the war escalated, she and her family increasingly came under the influence of the Nazis, and the family was deported to Auschwitz in the summer of 1944. Hedy was able to survive Auschwitz-Birkenau for three months; at that

Bolgar, Ted

Ted Bolgar was born September 12, 1924 in Sarospatak, a small town in Hungary. The Germans occupied Hungary in March 1944, and in April, the Jews of Sarospatak were forced into the ghetto of a nearby town. When the ghetto was liquidated in June, all the inhabitants were deported to Auschwitz.  Upon arrival, Ted and

Bornstein, Max

We met Max Bornstein at Baycrest Geriatric Centre in Toronto, where he is a resident.  We learned about him through the Azrieli Foundation, as they have published his memoirs.  Crestwood students Emma Myers and Sarah Mainprize interviewed Max at Baycrest in February 2013. Max’s story is remarkable, and a singular one in many ways.  He

Brady, George

George Brady was living a quiet and comfortable life in Czechoslovakia in the period before the war. With the arrival of the Nazis however, his circumstances changed dramatically. He and his family were subjected to the various degrees of Nazi brutality and they found themselves ostracized from their community. George’s mother and father were arrested

Brinberg, Georgette

Georgette Brinberg was born June 10, 1938 in Villerupt, France.  Her parents had emigrated from Poland in the 1920s, looking for opportunities.  They began their lives in France in Villerupt, a border town in the northeast known for the metal trades.  When the war began and the German blitzkrieg fell on France, Villerupt was heavily

Brody, Josef

Josef Brody was born April 26, 1936 in Slovakia.  During the Second World War, Slovakia came under the rule of the fascist Josef Tiso, and was a part of the Axis powers, alongside Nazi Germany.  The country’s Jews suffered tremendous hardship because of this arrangement, becoming victims of the Shoah, first through restrictions imposed by

Buchman, Roma

Roma Buchman is the grandmother of Crestwood graduate Ashley Bitton. When Ashley was in Mr. Masters CHC2D class 2006-7, we invited Roma to speak to the class. Roma is from Galicia, in Poland. When the war began, she found herself in a ghetto with the rest of her family. Her parents made the difficult decision

Bultz, Paula

Paula Bultz was born November 24, 1935 in Warsaw, Poland, where her family had lived for four generations. She remembers her prewar childhood in positive terms, full of family and love.  All of that changed in late 1939:  her father was recalled to active military service, and in September the war began.  Paula’s mother made

Carmelly, Felicia

Felicia Carmelly is a Romanian Holocaust survivor currently residing in Toronto. Born in 1932  amidst European anti-Semitism, Felicia faced persecution at the hands of the Green Shirts in Romania. Felicia and her family were taken from their hometown to Transnistria, an area under Romanian governance where Romanian Jews were forced into mass ghettos. Here, she

Chandler, Howard

Howard Chandler was born December 5, 1928, in Wierzbnik-Starachowice, Poland. He grew up in the Poland of the 1930s, where the rights of minorities in the multiethnic country were supposed to be protected; in spite of this Howard remembers being bullied and the anti-Semitic taunts as a way of life at the time.  Howard was

Chase, Jean

Jean Chase is a survivor from Trembovla, Poland, a small village near Tarnopol.  Born in 1933, Jean was the only child of Chuna and Nechama Goldstein.  When the Nazis came, the family was relocated to the Tarnopol ghetto, and though she was very young Jean remembered many key moments from this period.  She recalled the

Cipin, Josef

Jozef Cipin was a young boy when the war began. He and his family were on the run in the early part of the war, evading the Nazis and hiding out with the partisans.  When the Gestapo caught up, Jozef was interrogated and deported to the Terezin camp, where he managed to survive the Holocaust.

Cohen, Israel

Israel Cohen is a Survivor from Poland.  Mr. Cohen was born is Lodz, Poland. He had two sisters. One was killed in the camps, and the other was murdered by the Polish a few months after the war. At first he was in the Lodz Ghetto, then Auschwitz, and then Kaufering until liberation. After liberation

Cohen, Judy

Judy Cohen is a Holocaust survivor from Hungary.  She was born on September 17th, 1928 in the city of Debrecen.  Judy was the youngest in a family of 7 children.  Her early life was a good one, full of promise and possibility, until she and her family were caught up in the terrible events unfolding

Csillag, Irene

Irene Csillag was born in 1925 in Satu Mare, Romania. Irene was living a good life, but when the Germans occupied Hungary in 1944, everything changed. In April 1944 Hungarian Jews were moved into ghettoes. The Hungarian authorities worked with the SS and began deporting Jews starting in the middle of May. 440,000 Jews were

Cygelfarb, Berthe

Berthe Cygelfarb is a Holocaust Survivor with a compelling story to tell, and she tells it beautifully.  When Berthe visited Crestwood in December 2015, she spoke to Mme Doherty’s French class, and they were entranced by Berthe’s charm and humour, as were the students in the subsequent interview.  Berthe recounted to both groups the horrors

Dawang, Elie

Elie Dawang was born to Lithuanian-Jewish parents, Faiwish and Shaina, in 1934 in Paris. Elie was six years old when the Germans occupied France in 1940. The Dawangs fled to a small village near the Spanish border but returned to Paris in 1941 to liquidate the family business.  The family had false papers but the

Dmitry, Norma

Norma Dmitry is a Survivor who came to us courtesy of Baycrest’s Cafe Europa, where we met her in May 2012. Norma grew up in Vilna, where so much of the horror that makes up the Holocaust began. She remembers the restrictions of ghetto life as the walls closed in around them, and she compellingly

Doduck, Marie

Marie Doduck was born May 10, 1935 in Brussels, Belgium.  She was a young child when the war began, but given the intensity of her experiences, she remembers those early days well.  She grew up in a large Jewish family in Brussels, one that had a long history in Poland.  When the war came the

Dorchik, Mila

Mila Dorchik was born on May 12, 1924 in Szydlowiec, Poland. After the Nazis came into her town, they imposed a curfew and forced citizens to work for them. They did various jobs, such as cleaning the streets, houses, offices, and washrooms. In 1942, she was taken to Skarzysko-Kamienna labour camp and forced to work in an ammunition factory,

Eidlitz, Anne

Anne Eidlitz was born in 1936, just before the war started. She was born in Antwerp, Belgium and lived with her mother, her father, and her younger sister Rosa. Her first languages were Flemish and Yiddish. She was the oldest grandchild and had many privileges and was given many things that the other grandchildren were not.​ 

Eisen, Alex

Alex Eisen was born December 9, 1929 in Vienna, Austria. After the Anschluss in 1938, the Eisen family fled to Hungary. In 1939, Alex’s father was arrested and fled to Palestine, leaving his wife alone with their three children. Alex and the rest of the family endured the hardships of the Budapest Ghetto, but later

Eisen, Max

Max Eisen was born in Hungary, where he remembers his prewar life in positive terms.   When the war reached Hungary in 1944, Max and his family were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where most of the family was murdered.  Max survived the initial selection along with his father and uncle, but only Max was able to survive

