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Volume 33
Mervin Butovsky and Kurt Jonassohn, editors

A Publication of
The Concordia Chair in Canadian Jewish Studies
Copyright 2005

The paper which follows was first presented during a conference in 2003. It summarizes the experience of ten years of collecting memoirs. Then the forty-eight abstracts of the memoirs are reproduced, ordered by their volume numbers. Finally, an index of authors' names has been added to facilitate searching.

From Victim to Witness:
The Publication of Unpublished Holocaust Survivor Memoirs
Mervin Butovsky and Kurt Jonassohn
Revision of a paper presented at the Fifth Biennial Conference
of the International Association of Genocide Scholars,
held June 7-10, 2003 in Galway, Ireland

The existence of unpublished Holocaust survivor memoirs came to our attention several years ago. We had been approached by survivors asking whether we might assist them in bringing their manuscripts to the attention of some agency that would provide a safe haven for their personal account of their war-time experiences. Our response to these requests was to initiate a modest program of collecting and editing the memoirs and depositing them in the Archives of Concordia University where they would be available to students or research scholars. The main impetus for the project was our conviction that each personal narrative had the status of a unique personal document and should be preserved. We decided to collect only written memoirs rather than the more usual interviews because the writing of a memoir tends to be under the control of the writer while the interview depends on the mediation of the interviewer. For a description of that stage of our project and a preliminary analysis of our findings, see “An Exploratory Study of Unpublished Holocaust Survivor Memoirs.” (Canadian Jewish Studies, Vol. 4-5, 1996-1997, pp.147-161.)
Somewhat later we decided that depositing the memoirs in the Archives would certainly preserve the manuscripts but do little to disseminate them to an audience. Readership was limited to those specialists pursuing archival sources. And, in fact, over a period of five or six years we had never received a single request from anyone to have access to the materials at Concordia University. In the light of these findings we decided to alter the scope of our project. Fortunately, we were able to obtain some modest funding from community and university agencies which made the change feasible.
In effect, we introduced two changes: First, we would actually publish the memoirs -- in copy print format -- and distribute about fifty copies. The author received five copies and the rest were forwarded to the major Canadian university libraries and to the major Holocaust museums and research centres including Yad VaShem in Jerusalem, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Wiener Library in Tel Aviv University, the Canadian National Library and Archive, among others. These printed versions were distributed free of charge because our funding covered the cost of production and, incidentally, this allowed us to avoid the complications of a commercial operation. Secondly, we posted the memoirs on the internet, and this has brought about the sharpest qualitative changes in the project; this paper will take up some of the issues that followed from this change.
To date we have published forty-eight memoirs issued in thirty-two individual volumes -- several shorter autobiographical pieces were published as anthologies. Of the contributors, 40% were female and 60% were male. The majority of the authors come from Eastern European countries with a preponderance from Poland, Lithuania, and Hungary. The majority of memoirs are set in concentration camps or labour brigades, although a number recall the authors’ wartime experiences in the Soviet Siberian gulags; the Far East regions beyond the Urals; European countries; and even the Middle East in Mandate Palestine.
All of the manuscripts received a “light” editing which corrected obvious errors in syntax and grammar but we did not attempt to change the prose style of the author. We did not verify dates, places, or events although it must be taken for granted that some of the information may contain inaccuracies. There are several reasons for this: many of the memoirs were written half a century after the reported events when memory had begun to fade; in other cases the author’s account relied on translations from languages imperfectly understood; finally, the reader should remember that camp inmates usually had no access to clocks, calendars, or the locations of their various transports. In our view the question of factuality does not challenge the veracity of these personal accounts. While some of the particulars may be vague or dubious, the memoirs, taken as a whole, give us an undeniable sense of truth.

