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 poor farmers. She and her family arrived in Canada in 1966. Esther came to Crestwood two times: in 2008 she participated in our Holocaust Workshop, and in 2009 she sat down for an interview with Grade 11 student Caroline Murphy.