Eisenstein, Jenny

Jenny was born in Poland in 1927, where she had four siblings.  She grew up in Bedzin, a city with a thriving Jewish community.  As a young girl, she read and was active in many Jewish organizations.  As she remembers, all that changed on Sept. 1, 1939, when the German invasion began.  She and her

Ekstein, Anita

Anita Helfgott was born in Lvov, Poland on July 18, 1934.  Her parents were Edzia and Fischel Helfgott.  Anita was an only child and was therefore  slightly spoiled before the war.   For the first 2 years of the war, Anita lived under Russian occupation.   Life at this time changed very little.  The only way

Engel, Julien

In 1942, after the Vichy regime started arresting Jews, the Engels attempted to escape France by going to Switzerland. On the border, they were caught, and shipped to a temporary prison. They would then be shipped to the Rivesaltes interment camp. At this time, the Vichy government had a policy of releasing children. While Julien,

Engel, Yolanda

Yolanda Engel (nee Lebovics) was born December 11, 1937.  She grew up in wartime Hungary, sheltered from events until the German occupation of 1944. Her father had been conscripted into the labour battalions by that time, and the remaining family members were taken into the ghetto. Shortly after that, Yolanda’s mother was taken away to

Fairbloom, Esther

When Esther Fairbloom’s mother was pregnant she went to a ghetto in Tarnopol to deliver Esther.  Her mother knew the Germans would come after them, so she sat down with her sister and made the choice to have her two children hidden. She had known the people at the local church and they agreed to

Fazekas, Judith

Judit Fulop was born in the small city of Debrecen, Hungary on September 23, 1928. She grew up an only child in a comfortable middle class environment, attending a Jewish school and then her local high school until the war broke out in 1944, when Jewish students were prohibited from attending public schools. Despite these

Fazekas, Leslie

Leslie Fazekas was born on September 28, 1925, in Debrecen, Hungary.  He grew up in a middle class family in the well-assimilated Jewish community, alongside his younger brother.   He did well in school, and was preparing to go to university, just as wartime anti-Semitic restrictions were beginning to be felt in Hungary.  But his

Fine, Shary

Shary Fine was born in Romania in 1927. She is currently 90 years old and is the youngest out of all of the girls in her family. As she was growing up, she lived in a small town in Transylvania. She was a gymnast, mountain climber, and an actor. Shary’s family was Jewish. To Shary

Fiszman, Renee

Renee Fiszman is a child survivor of the Shoah from France.  Her father joined the French military at the war’s outset, and this would prove to be a crucial decision for the rest of the family; he was taken as a POW early in the war, and would not rejoin the family until 1945.  When

Fox, George

George Fox was born in Berdichev, Russia (later Poland) in 1917, where he lived with his family. The Nazis forced his family into the Brzeziny Ghetto, where they remained until its liquidation in 1942. George was sent to the Lodz Ghetto until 1944, and then to Auschwitz-Birkenau. He was liberated by the US Army after

Frankel, Miriam

Miriam Frankel was born in Dunajska Streda, Czechoslovakia, in 1927, and raised in Italy. After expulsion from her childhood home in Italy, she was trapped in Hungarian-occupied Czechoslovakia for the next four years. Her father was taken to a forced labour camp; the family was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau in May 1944. Surviving two additional concentration

Freund, John

John Freund came to us courtesy of the Azrieli Centre in January 2013.  John is from Czechoslovakia, where he was living a “golden life” with family and friends.  When the Germans invaded, that situation changed quickly.  John survived the Terezin camp with his family.  From there, John and his family were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where

Frieberg, Gerda

Gerda Frieberg was born in Upper Silesia, Poland in 1925. In October 1939, her father was taken away. In 1940, Gerda, her mother, and sister were deported to the Jaworzno Ghetto. In 1942, she was sent to the Oberaltstadt concentration camp, where her sister was interned. Her mother joined them in 1943. Gerda worked in

Friedman, Arnold

Arnold Friedman was born in the Carpathian region of the Ukraine. When the prewar border adjustment known as the Anschluss occurred, he and his family suddenly found themselves living in Hungary. As such, they were offered a temporary respite from the Holocaust. While Polish and Ukrainian Jews were confronted by the Nazi onslaught in 1939-40,

Friedman, Henry

Henry Friedman, a Holocaust survivor, was born on October 22, 1931. Henry was born in a small town in Hungary called Nyireghaza. He went to English and Hebrew school and spent his time with his friends and family. Henry was the youngest of two brothers and a sister. He lived as normal of a life

Friedman, Lili

Lili Friedman is a child survivor from the Holocaust and a longtime supporter of our program here at Crestwood.  Born in Poland at the outset of the war, Lili grew up in the Lodz ghetto, from where she remembers snippets of her childhood.  She and her family were deported to Auschwitz with the liquidation of the

Friedman, Reny

Reny Friedman is a child survivor from the Netherlands.  She and her twin brother were born in 1937, just as prewar tensions were building up.  Reny’s mother was from germany, and sensing what was to come, she looked for ways to protect her family.  The family managed to secure the help of the underground, going

Frimerman, Leah

Leah Frimerman is from Poland. After her nation was partitioned she and her family found themselves under Soviet control and she ended up in Siberia, where she spent most of the war in labour camps. She suffered several injuries during that time but was able to head west following the war, ending up in a

Frydrych, Aileen

Aileen Frydrych was born in the early 1930s to a Jewish family living in what was then known as Poland. Aileen who was originally named Hiya lived in Eastern Poland which is now part of Belarus. Aileen remembers the days when she first started school around 1939 when her town as occupied by Russia. Two

Fulop, Ignatz

Born in Hungary in 1926, Ignatz Fulop lived on a 1000 acre ranch with his parents, his nine sisters and his brother. In 1940 most of the land was confiscated and the Fulop family was left only with their home. To Ignatz, it seemed like yesterday when he and his family were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Gador, George

George Gador was born in Czechoslovakia in 1925. When the Germans invaded Czechoslovakia, it was split into two areas.  The area near Hungary was where George and his family lived. When George grew up he learnt how to speak both Hungarian and Czechoslovakian.  Later on, he was captured by Nazis and was taken to a

Gamulka, Ala

Ala Gamulka is a Holocaust Survivor from Bucharest, Romania.  She and her family were fortunate to escape the city as the German invasion closed in around them, making their way to a boat which took them on a harrowing journey through the Adriatic Sea.  Like many wartime refugees, they were intercepted and placed in a

Gasper, Lidia

Lidia Gasper was born in 1928 in Szekszard, Hungary. Before the Holocaust, she had a good life. She had other Jewish friends in her town, her father had a mill that gave them water, and she had a bat mitzvah. She had to go to another town to go to school, and this is where

Gelbard, Edith

Edith Gelbard was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1932. She lived with her parents, sister and grandmother. After the Nazis annexed Austria in 1938, her family fled to Belgium and then to France. In 1942, her father was murdered in Auschwitz. Edith and her brother were hidden in an orphanage. She was liberated in 1945 and

Ger, Sonia

Sonia Ger grew up in Pinsk, Poland.  Her family had their own house with a bakery in the front, run by the father and his brother.  When the Nazis invaded Poland, they were moved into a ghetto. Sonia’s father opened up another bakery in the ghetto.  He made friends with the German soldiers by selling

