Michael Zarembo is a Lithuanian Jew, one of so many overwhelmed with the terrible events that befell his people and region during the war. 1941 saw the initiation of that horror…Germany initiated Operation Barbarossa, and within days Michael’s family was under the heel of the Nazi regime. Life became increasingly difficult in the ghettos that were
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
Sofia Yousafzai was born in 1967 in Kabul, Afghanistan. Her family is made up of her 3 brothers, 2 sisters and parents. She lived a normal, but risky life. It was ormal as in she did everything anyone else would do, like going to school and going to interesting places and hanging out with friends.
Nayani Thiyagarajah is a speaker and community activist and a director and a producer, a daughter of the Yalpanam-Tamil diaspora, as well as a writer, performance artist, and filmmaker. She has worked extensively with multiple arts-based organizations and performance groups across Toronto, including Manifesto Community Projects, ArtReach Toronto, b.current Performing Arts, and Schools Without Borders. She
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
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
We met Murray Shukyn at the Baycrest Terraces in January 2015, as part of the new Crestwood-Baycrest initiative to document Jewish history in postwar Toronto. And Murray made interesting contributions in that regard. Murray grew up in the shadow of World War Two, and he reached maturity in the context of the 50s and 60s,
George Carter is the first native-born, black judge in Canada. He 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
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
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
Mac Joyner was on May 24th, 1923 in Hamilton, Ontario. As a small child, he and his family moved all around North America, mainly in the southern United States, including California, Florida and Georgia. With all the moving, school life was quite difficult for Mac. After settling back into Canada, Mac grew up living the
James Noddle was born over a bakery in the East End of Toronto to a poor large family. Growing up, he became particularly fond of trucks, and this interest continued on post-war. When the war began, he wasn’t too interested in it; however, soon he joined. His main duties in the war in Italy included
Edward “Ted” Hoare grew up against the backdrop of mid 1930s London. Ted eventually 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 conscription at the age of fourteen, and he subsequently joined the Home
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
Walter Bell is the father of Mrs. Sue Brownlee, a Crestwood Staff member. As a member of Britain’s Royal Artillery in World War Two, Mr. Bell began training in England, before heading to Freetown, Sierra Leone to train African troops. He eventually took his trained troops and headed to Burma, where he fought for Britain
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
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
Daraius Bharucha is a past president of the Zoroastrian Association of Canada, and a winner of the 2012 Governor-General’s Award for Teaching Excellence. In November 2014 he visited us at Crestwood, when he sat down with a group of students from Mr. Masters’ World Religions class, sharing his insights into this ancient faith. Daraius is
Dr. Raj Patil is a representative of the Jainist Society of Canada. He spoke to the World Religions class in October 2014, sharing his insights about this ancient faith. The students in the class completed this oral history project as a group, and they and Mr. Masters thank Dr. Patil for his generosity.
Chris Lewis is a member of the Taoist Tai Chi Society of Canada. He visited Mr. Masters’ World Religions class in October 2014, sharing his insights on Taoism and taking the students through a few Tai Chi movements.
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
Rosemary McCarney is President and CEO of Plan International Canada Inc. (Plan Canada), an international and humanitarian development organization. Founded as Foster Parents Plan, this NGO now works in more than 45 developing countries helping children and their families achieve lasting improvements in their lives. That includes the notable “Because I am a Girl” campaign.
Ron Anderson is Crestwood student Andrew Gdanski’s grandfather. In October 2014 he sat down with Andrew and shared stories of his formative years in Toronto, describing how the city has changed so much in a short period of time. Mr. Anderson especially recalled the power of Hurricane Hazel, which tore through southern Ontario in the
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
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
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
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
June Rudd was born in Northumberland, England and raised in Manchester in 1924. June shares her story of wartime life in England, including evacuations, air raid shelters and rationing. Like many young British women, June contributed directly to the war effort by serving as a WREN, or member of the Women’s Royal Naval Service, beginning