Motives for Writing
The contents of these narratives are closely related to their authors’ motives for writing. Some of the stories were written soon after the described events occurred and these are clearly attempts to write a kind of personal history that would insist on the truth of their written version. Too often the survivors were met with incredulity when they told their stories. And when disbelief was mixed with indifference, survivors recoiled in anguish and pain. This helps explain why relatively few memoirs were written in the years immediately following the end of the war. It was during this chaotic period that most survivors came to learn of the terrible fate of their loved ones, and had to reconstruct their shattered lives, usually in foreign lands. Many found their reception in Israel, Canada, the United States, and Latin American countries less than hospitable. This sense of alienation and resentment acted as a discouraging factor to the self-conscious act of writing and, as a result, for several decades only a relatively small number of memoirs were published.
These adverse conditions persisted for several decades until gradually they underwent changes which fostered the acceptance -- even the popularity -- of Holocaust related materials: historical and philosophic publications, films, novels, museums exhibitions, and the personal testimonies of survivors. Interestingly, when we asked some authors what had motivated them to write their memoirs thirty or forty years after the event, a number of them cited the effect of the film “Schindler’s List” whose popularity signified a broad public acceptance of Holocaust settings. The fact that a mass audience existed for depictions of the Jews’ fate in wartime Europe encouraged survivors to set down their experiences regardless of the time that had elapsed.
But in contrast to the positive atmosphere that inspired writers to confront their cruel pasts there was the vicious negativity of Holocaust deniers whose public pronouncements sought to erase the reality that had swallowed six million Jewish victims. For the survivors such distortions denied their very existence and had to be combatted with the only weapon they had: Writing the testimony of their descent into the hellish region where their loved ones had been destroyed and from where, miraculously, they had emerged alive.
One further factor that had a widespread influence on the writers of memoirs was the different responses evoked by their children and grandchildren. According to the many studies that examined this distinction, children of survivors found it difficult to extend sympathetic attention to the psychological and emotional needs of their parents, while at the same time the parents, seeking to shield their children, were reluctant to expose them to the horrors of their wartime lives. As a consequence, in many homes the parents’ ordeal remained an unspoken void. However, the relationship of grandparents and grandchildren seemed to encourage a far less troubled exchange. For the grandchildren, the grandparents represented a rich source of information about their past that could link the enquiring child to customs and traditions that their parents could not explain. Also, present-day schools, in the interest of cultural diversity and multiculturalism, frequently direct the young student to “research” her/his past and this inevitably involves revelations of the grandparent’s story. It was not surprising, therefore, to learn from a number of authors that their memoirs were inspired by, and principally written for, their grandchildren.

Contents of the Narratives
Any attempt to draw conclusions about the content of these memoirs from the small sample that we collected must proceed with caution. But with that limitation in mind, it is possible to observe common elements that link the experiential content of the autobiographies and to draw some tentative generalizations concerning the representation, in verbal terms, of existence under extreme conditions.
The content of these memoirs is affected not only by what the authors choose to record, but also (often sub-consciously) by the culture and conventions of their time. Survivors today had to have been born in the early decades of the past century and were thus products of a more traditional society than the one that prevails today. It is often difficult to remember how radically society has changed in recent years. In our libertarian age it is quite hard to think of topics or expressions that are considered beyond the pale. That was not the case in the world in which our authors grew up. As a result, they only rarely mention topics like personal hygiene, sexual behavior, bodily functions, or sewage arrangements and disposal.
The content of these memoirs is also affected by their intended audience. Many authors, with their grandchildren in mind, either omitted or circumscribed the more horrific and disturbing aspects of their Holocaust experiences.
A self-imposed restriction applied by many of the authors concerned their life after arrival in Canada. We had asked them to include a brief account of their post-war lives in Canada because we were interested in tracing the evolution of their adjustment to normal life. Very few responded positively to our request; most concluded their stories with their liberation from the camps or their return to their homes in search of their families. This indicated that for the survivors the most critical episode of their lives, and the sole reason for transmitting their written account, was their testimony as witnesses to the darkest chapter in Jewish history. By contrast, the record of their adjustment to mundane existence -- getting an education or profession, marriage and raising a family -- were not considered significant enough for attention.

Survival Factors
In spite of the small sample, these memoirs give dramatic evidence of the many factors that affected survival. We present some of these here without implying that this list is exhaustive.
Perhaps the most important influence on a person’s fate was chance -- the effect of unexpected and unforeseeable events or conditions that facilitated survival. Time and again the authors, almost without exception, report on a chance meeting or unforeseen incident that was the turning point of their lives and to which they attribute their salvation. In the concentration camp world where force and control seemed to function absolutely, leaving little or no room for random occurrences, chance continued to operate, often making the difference between life and death.
Another prime factor affecting the probability of survival was kinship or membership in a political or social group. Those prisoners who managed to stay together with a member of their immediate family or with close friends, had a greater chance to survive. Companions offered aid in the case of illness or other disabilities and could provide protection against attacks from predatory inmates or kapos. The same applied to membership in an organized group like the Communist Party or Hashomer Hatzair, the Zionist youth movement -- groups that continued to operate within the confines of the camps, functioning as conduits for information about the outside world, and giving the inmate a sense of human attachment amidst the anomie of the concentration camp universe.
Several other factors mentioned by survivors were age and physical condition, knowledge of languages, especially German, and having a trade or profession valued by the Germans.