Glied, Bill

Bill Glied grew up in Serbia, enjoying a good life within his community.  The family had a prosperous business, and Bill had many friends – and he was a skilled goalie on his soccer team.  In April, 1944, that all changed: Bill was deported along with his entire family from his home town of Subotica,

Gold, Daniel

Daniel Gold was born in Lithuania on February 10, 1937.  When the war began for Lithuania – in 1941 – the country was quickly overrun by the Germans, and Lithuanian Jews were placed in ghettos, and not longer after the mass murder began.  Daniel remembers having to be quiet while Lithuanian neighbours were initiating the

Goldberg, Mel

Mel Goldberg was born in the summer of 1942, in Baila Rawska, Warsaw.  He was born into a family with two brothers and one sister, but none survived the war.  Mel’s town was liquidated in 1942 , and the family was sent to Treblinka, a death camp located in Poland.  As Mel’s father had given

Goldhar, Paula

Paula Goldhar is a survivor from Poland.  In December 2014 she shared her very compelling story with Mrs. Winograd’s English 8 class.  Paula recounted the painful memories that made up her childhood in a very precise way, from the deprivations of the ghetto and the camps to the memories that still are with her every

Goldig, Fishel

Fishel Goldig was born in 1933 in Mielnica, in eastern Poland. In 1939 the family found itself under Soviet occupation, following the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact.  With Operation Barbarossa and the arrival of the Germans in 1941, Fishel and his family were forced into the ghetto in the nearby town of Borszczow.  Conditions deteriorated, and rumours

Goldstein, Jacob

Jacob Goldstein was born in Lodz Poland on April 12, 1928. Growing up he had 4 siblings, his older brother Ali, his younger brother Yossi, and his younger sister Ettel . The city of Lodz was the second largest city in Poland.  There was a population size of around 600 000, of which 250 000

Good, Mendel

Mendel Good was born in March,1925 in Nowy-Sacz, Poland, which was a very religious and mostly Jewish city. He had a happy family and it was big and close. Mendel had two brothers and a little sister. After the Nazi invasion, Mendel stayed in camps from the age 14 to the age of 21. He

Gotz, Elly

Elly Gotz was born in 1928 in Kovno, Lithuania. His war started in 1941 when the Germans invaded the Soviet Union – he was about 13 when the war broke out. Elly and his family were put into a ghetto that same year. When the ghetto was liquidated, Elly was taken to Dachau, where he

Grey, Nina

Nina Grey survived the Holocaust in wartime Poland.  Her family was on the move, hiding in and out of Warsaw and fortunately always able to stay just one step of the Germans.  She shared her story at Baycrest’s Cafe Europa in the fall of 2012, when she sat down with Jake Borinsky, Jessie Cooke, and

Grifeld, Tova

Tova Grifeld is a child survivor of the Holocaust. She grew up in Romania, and she shared with us her memories of the restrictions of the ghetto and of the increasing weight of the Nazi persecution. Tova was able after the war to make her way to Italy and then to Israel, where the survivors

Gropper, Rae

Rachel (Rae) Gropper (nee Kruger) was born March 3, 1941.  Her parents came from Poland, where they had made a life for themselves in prewar Warsaw.  They shared memories of that with Rae at a later time, as she was born during the war, and they also told her about the bombing of Warsaw in

Grosman, Edith

Edith Grosman was born in Humenne, Czechoslovakia in 1924.   Her life and family were all good, until the war came along.   With that, a facsist government appeared in Slovakia, and restrictions began to be put in place, and Edith soon found herself deported to Auschwitz, and after that a series of labour camps.  With the

Grosman, Riva

Riva Grosman was born May 17, 1926 in Poland (present-day Belarus).  Riva had three sisters and her parents, and they were well off for the time as her father was a lumber merchant.  Because of this Riva and her sisters went to a private school.  At the beginning of the war, Riva and her family

Gross, Daisy

Daisy Gross was born April 20, 1939 in Nitra, Czechoslovakia.  She grew up there, and had a good life by all accounts; her father had a good job, and she and her parents were doing well, alongside their housekeeper Tonka.  But the tone changed with the war:  Daisy’s father ran a sugar beet refinery, and

Gutter, Pinchas

Pinchas Gutter was born in Lodz and was 7 years old when the war broke out. After his father was brutally beaten by Nazis in Lodz, he fled with his family to what they thought was safety in Warsaw. From there, Pinchas and his family were incarcerated in the Warsaw Ghetto for three and a

Hacker, Alex

Alex Hacker was born in Budapest, Hungary on May 7, 1926.  His father was a successful businessman in the vegetable oil business, and because of that  – as well as Hungary’s alliance with Nazi Germany – Alex and his family and the Jews of Hungary in general were shielded from the immediate brutality of the

Handler, Sid

Sid Handler was born In Vilnius, Lithuania in 1934 (at the time it was part of Poland and he was born with Polish citizenship) as Samuel Rezjewski. Through his childhood, he had lived close to lots of family, and was always surrounded by them. When the Holocaust Began and they were forced into the Vilna

Hans, Denise

Denise Hans was born June 21, 1938. She is the 4th of 6 children. Her father, Michel, and mother, Perla, came from Poland in the early 1920’s. When the war broke out, žthe round up of Jews first affected her family when her father received a “Billet Vert” asking him to go to the police

Heimann, Paul

Paul Heimann was born June 1, 1924 in Austria.  When the Anschluss took place, Paul and his parents found themselves at the centre of Hitler’s ambitions, and they felt the full weight of Nazism with the Kristallnacht.  Their synagogue was burned, and the stormtroopers prevented the fire department from taking action.  Paul’s parents saw the

Herschel, Tswi

Tswi Herschel was born December 29, 1942 in Zwolle, a small town in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands. In January 1943, the family was forced to leave Zwolle and moved to the Jewish ghetto in Amsterdam, where Tswi’s father contacted non-Jewish Dutch friends and asked them to help his newborn son. In March 1943, a Protestant Dutch

Hilf, Magda

Magda Hilf was born in Maly Kevesd, Czechoslovakia, in 1921. Her early years consist of many fond memories, with family and friends and books, all in a rural setting.  After 1938’s Munich Accord, the situation changed:  when the Hungarians took over her region, the restrictions began.  Her father lost his business, and he and so

Hirschl, Helena

Helena Hirschl (nee Beinhacker) was born in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia in 1928.  An only child, she grew up in a well-to-do assimilated family, and her father was in the construction business.  Helena remembers the prewar period in largely positive terms.  She was unaware of the hatred bubbling beneath the surface; she had friends and liked school,

Hochman, Lea

Lea Hochman comes from a small town in Poland where she grew up with her family in a farming area.— Life changed after the 1939 German invasion, though it was not until 1942 that the Germans decided to get rid of her family. They were 1 of 9 Jewish families in the town—, and they

Hoffer, Lou

Lou Hoffer was born in the northern province of Bukovina, Romania in a small  town called Vijnitz. His exact date of birth is uncertain; however, it was around 1927. In 1939, the Russians and the Germans had invaded Poland making the neighbours to the north no longer under Polish rule but Russian. A  year later

