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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chandler, Howard

Howard Chandler was born in December 1928, in Weirzbnik, Poland. He had three siblings, a sister, who was the oldest, and two brothers. He was the middle child and had a normal experience in school before the war. When the war started he was almost eleven years old, finishing grade three and moving onto grade

Cipin, Josef

Josef 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, Josef 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. When Hungarian Jews were deported in 1944, she and many members of her family were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where Judy became a slave labourer. She was later sent to other camps in the Nazi system and was fortunate to survive the death marches at the end of

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

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

Eisen, Alex

Alex Eisen survived the Jewish Holocaust in Hungary at the end of the war. While he was not deported to the camps, he did witness the horrors inflicted upon the Jews of Budapest, which he was fortunate enough to escape. After the war came to an end, he left Europe and ended up in Palestine,

Eisen, Max

Max Eisen is a Hungarian Jew who was deported along with his family in the summer of 1944. While the other members of his family were murdered, Max was able to survive slave labour at Auschwitz-Birkenau as well as other camps, as well as the death marches at the end of the war. He is

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 18th 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

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,

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

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 the

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,

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

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.

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

Glied, Bill

In April, 1944, Bill was deported along with his entire family from his home town of Subotica, Serbia to Auschwitz-Birkenau. In June 1944, he was transferred to the Dachau concentration camp in Germany where he worked as a slave labourer, building the infamous Ringeltaube. He was liberated by the US Army on April 29, 1945.

Goldberg, Mel

Mel Goldberg was born in the summer of 1942, in Baila Rawska, Warsaw.  He had two brothers and one sister, but no one survived the war.  His town was liquidated in 1942 , and the family went to Treblinka which is a death camp located in Poland.  Mel’s father had given Mel to the local

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

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

Grosman, Edith

Edith Grosman was born in eastern Czechoslovakia in the year 1924.   Her life and family were all good, until the German invasion and the onslaught of the Nazis.  With that, restrictions began to be put in place, and Edith soon found herself deportated to Auschwitz, and after that a series of labour camps.  With the

Grosman, Riva

Riva was born in 1926 in current day Belarus, but at the time it was Poland.  Riva had three sisters and her Mom and Dad.  Her family was in the upper class and her father was a lumber merchant; since she was in an upper class family Riva and her sisters went to private school. 

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

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

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

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

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

Fay 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

Mr. and Mrs. Kleinberg are survivors of the Holocaust. They have witnessed the terror, the tears, pain; emotions that are inexplicable. They lost their friends, their family and have opened their hearts to each other. Howard was born in Poland, in 1926 and was the youngest brother of ten.— in 1941 his entire family had

Kleinberg, Nancy

Mr. and Mrs. Kleinberg are survivors of the Holocaust. They have witnessed the terror, the tears, pain; emotions that are inexplicable. They lost their friends, their family and have opened their hearts to each other. Nancy comes from a small town in Poland where she grew up with five brothers and two loving parents as

Kon, Freda

Freda Kon is from Lodz, Poland. She experienced the tragedies so many Polish Jews suffered during the Holocaust, surviving the ghetto, deportations to a number of camps, slave labour, and a death march at the war’s end. She attributes her survival to her mother’s spirit, as the two were together through the duration of the

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

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 is a Survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto, where she witnessed the fateful uprising of 1943. From there she was deported to several of the camps, including Madjanek and Skarzysko. After her liberation by Soviet troops she worked in a hospital before she was able to leave Poland and eventually emigrate to Canada. Irene

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

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

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 immigrated to Canada in 1948. Nate came to speak at Crestwood in November 2013, when he was interviewed by Danielle

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

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.

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

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 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

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

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

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,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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 loacted 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

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

Willinger, Gershon

Gershon Willinger was only three when the Holocaust happened. He was born in 1942. He was born and raised in Holland. His father, Guido, was born in 1908 and his mother, Edith, was born in 1909. Gershon’s parents were both German Jews and were murdered in the Holocaust. He had a sister who was older

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