Readership and the Internet
When we posted the memoirs on the Internet there was a significant increase in feedback from readers. The explanation is that the Internet had become widely accessible at home by the increasing number of computer owners. They may not start out by knowing that a specific item is available, but they will encounter it while surfing the net or through links to related web sites. While we received acknowledgments of receipt from many librarians we have not received a single item of feedback from such library readers as there may have been. Neither have we received a single response by mail despite the fact that our address was provided. The web site, on the other hand, has produced a large number of responses of various kinds which will be described in what follows.
Some feedback has been verbal, mainly from people in the Montreal area. A few colleagues have told us that they use certain memoirs in the classroom where such first-hand reports of wartime experiences have a greater immediacy than the abstract summaries of text books. Others have commented on the importance that they attach to our endeavours.
Most of the feedback reached us via a surprising number of emails. To date, while we have published four dozen memoirs we have received five dozen email messages. A few of them came from students who solicited our help with their assignments. For instance, one student taking a creative writing course, sought permission from a survivor/author to revise his memoir in the format of a screen play. Others contained reactions of readers who wanted us to know how deeply they were stirred by the personal stories. However, the greatest number of emails were requests to be put in contact with one of our authors. As a matter of policy, we do not give out addresses or phone numbers. Instead, we pass on the messages to the authors, leaving to them the decision of whether or not to respond.
The most surprising thing about these emails was the expressed urgency on the part of the inquirers seeking to establish connections with family and friends. Clearly, these respondents had not given up that search sixty years after the events. Of course, we have no way of knowing what previous efforts had failed to produce the desired results. But based on our evidence it would seem that a great many Holocaust survivors have never been able to make peace with their loss and even at this late date continue to probe any possibility that might give them information about the fate of loved ones.
These and other requests received through the internet testify to its efficacy as an instrument for the preservation of Holocaust memory. Having endured the near-death experience as victims of the Nazi’s “War Against the Jews,” survivors now insist on their role as witnesses to the crimes against humanity perpetrated against them. They have had their very existence threatened, and, in most cases, have been first-hand observers of the brutal, inhuman murder of countless compatriots. Their over-arching imperative was summed up in the phrase, “Never Again,” which presupposes the retention of collective memory. The variety of requests forwarded to us indicates the means employed by different individuals whose common purpose was the retrieval of some fragment of their lost past.

A summary of requests
A brief summary of some requests will serve as an appropriate conclusion to our paper. While the Holocaust encompassed millions, it is the individual voice of the survivor that still resonates with meaning and purpose. Aided by the latest of technology’s inventions those voices can still convey the most urgent and deep-felt needs of humankind: to answer the inhuman with humane compassion and understanding.
1. The most frequently received requests expressed a desire to contact a person or obtain information about a place that appeared in one of the memoirs posted on the Internet. Usually the name sought was a family member or close friend who had disappeared many years ago, and had not been heard from since the outbreak of the war. In relation to place, the request was for information about a particular village or town mentioned in a memoir by a landsman; or a particular camp was cited and the enquirer, who had been a prisoner at that camp, wanted to be put in touch with the author.
2. An individual from Paris reached us seeking contact with the author of a memoir she had read who now lived in Montreal. She was involved in a legal case over property rights and had recognized the name of the author as a family friend and thought he might be a reliable witness. We put the author in touch with her and only some months later did he call to tell us the result of his encounter with her. It appears that her aunt, a doctor living in Paris, had died leaving her estate to her sister -- the enquirer’s mother. When the will was probated, they went to the government office that regulates inheritance to obtain clearance for the transfer of property. However, when the official asked whether there were any other members of the family, he was informed that she once had a brother but he had perished in a concentration camp. At this point the official stated that they would have to submit proof of the brother’s death before they could proceed with the case. The family faced the dilemma that had frustrated other survivors: in the absence of any records, how could they attest legally to the death of someone killed in a death camp? This is where the man from Montreal came into the picture. Some years ago, he had visited the town in Poland from which both families originated. On that visit he had gone to the Jewish cemetery to pay his respects at his family’s graves and also to pay respects to his late friend’s family sites. To his surprise he discovered that on the headstone naming the parents, he found that someone had added the engraved name and year of death of his friend, who had perished in the Holocaust but was not buried beneath the headstone. As a souvenir, he took a photo of the gravestone and it proved to be the incontrovertible evidence recognized by the French officials in resolving the case.
3. One of our authors received a message from a research historian in a German town asking for her cooperation. He had read her memoir and learned that she had been a Displaced Person (DP) in that town immediately after the war in 1946-47. He asked whether she had any documents or other relevant materials that could be borrowed to be used in his research which entailed a study of German-Jewish relations in the region with special emphasis on the post-war years. In addition, he invited her to attend the Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony this year as a guest of the town. In this case, we observe the process whereby a subjective autobiographical account is transformed into an historical document and a valid source of research.
4. An email addressed to the Memoir project reached us from Hungary. It came from an historian attached to the Hungarian Holocaust Foundation who informed us that they were involved in developing a Holocaust museum in Budapest to be opened in 2004. He was looking for materials -- document or artifacts -- that would be of interest to historians and to museum visitors. We directed him to our web site where he could have access to all of the memoirs, including several by Hungarians.