Hubert, Judith

Judith Hubert was born in a small town in the eastern part of Poland.  Her father was an artist and her mother helped to maintain the family store.  As a young girl she lived a charmed life, going to a Hebrew school and learning ballet.  All of that ended abruptly in 1939:  the war started when

Israel, Guta

Guta Israel was born in Sandomierz, Poland, where she was one of seven siblings. The Germans invaded her hometown when she was 13, and the full weight of the Shoah hit soonafter. Polish Jews were quickly placed in ghettos, and while many were murdered in short order by the SS, Guta was among those selected

Jacobs, David

Mr. David Jacobs was born in Tomaszów, Poland. He grew up within the small town, and soon joined his father in working at their family tailoring shop. At age 18, when the war broke out, Mr. Jacobs was sent to Buchenwald concentration camp, where he served as a slave labourer. Mr. Jacobs traveled across Europe

Javasky, Ruth

Ruth Javasky was born in Poland in 1929. Her family owned a store prior to the war and people would throw stones through the windows when the store was closed. In 1942 her sister was taken away from her family. The rise of anti-Semitism was rough on her family as she was eventually taken away

Karpati, Malka

In 1944 when the Germans came into Hungary they slowly took away everything Malka Karpati’s family had and they made them wear a yellow star on their clothes. In 1944 they were sent to Auschwitz on an open train, where Doctor Mengele separated them – mom went to the left and Malka and her sisters

Katz, Sylvia

Sylvia Katz is a Holocaust Survivor from Poland. She was living an ideal life, with a great family, when the war broke out; she was 13 at the time. Sylvia was placed in her first camp in 1941, where she was selected to work. She spent the remainder of the war as a slave labourer

Kieffer, Faye

Faye Wolpianska was born in Bieniekonie, Poland, in 1928. Her childhood came to an end in June 1941 when the Nazis came to her village. With the war underway, Faye and her family were quickly moved into a ghetto. As conditions worsened, the family made the decision to leave, ending up in the larger Vilna

Kleinberg, Howard

Howard and Nancy Kleinberg are survivors of the Holocaust. They have witnessed the terror, the tears, and pain, and have experienced emotions that are inexplicable. They lost their friends and their families, but have managed to open their hearts to one other. Howard was born in Poland, in 1926 and was the youngest in a

Kleinberg, Nancy

Nancy and Howard Kleinberg are survivors of the Holocaust. They have witnessed the terror, the tears, and pain, and have experienced emotions that are inexplicable. They lost their friends and their families, but managed to open their hearts to one other. Nancy comes from a small town in Poland where she grew up with five

Kon, Freda

Freda (Franka) Kon is from Lodz, Poland. Freda and her family had been a nice, normal life  when the tragedy of the Holocaust descended upon them.  They were put into the Lodz Ghetto, where they would stay for the next four year, condemned to slave labour and starvation.  But as a young woman, in a

Krakauer, Renate

Renate Krakauer is a child survivor from Poland.  She was born in Stanislawow, Poland just as the war began, in what was at that time the Soviet zone of occupation.  Life was relatively normal until 1941, when the Nazis broke the Molotov-von Ribbentrop Pact and headed east into the USSR.  Suddenly the Jews of Stanislawow

Krausz, Sophie

Sophie Krausz is a delightful 73yr. old woman who has been living at the Terraces of Baycrest since 2012. Sophie was born in Russia two months after the Holocaust commenced.  She lived in Poland for 13 years. Sophie came to Canada in 1958. Sophie was the only child in her family. The family emigrated from

Kuper, Eva

Eva Kuper was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1940, into a world that had just been catapulted into war.  Her parents were from Sandomierz, born into families with well-tempered expectations that had been shattered with the Nazi occupation.  They ended up in the Warsaw Ghetto, where they endured the brutality and deprivation of the Shoah. 

Kuritski, Ella

Ella Kuritski is from Lithuania. After the German invasion in 1941, her father was taken and murdered by the Nazis, and she and her family were relocated to the Kovno ghetto. She was fortunate to survive the deportations and ultimate liquidation of the ghetto and was sent instead to a work camp, where she forced

Kurtz, Irene

Irene Kurtz was born February 2, 1928 in Warsaw, Poland.  She grew up with lots of extended family, and was living a happy life, going to school and celebrating shabbat.  The coming of war in 1939 would shatter that life; it began with restrictions and shortages, and it quickly escalated as the Nazis and their

Kuti, Steve

Steve Kuti is a survivor of the Shoah from Budapest, Hungary, one with a remarkable story to tell.  He remembers growing up in relative privilege; his parents did well and were accepted in the larger community.  But with changes in Hungary’s wartime government, restrictions came into play, and Steve remembers his family being pushed to

Landsman, Fania

We were fortunate to meet Fania Landsman in October 2013 at Baycrest’s Cafe Europa, where she graciously took time out of her day to come and share her story. Mrs. Landsman was born in Belarus, Poland in 1941. She spent the war years in Russia with her mother. In the postwar years, Mrs. Landsman moved

Lane, Mark

Mark Lane was born in 1929 in eastern Czechoslovakia, in the village of Olenovo. In 1939, with the division of the country, the area was ceded to Hungary. The family began to struggle, dealing with the rising anti-Semitism and the restrictions that began to be imposed on their daily lives. In the spring of 1944,

Lang, Eva

Eva Lang is a child survivor from Belgium. When the war began she and her family found themselves in southern France, soon arrested under the Vichy regime. While her parents succeeded in getting most of their children to safety through the OSE, her parents and many family members were deported to Auschwitz. Eva spent most

Langer, Manny

Manny Langer was born June 6th 1929, in Lodz Poland to a large Jewish family, with three sisters and two brothers. Before the beginning of the Second World War, his family had a successful Kosher dairy business. In the morning he attended Hebrew school, and in the afternoon Polish school. In addition to Hebrew school,

Leibovics, Paula

Paula Leibovics was born on September 25, 1933 in Ostrowiec, Poland. Paula grew up with her five older siblings and parents, but sadly, her father and two sisters were killed during the Holocaust. When the War started, Paula was just six years old.  During the Holocaust, Paula was sent to Auschwitz, and was there for

Leipciger, Nate

Nate Leipciger was born in 1928, in Chorzow, Poland. He survived the Sosnowiec Ghetto and the camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Fünfteichen, GrossRosen, Flossenberg, Leonberg, and Dachau. Nate and his father were liberated in May 1945, and Nate immigrated to Canada in 1948. Nate came to speak at Crestwood in November 2013, when he was interviewed by

Leuchter, Kurt

Kurt Leuchter was born February 6, 1929 in Vienna, Austria.  He grew up there in the 1930s and remembers well the dark days of the Anschluss, when the Nazis marched in.  Restrictions began to set in, and then the real brutality was unleashed during Kristallnacht.  Kurt recalls seeing the synagogue burned, and remembers his father

