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,

Eaves, Joanna

Joanna Eaves was born on February 17, 1943. She grew up with her mother, Nora, her sister, Liz, and her brother, Charles. Unfortunately for most of her toddler years, her father, John, was off fighting in World War II. John’s position in the war was a Maratha Light Infantry of the Indian army.  During the war, Joanna’s father was

Gregerson, Pete

Pete Gregerson served in Canada’s armed forces in both World War Two and Korea.  Born and raised in the west end of Toronto, Pete grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression, attending public school and then Central Tech, where he studied to be a draftsman.  Pete enlisted in the army as WW2 came

Matheson, Dan

Major Daniel Matheson is a current member of the Canadian Forces, who hails from Indian Harbour, Nova Scotia, a small fishing community just outside Halifax.  He joined the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in 1997 right out of High School under the Regular Officer Training Plan and attended Royal Military College in St Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC and

Scott, Doug

Doug Scott was born in Toronto.  He graduated from Upper Canada College and the University of Toronto.  From there, Doug enlisted in the Canadian army, where he stayed  for five years.  During that time, the Korean War took place, and Doug was deployed overseas.  While in Korea, Doug served in the unique position of sports

Lang, Sydney

Sydney Lang was born in Montreal on February 7th, 1923.  He currently resides in Toronto and is 92 years of age.  Sydney grew up during the Great Depression, in the city of Montreal.  He attended public school and was a Canadiens fan.  When the war broke out, Sydney was originally denied from the army because

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

Carter, George

George Carter was born in Toronto, Canada, and was the first of 14 children of John Carter and Louise Braithwaite Carter, who were from Barbados. Carter excelled in sports as a cricket player, and he was a strong student as well. He was also very social and from an early age he understood the importance

Hoare, Edward

Edward “Ted” Hoare grew up against the backdrop of mid 1930s London. Ted received a scholarship to attend a uniform school, but he wasn’t able to attend due to a lack of financial resources. He eventually got a job and registered for the military at the age of fourteen, and he subsequently joined the Home

Boyer, Michael

Michael Boyer is a veteran born in Toronto, into a big family.  Fairly well-to-do, Mr. Boyer and his family were less affected by the depression than many. He joined the army at a young age and became part of the Fourth Field Royal Canadian Artillery. Travelling to Europe, Mr. Boyer fought along allied forces such

Wallace, Al

 Al Wallace was born in Toronto in1920 on Brock Avenue (which was off Bloor Street).  Al and his family lived on Gladstone Avenue.  He went to Dovercourt  Public School, which was on Hallam Street,  and he graduated in 1938.  After this, he went to Central Tech for one year.  However, Al was unable to go

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

Baranek, Martin

Martin Baranek  was born in 1930 in Starachowice, Poland.  His was a small family, just him, his mother, his father, and his younger brother.  Martin was 9 when the war started in 1939.  During those years, he was often bullied at school for being a Jew.  As the reach of the Nazis grew deeper, he

Brooks, Douglas

Douglas Brooks was born in 1921 in Toronto, the middle child out of all his four brothers.  Douglas is currently 92 years of age.  He grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  Like many men, the reason Douglas joined the army was simply because there was no work; also all his friends and

Rhind, Jack

Jack Rhind was born May 1, 1920 in the Toronto neighbourhood of Rosedale.  His father was a successful dentist, and Jack grew up in pretty good circumstances, attending UTS for high school, and then the University of Toronto itself.  The family’s fortunes did change with the Great Depression, but Jack went to work, and began

Hishon, John

John Hishon and his mother lived in the Yonge & Bloor area of Toronto, where his Mom worked extremely hard to make a living during the Great Depression..  When the war broke out, John trained on the Canadian Exhibition grounds, where at first they did not have any equipment and were laughed at.  He eventually

Meisels, Leslie

Leslie Meisels was born in Nádudvar, Hungary in1927. 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 April1945 by the US Army. His mother, father and both brothers also survived. Leslie immigrated to Canada in

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

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

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

Grizzle, Stanley

Stanley Grizzle has led an illustrious life, and Crestwood students were fortunate to meet him in the spring of 2013 – on several occasions – and we are indebted to Kathy Grant and the Legacy Voices Project for setting up that introduction. Stanley Grizzle was born in Toronto in 1918, to Jamaican parents who immigrated

Mann, Charles

Charles Mann is a Canadian veteran of World War Two who served with the Black Devils.  Originally from Port Hope, Charles and his family were affected by the Great Depression, like so many other Canadian families.  Charles left school for work, but with the coming of the war, he enlisted in the army, and when

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

Rubinstein, Len

A South African Jew, Mr. Leonard Rubinstein volunteered to fight with the British 8th Army the “Desert Rats” in WW2. After seeing action in Bardia, he was captured and spent the remainder of the war in Axis POW camps, where he was fortunate to keep his religious identity secret from the Gestapo. Mr. Rubinstein came

Leggatt, Charles

Charles Leggatt served in the British army during WW2.  Charles visited us at Crestwood several times, and on our final visit with him we visited him in his home.  Charles was a magnificent storyteller, and he shared with Crestwood students his numerous wartime exploits:  the Home Guard, his memories of his brother Kenneth, the Battle

Sterk, Eddie

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

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

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

Lysy, George

Before WW2, George Lysy was a Jewish officer in the Czechoslovakian Army. He did not face any discrimination until the late 1930’s, when the army started to make changes to their policies. Eventually, things got worse for George. George was demoted to private in the army reserves where he was eventually called upon to serve.

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