Levenheck, Frida

Frida Levenheck is a Holocaust survivor from France.  Born in the Alsace region, Frida was a child when the war began, and her survival can be attributed to her parents – and to luck and circumstance.  The family lived in the Strasbourg region, right across the Rhine River from Germany, and they were forcibly evacuated

Levenheck, Henri

Henri Levenheck was born in Strasbourg, France.  When the war came, he was still a boy, ready for all that his teenage years might bring him.  But the summer of 1940 saw those dreams taken away, replaced by the terrible new reality of Nazi occupation.  henri and his family were forcibly evacuated from Strasbourg and

Levin, Alex

We met Alex Levin courtesy of the Memory Project and the Azrieli Foundation, where he is a keynote speaker and author. Alex’s story is one of the most compelling ones we have heard; his family was from Poland, and they experienced the full weight of the war’s early years, invaded first by the USSR and

Libman, Faigie

Faigie Libman was born in Kaunas in 1934, an only child. Her mother was a nurse and her father owned a successful bookstore. They lived an affluent lifestyle. In 1941, when Germany invaded and bombed Lithuania, more than 3,500 Jews were murdered. They were humiliated, abused, tortured and murdered. After the invasion, a ghetto was

Lipszyc, Rose

Rose Lipszyc was born in 1929 in Lublin, Poland. By all accounts, her life was a good one, full of family and happy memories.  All that changed in the early days of the Second World War, when the Nazis invaded.  Her family was sent to the ghetto, watching as the liquidations took their neighbours away. 

Loeb, Edith

Edith Loeb was born December 31, 1927 in Bruchsal, Germany, not too far from the border with France.  From her accounts and memories, Edith was living a good life; her father had a store, and she and her brother went to school and the family was doing well.  As the 1930s and the Nazi ideology

Lysy, George

George Lysy was born February 1, 1916 on a farm near Nove Zamky in Czechoslovakia. From an early age, George worked on the family’s dairy farm. He graduated from the College of Agriculture before the war. In 1938, when the Hungarians took over the region, George applied for a farmer’s visa to Canada but was

Lysy, Judy

Judy Lysy came to Crestwood with her husband George. Both are Hungarian Survivors of the Shoah, and they shared their stories with Chase Farbstein, Kyle Seigel, and Zack Martin in a dual interview. Judy grew up in wartime Hungary, and when many Jewish men were taken to the Russian front, she and other women fended

Mahler, Sylvia

Sylvia Mahler is a survivor of the Holocaust. Sylvia does not know her age because her records were lost in the war, but she is registered as born in 1925. She grew up in Stopnica (Poland) and lived there until the war started. In 1941 Sylvia was taken to Skarzysko-Kamienna labour camp, where she was forced

Mandel, Joe

Joe Mandel is a Holocaust survivor from the central European region of Ruthenia.  When Joe was born in 1924, Ruthenia was part of Czechoslovakia, but following Chamberlain’s failed “Peace in our time” bid and the following wartime border changes, Joe’s town was ceded to Hungary (it has also at various times been part of Germany,

Mason, Michael

Michael Mason was born September 14, 1928, in Czechoslovakia; he grew up in Hungary, with the name Miklos Friedman, in a family that he described as occasionally observant. His memories of his early life are typical of the time: he and his friends explored the countryside, went to school, and occasionally got in trouble. Michael’s

Meisels, Eva

Eva Meisels was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1939, an only child. After her father was taken to a forced labour camp in 1942, Eva and her mother were sent to the Budapest Ghetto and eventually, a safe house. They obtained false papers from Raoul Wallenberg and were liberated by the Soviet Army. After the

Meisels, Leslie

Leslie Meisels was born in Nádudvar, Hungary in 1927. He lived with his parents, two brothers, and both sets of grandparents. He survived the ghetto in Debrecen, slave labour and eventual deportation to Bergen-Belsen. He was liberated in April 1945 by the US Army. His mother, father and both brothers also survived. Leslie immigrated to

Meister, Ernie

Ernie Meister was separated fom his family and sent to a work camp for the majority of World War Two, first in Transylvania and later in the Ukraine. He was forced into slave labour, digging ditches and other defenses for the German military. In late 1944 he escaped the camp and made his way back

Mesner, Mila

Mila Mesner was born November 22, 1923 in Zalishchyky, Poland (now Ukraine).  She recalls a positive childhood, full of family and good memories.  All of that changed with the beginning of the war:  Mila’s town was in the Soviet zone of occupation, and she remembers that arrests and deprivation began right away.  Mila’s father chose

Mezei, Leslie

Leslie Mezei was born in 1931 in Hungary in a little town called Gödöllő. He had a good relationship with his mother and father. His father was an officer in the Hungarian army, and a lawyer. Leslie lived in a small house and had a tough childhood with some anti-Semitism appearing in his neighborhood and

Miller, Etti

Etti Miller is a child survivor of the Holocaust.  Born just as the war was beginning, Etti and her family were forced into the Vilna Ghetto.  They were lucky to escape the liquidation of the ghetto, as they managed to find their way into the forests.  They remained there the duration of the war, living

Mitelman, Les

Les Mitelman is a Crestwood grandfather; his grandson Liam Stern was in Grade 8 at the time this interview was completed.  Les was born in Tarnopol, Poland on July 21, 1938, so he was only a baby when the war began, so growing up he had to learn the unspeakable and horrible lessons the Shoah

Muskat, Jack

Jack was born in a small and impoverished village in Poland on the White Russian boarder. The name of this town was Sharkazhena. He attended a Polish public school until 1939, when the Russians came in and occupied Jack’s small village. Despite undergoing the horrors of the Holocaust, Jack is now living a happy and

Mussmand, Bernard

Bernard’s family originally came from Poland, but Bernard grew up in France not far from the Luxembourg border. When his father became concerned about the state of affairs in Germany, the family moved to southern France, in what would become the Vichy zone. When the family learned that the Gestapo was looking for Bernard’s father,

Myers, Muguette

Muguette Myers was born in 1931 in Paris.  Her parents had emigrated to France from Poland, hoping to leave behind the anti-Semitism of eastern Europe.  Muguette’s father died when she was only three, so it became her mother’s job to support the family.  Muguette had to go to school with her brother despite her young

Nash, Georgine

Georgine Nash was born in Hungary on June 16,1937.  She grew up during the war, and as was the case with most Hungarian Jews, she enjoyed a distance from the terrible conflict, and the from the terrible Shoah that was commencing in the neighbouring countries.  Georgine remembers her father being taken away to a labour

Nayman, Sol

Sol Nayman is a Holocaust Survivor from Poland.  He was born in 1935 to Yudel Najman and Sore Roize Rosenberg; his older sister Mania was born in 1928.  When the war came in 1939, simple, everyday life in their village was turned upside down.  The family was fortunate to escape to the forest, where they

Nesselroth, Peter

Peter Nesselroth was born in Berlin on March 1, 1935. When the situation for Jews worsened, his family moved to Belgium when he was almost 4 years old. After Kristallnacht, his parents just couldn’t reconcile staying in Germany any longer, so they moved to Brussels. During this time, Peter couldn’t go to school, so his

Newman, Anna

Anna was born in Poland.; she is a survivor of the Holocaust. She spent three years in concentration camps, being sent there when she was only 22 years old. She was in Auschwitz-Birkenau for much of this time. When the war was over, she got married and moved to the United States where she had

Newman, Margaret

Margaret Newman (nee Kaufman) was born March 29, 1923 in Satu Mare, Romania.  She was the second child in a family of eight children, and as the eldest daughter it was her job to maintain a respectable and observant household.  When Satu Mare and the surrounding region were annexed by Hungary, life became more complicated

Nirenberg, Erica

Erica Nirenberg was born in 1931 in a small town in Romania. She had 3 siblings but they passed away at a young age. When she was 12 years old, her father was rounded up by the Russian Army and never returned. She and her mother fled to a large Romanian city called Czernovitz to

Nussbaum, Aaron

Aaron Nussbaum was born in Sandomierz in Poland. He stayed here until he could not hide from the Nazis anymore. He spent 8 months in Bergen Belsen where he was rescued by American troops. Aaron was sent to Palestine at the age of 13, until he joined his mother and brother in Canada. He fought

Olsson, Eva

Eva Olsson grew up in Hungary, born into a Jewish family in Satu Mare, Hungary. She remembers the family’s Hasidic traditions, and the poverty and simplicity of her early life. Like other Hungarian Jews, Eva was comparatively isolated from the war raging all around them; they heard rumours and such, but as Hungary was allied

Orlan, Norma

Norma Orlan is a Holocaust Survivor from Jaworsno, Poland.  A child when the German invasion began, she managed to survive a succession of labour camps during the war, including Gross Rosen.  With the conclusion of the war she found herself in the Fohrenwald DP camp.  She and new group of friends made their way out

Orosz, Angela

Angi Orosz was born December 21, 1944, in Auschwitz-Birkenau, one of a handful of Jewish babies born in the camp who was able to survive.  Her mother Vera Bein gave birth to Angela in that terrible place, and as Angi says in her testimony she speaks to honour her mother’s determination and fight to survive,

Pagelson, Edith

Edith Pagelson’s personal story of survival began in Germany. She and her family were victims of Hitler’s Nazi regime well before the war began, feeling the sting of the Nuremberg Laws and Kristallnacht all through the 1930s. She and her family were deported from Duisberg to the Terezin Ghetto, where Edith’s father died. After spending

Pasternak, Susan

Susan Pasternak, born Sissi Friedman was 7 months old when the war broke out in September of 1939. She was born on February 1st, 1939 in Zambriow, which is in northeastern Poland. Her parent’s names were Mordechai and Sarah Friedman and Susan was their first and only child. Her father had his own bakery shop

Perl, Margaret

Margaret Perl is a Holocaust Survivor who went through the full horros of the Nazi onslaught, surviving the deportations, the ghetto, starvation, Auschwitz, and a death march at the end of the war. She shared her thoughts at Baycrest’s Cafe Europa, sitting down with Crestwood students Kaily Wise, Steph Tanz, and Madi Brown in February

Peter, Avraham Haim

Avraham Peter grew up in the city of Lodz, Poland, where he was born August 12, 1926.  His parents had their own factory/business and the family was living a good, observant life, and the young Abe attended a Jewish school, and was raised in part by his grandparents.  Anti-Semitism was a reality in 1930s Lodz

Pollack, Sophie

Sophie Pollack, like other Jewish children living in Europe at the time of the Second World War, had her childhood snatched away from her at the hands of the Nazis. Born in Skierniewice, Poland, Sophie told us about her miraculous story of survival, after being placed in the Koluszki Ghetto and then just barely managing to

Preger, George

George Preger is a Holocaust survivor, and a Crestwood grandparent. He was born in 1936, in Vienna, Austria, an only child. George moved from city to city during the war but primarily lived in bunkers in Budapest to avoid being captured in the war. Remarkably he and his family were able to stay one step

Quddus, Marguerite

Marguerite Quddus was born December 4, 1936 in Paris, France.  Her parents had fled Russia at the time of the revolution in order to escape the pogroms that were devastating Russian Jews.  Her grandfather, Rabbi Shlomo Eliashev, was a well known kabbalist, and he made his way to Palestine with some family members, while Marguerite’s

Quint, Rena

Rena Quint was born in 1935 and 1936, depending on the source.  This is because of her early life circumstances, before and after the Shoah.  Her birth family, her two parents and her two brothers, did not survive, and her adoptive mother in Sweden changed Rena’s birthdate to match that of her own deceased daughter. 

Ratonyi, Robert

Robert Reichmann was born on January 11,1938 in Budapest, Hungary.  He later decided to change his name to Robert (Bob) Ratonyi, hoping to escape the name-associated antisemitism that was prevalent even in postwar Hungary.  In the early part of the war, Bob mentioned that Hungarian Jews were an insulated group:  in November 1940 Hungary’s Horthy

Reeser, Karl

The Reesers were born in what is now Czech Republic, formerly known as the Czechoslovakia, in a small town provincial town of about 30,000 people, located about 60 km west of Prague.  Karl’s life in Rakovnik was very pleasant and luxurious. He and his family lived in a very large house facing the pretty main

Reti, Andy

Andy Reti was born July 16, 1942 in Budapest, Hungary.  He is a child survivor from the Shoah.  Andy’s father did not survive those terrible years:  he was taken to a forced labour battalion and later murdered in Auschwitz Birkenau.  Andy, along with his mother and grandparents, survived the horrors of the war through good

Rips, Paul Henri

Paul-Henri Rips was born on October 23, 1929 in Antwerp, Belgium. He lived with his father Isadore, mother Faja and sister Sina.  Paul described his years before the war as his “golden childhood”. There were mutterings of what was to come but his childhood was pleasant.  On May 10th 1940 Belgium was invaded by Germany.

Rosenbaum, Hank

Hank Rosenbaum was born into a comfortable Jewish family in Warsaw in 1936. The German invasion of Poland turned life for the Rosenbaum family upside down. He and his family would spend the next 6 years in and out of ghettos- escaping and evading the Germans on multiple occasions. He spent the final years of

Rosenbaum, Helen

Helen Rosenbaum was just under two years old when her family decided to escape the brutality of anti-Semitism in Poland by fleeing to the Soviet Union. Her family’s decision to flee would spare Helen the horrors of the death camps, but it wasn’t without struggles and terror. From the horrors of Nazi-occupied Poland, to the

Rosenberg, Fay

Fay Rosenberg lived in Poland before the Second World War, and as she says, she and her family were living a good life. But when the war began, Fay says that as the parents began to show their fears, the children did as well. Fay and her family found themselves in eastern Poland at the

Rosenberg, Freda

Freda Rosenberg is a Holocaust Survivor from Radom, Poland.  She survived the full weight of the war years, passing through a number of ghettoes and camps, including Auschwitz Birkenau.  When the Red Army was approaching, she was forced on a death march, which she recounts in detail here.  Surviving that ordeal too, Freda was liberated

Rosenberg, Nathan

Nathan Rosenberg is a survivor of the Second World War and the Shoah. While so many Jews were caught up in that terrible period of history, Nathan and his family were fortunate to escape, and what makes their story different is that they escaped to the east, into the heart of the USSR. When their

Roth, Helen

Helen Roth was born towards the end of the Great Depression.  Helen was only in elementary school when World War 2 began. She had 2 sisters and four brothers and out of all of them only her and her brother are still alive today. Helen’s father passed away when she was 3, so he did

Rybowski, David

David Rybowski is a survivor from Lodz, Poland. He experienced the full weight of the Holocaust, living in the ghetto before being deported to a series of camps and subjected to slave labour before surviving death marches at the war’s end. He spoke to Crestwood students Gabi Sandler, Sam Wasserman, So Hee Pyo, and Dov

Saks, Simon

Simon Saks was born in Poland in 1932.  He was taken by the Nazis from his home at the age of 7, and was imprisoned until his liberation at the age of 13.  He had one year of education at a public school before that time.  Simon at first was in the Warsaw Ghetto; there

Salsberg, Kitty

Kitty Salsberg was born in Budapest, Hungary, on November 14, 1932. Orphaned after the war, Kitty and her younger sister, Ellen, immigrated to Canada in 1948 through the Canadian Jewish Congress’s War Orphans Project. Kitty and her younger sister, Ilonka, arrived in Canada with painful memories from the Holocaust, which took both of their parents.

Samet, Judah

Judah Samet was born in Debrecen, Hungary on February 5, 1938.  He attributes his wartime survival to his mother, whose brave actions brought Judah and his siblings through the war.  Hungary’s Jews had been insulated from the worst horrors of the Shoah for most of the war, but all that ended with the German invasion

Samuels, Joe

Joe Samuels was born December 31, 1930 in Baghdad, Iraq:  he was actually uncertain of his birthday but knew that he was born during Hanukkah and upon his emigration to Israel he chose the December 31 date – to coincide with an international celebration!  Joe grew up in a Baghdad that he remembers as multicultural

Schiff, Vera

Vera Schiff was born in 1926, in Prague, Czechoslovakia, to a middle class family. After the Nazi invasion of the country in 1939, her family became marginalized at home until 1942, when they were deported to the concentration camp, Theresienstadt. She would be the lone survivor from her family. Theresienstadt is also where she met

Schild, Erwin

Rabbi Erwin Schild was born in Mulheim, Germany in 1920.  His family, consisting of his parents and two siblings, owned a local store and considered themselves part of the larger community.  Erwin went to public school until age 16, when he was forced out of the public system as Nazi restrictions began to increase.  At

Schwemer, Fela

Fela Schwemer is a Holocaust Survivor from Poland.  Fela lost most of her family during the war, as she made her way through a series of camps, where she was used as a slave labourer.  Fela is a powerful storyteller, and her memory for the little details – the bobby pin that she desperately wanted

Scott, George

George Scott was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1930. He had a relatively big and nice family. “Everything should be okay, but experience changes people, “ he said. The Holocaust turned him into a reflective, quiet boy, puzzled by many things. He recorded that in 1943, his life started to change. All Jews in Hungary

Segalowitz, Leah

Leah Segalowitz survived the Nazi invasion and occupation of the Netherlands. She went into hiding, working as a nurse, though she was an active member of the Dutch Resistance. When the war concluded, she emigrated to Palestine, spending a number of years in British detention camps and working in a hospital in Cyprus before arriving

Sermer, Zuzana

Zuzana Sermer was born in the town of Humenné, Slovakia on August 29, 1924. Zuzana had a happy childhood. The war would change that though.  In the spring of 1942 all single women who were 16 and older were told to go to the police station. All the other women packed their things but Zuzana

Shtibel, Adam

Adam Shtibel was born in the small Polish town of Komarow.  Early in the war his town was occupied by the USSR, and later by the Germans.  At that time, he served as herdsmen for a local farmer. With the death of his father, Adam continued as labourer for a Polish farmer. Adam saw the

Shtibel, Rachel

Rachel Shtibel, nee Milbauer, a vivacious and outgoing music lover, lay hidden and silent in an underground bunker in Nazi-occupied Poland for nearly two years.  A young child, she managed to survive the war, through her determination and good fortune.  After the war, a recovered violin, case and photos hidden away by Rachel’s beloved Uncle Velvel

Shulman, Saul

Born in the small town of Klimontov, Poland in 1938, Saul was only an infant when Europe transformed into a war zone. He was born into a loving family: his father was a banker, his mother was a homemaker, and he had two older brothers. Saul remembers very little of this briefly relatively peaceful life

Silberzweig, Eileen

Eileen Silberzweig is a Holocaust Survivor from Poland. Though she was only child and her specific memories are limited, she was able to tell Jessica Kelly, Jessica Seger, Katherine Charness, and Ellen McPhadden about the German invasion and about how she and many family members escaped the ghetto and made it into the woods. This

Silverberg, Elisabeth

Elisabeth Silverberg is a Holocaust Survivor we met at Baycrest’s Cafe Europa. Before the war she was living an ideal life, with family, and going to school. As the war and the Holocaust began, she was deported to a number of camps, including Auschwitz, where she was a forced labourer. She speaks compellingly of her

Sitbon, Stefania

Stefania Sitbon is a Holocaust Survivor from Poland.  She was born just before the war began, so Stefania doesn’t remember the German invasion, or life before the war.  The memories she has are of her childhood, a time when things had changed dramatically.  Stefania grew up in the chaos and hunger of the Warsaw Ghetto,

Sitzer, Max

Max Sitzer is a Holocaust Survivor from Poland who has a family connection at Crestwood; he was interviewed by his young cousin Mara Bowman here at the school in March 2013. Max lived in eastern Poland and was under Soviet rule for the first part of the war, but with the German invasion in 1941

Skolnick, Irene

Irene Solnick was born August 22, 1937 in Przemyśl, Poland.  Her name at birth was Ruth, but Irene was the Christian name she was given in wartime Poland – to help her to survive the Shoah.  She was raised in a mixed Jewish family, where her grandfather and father were Orthodox, Yiddish-speaking successful merchants, while

Sless, Gerda

Gerda Sless was born in Vienna and in her young life was raised by her mom, dad and her brother, along with her grandparents. Gerda and her brother shared a great bond and as siblings they had a positive relationship. One morning everything took a turn though – the war intruded upon their idyllic lives.

Smart, Maxwell

Max Smart was born June 1, 1930 in Buczacz, Poland (now Ukraine).  He and his family were living a good life in the 1930s, and Max remembers well the idyllic nature of life in that time.  Even as events around Poland began to move towards war, Max and his family felt safe, unaware of what

Speare, Mary

Mary Speare was born in Budapest, Hungary but has lived in Canada for over 60 years.  She went through WW2 and experienced Nazis persecution against Jews.  Her father was taken to a labour camp early on, as the family’s fortunes began to unravel.  Mary was fortunate to be spared deportation to Auschwitz as her mother put

Sterk, Eddy

Eddy Sterk lived in Holland at the beginning of the war. As his father worked in a hospital, Eddy and his family were able to evade the early deportations, which slowly saw Amsterdam’s Jews transported “to the east”.  Eddy’s siblings were eventually taken, and soon after Eddy and his parents were rounded up as well.

Stern, George

George Stern survived the Holocaust in Hungary.  A teenage boy at the time, George lost most of his family, but he was fortunate to go into hiding in the countryside.  He remembers that he lost his Barmitzvah to the war.  When the conflict was over, he emigrated to Israel and later to Canada, where he

Stockhamer, Vivian

Vivian Stockhamer was born in Lida, Poland in 1936 to Leibel Litovitz and Charna (Boyarski) Litovitz. Her father had 10 siblings and her mother had 3 siblings, all of whom were married with children and many of whom were living in Lida prior to the outbreak of World War II.  From 1939 to 1941 Lida

Svarc, Emile

Emile Svarc was born in 1936 in Yugoslavia.  His young life as he recalls was quite good, but the coming of the war in 1941 changed everything.  Yugoslavia was divided, with a puppet state created in Croatia and the rest of the country under Axis occupation.  Emile recalls the mounting restrictions of this period; his

Szabo, Paul

Paul Szabo was born in 1933 Hungary. His family was made up of his mother, father and sister, who was 3 years older than he. Paul’s father was a manager in charge of a small factory manufacturing plumbing fixtures. His mother was an accountant before the war, working for a pharmaceutical company. Paul and his

Turk, Harry

Harry was born in a small town known as Sernike, in Pinsk, Poland on May 10, 1935. He was the youngest of his ten siblings. His father was an owner of a lumber business and his mother was a busy home maker. Harry was 4 years old at the outbreak of World War Two. When

Tylman, Andrew

Andrew Tylman was born in November 1933, and he grew up in the town of Sochaczew, Poland. His early life took place in a largely Jewish milieu,and the family was prosperous, vacationing in Glowno and prominent in the community. The onset of the war changed the situation dramatically; as violence in his small town began

Vertes, Leslie

Leslie Vertes was born February 18, 1924 in the village of Ajak (Hungary). His father was a shoemaker who worked alongside his wife. Leslie was 14 years old when the family moved to Budapest, where he was unable to finish the last year of high school and go to university due to the prevailing anti-Jewish

Vis, Leonard

Leonard Vis was born in Amsterdam, Holland, in 1930. After the Germans occupied the Netherlands, his family went into hiding. They all survived and were liberated in 1945. Leonard After the war, Leonard served two years in the Dutch Army before moving to New York. In 1967, Leonard came to Canada for a job posting.

Waldner, Mia

Mia Frank survived the war as a hidden child in Belgium. Her stepmother’s quick thinking did save Mia, but both her stepmother and father were killed during the Holocaust. Mia was interviewed by Crestwood student Hayley Goldsand on a Baycrest field trip in early 2009.

Wasserman, Sally

Sally Wasserman is the only child survivor of the Dambrowa ghetto, which was located in southern Poland, not too far from Auschwitz-Birkenau. When her family was forced into the ghetto, her mother encountered Mr. Turken, a man who did work for the authorities in the ghetto. He and his wife agreed to take Sally in

Weisberg, Sam

On December 7th, 2015, six students from Crestwood Preparatory College went to the Baycrest Centre to interview Sam Weisberg, accompanied by his wife, Rosa. Sam is a Holocaust survivor, born to a Jewish family in a German-speaking region of Poland called Silesia in 1927. He was taken to the Krakow ghetto, and later to multiple

Weiss, Allen

Allen Weiss was born in Romania in 1929. Allen had loving parents along with two sisters and a brother. He grew up in a small village where his family owned a grocery store. Allen was 14 years old when the Nazis forced him out of his village. Allen was taken to Auschwitz – Birkenau with

Weisz, Rachel

Rachel Weisz was living in Budapest when the war began. Both Rachel’s mother and father were originally from Poland. Her father and uncles owned a textile factory, though Rachel’s family was the only one with Hungarian citizenship. When Rachel was in grade 6 her family hit hard times. Her father and uncles were arrested because

Weksberg, Lenka

Lenka Weksberg was born in Tacovo, Czechoslovakia, in 1926. In 1944, the entire family was deported to the Mathesalka Ghetto in Hungary and then to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where her mother and brother were murdered. Lenka survived a slave labour camp in Geislingen, and Alach, as well as a death march. Lenka was liberated by the US

Wigoda, Ann

Ann Wigoda was born in Berlin, Germany on August 23, 1932.  Growing up in the 1930s, she was too young to understand many of the political changes, but as a child she does remember the increasing tensions, in the house and especially with the other children in the neighbourhood.  By the middle of the decade

Willinger, Gershon

Gershon Willinger was born in Holland, in 1942.  His experience in the Holocaust is a very different story because he was a very young boy who was unaware of his environment, and did not know what to do. Guido and Edith, his parents, were German Jews. They were both murdered in 1943, in a Polish

Windwar, Hana

Hana Windwar was born in 1933 in Warsaw, Poland. She was six years old when the war began and she was the only child of her parents. She went to Russia with her parents. Her dad was taken to Russia, and forced into the army during the war.  Her mom needed to work and Hana was put in a orphanage. Hana

Woznicki, Marvin

Marvin Woznicki was born in Silesia, Poland in 1925. Marvin grew up there in a house with his parents, his brother and his two sisters. Marvin attended grade school in Poland up to Grade 4. He had a happy childhood in his early years growing up, until all of that changed. Marvin was only fourteen

Yermus, Helen

Helen was born in Lithuania, in 1932. In 1944, after the Kovno Ghetto was liquidated, Helen and her mother were shipped to the Stutthof concentration camp.  The men were separated, including Helen’s father Yitzhak, who was taken to Dachau and killed. In January of 1945, Helen and her mother were left behind while the Jews

Zaidman, Mina

Mina Zaidman was born in Miedzyrzec, Poland, in 1934.   She lived in a small house with her parents and younger brother.  She was only 4 ½ when the war broke out and does not really remember much about life before that.  Before Germany invaded Miedzyrzec, the Russian army occupied the city as part of the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact settlement.  When the

Zelcovitch, Simon

Simon Zelcovitch was born in Poland shortly before the onset of the war. When his father foresaw the approaching Nazi invasion, the family fled to Russia, where they lived in ghettoes. With the escalation of the Holocaust, the family followed Simon’s older brother Yossel into the forest, where they took refuge in the Bielski Brothers’

Zeller, Helen

Helen Zeller grew up in Poland.  She was living a very comfortable life with her family when the war began, quickly changing everything.  While most of her family was lost, Helen and a few others were fortunate to escape the liquidation.  She was able to survive in a bunker and the forest, dependent on a

Zimmerman, Rose

Rose Zimmerman comes from Poland, where she and her family were living a normal life before 1939. The advent of the war saw all of that turned upside down; she and her family experienced the full weight of the Shoah, and Rose herself ended up a slave labourer in Auschwitz, before ending the war in

Zweig, Seymour

Seymour Zweig was born in 1921 in Lodz, Poland. After the Nazis invaded, Zweig was forced to flee to Russia, where he spent the remainder of the war. In Russia, he joined the army and did war work in an aluminum factory, where he even worked alongside German prisoners of war. After the war, Zweig