Holocaust survivors can never detach themselves from the view that they were innocent victims of the Nazi’s genocidal plan which destroyed their families and communities, leaving them bereft and in despair. In a remarkable act of courage most survivors faced the uncertainty of their future by renewing their broken lives. They married, raised children, entered trades or professions, living lives as close to normalcy as they were able. This was their answer to those who wished to annihilate them.
Another means for resisting the genocidal program was to break the silence about their ordeal, to let the world know of their suffering, to demand that their story be heard despite the deniers’ attempts to erase it from historical memory. Their resolve to write their stories was, in fact, a concrete answer to an event which had taken place sixty years ago. In a secret meeting held in Posen, Heinrich Himmler addressed the state and district leaders on the Jewish Question. He praised them for not losing their moral qualities in the face of the necessary murderous act they performed daily; he justified before them the logic of killing women and children, warning against any softening of attitude that might deter them from this sensitive task. He foretells the fate of European Jewry -- only a few would survive -- and concludes his remarks on the Jewish Question with the following admonition: “Now you know all about it, and you will keep quiet. In the distant future, perhaps, one might consider if the German people should be told anything more about it. I believe it is better that we -- all of us -- who have taken this upon ourselves for our people and have taken the responsibility (the responsibility for the deed, not merely for the idea), should take our secret to our graves....”
Due in large measure to the writings of survivors, the world came to know what Himmler wanted to keep secret. Their revelations brought us knowledge about the Holocaust that at first challenged credulity. But they insisted on telling the truth about their lives and these narratives are their imperishable legacy.

This study was funded by grants from the Jewish Community Foundation of Montreal; the Chair in Canadian Jewish Studies at Concordia University; and the Ministry for Multiculturalism, Department of Canadian Heritage, Ottawa. We are grateful for their assistance.
The quotation of Himmler’s speech is from "The Jew in the Modern World: A Documentary History," edited by Paul R. Mendes-Flohr and Jehuda Reinharz. N.Y., 1980.
The following is a letter received from one of the survivors:
“Dear Professors M. Butovsky and K. Jonassohn,
I am so grateful for the good work you have done with my memoir that words can’t express it.
After three years of trying, I resigned myself and it made me very sad that nobody cares and nobody wants to hear my story.
You can’t imagine how I admire and respect you two human beings, who keep the memory alive, not turning away from the history of the greatest tragedy of the Jewish people, the Holocaust.
I also admire you for keeping your promises, not making me wait too long, because as you know a survivor can’t be young and waiting is lethal for us.
This is for me like a gift from God to see my story in print.
Bless you for that!
I wish you both, from the bottom of my heart a long and healthy life and lots of happiness!
Yours sincerely, ....”


Volume 1
Kalmen Wewryk
Edited, transcribed and translated from the Yiddish by Howard Roiter
To Sobibor and Back: An Eyewitness Account

Kalmen Wewryk was born in Chelm, Poland in 1906 and was raised in an Orthodox family. He was a carpenter by trade, married and set up a business selling fabric. He had two small children. Provides an account of the brief ten-day period when the Russians held Chelm in 1939 and the subsequent transfer of Chelm to Germany thereafter. Also describes how his life and that of his family became increasingly difficult after the German occupation of Poland, how he was often beaten and driven into forced labor, starvation and desperation. His wife and children were taken away by the SS while he was hiding; he never saw his family again. Describes the massacre of Jews in Chelm and his subsequent deportation to Sobibor in 1942 where his life was spared because he was a carpenter. Describes selections, the knowledge that Sobibor was an extermination camp, his witnessing women and children being taken to gas chambers, the stench of burning flesh, and the starvation he and other prisoners experienced. Tells of a plot to poison the Germans and the Ukrainian guards, and how the plot was uncovered and the accused put to death. Vivid descriptions of inhuman conditions of the camp, and the brutality and sadism of various kapos and German guards.
Feels he owes his survival to Alexander Pechersky, a Soviet Jewish prisoner of war. Pechersky organized a team planning an uprising and escape. The day of revolt was October 14, 1943. Describes how prisoners killed German guards and escaped to the forest with 55 other escapees. The group separated, and he was left to fend for himself. Returned to Chelm alone, but found that the Ukrainian man he had entrusted with his goods threatened to turn him in to the Gestapo. Returned to the forest wandering from place to place searching and begging for food. Joined a group of Soviet partisans, and returned to Chelm after the Russians liberated the city. Went to Wroclaw with other Holocaust survivors, was arrested and beaten by Polish police. Heard about the Kielce pogrom, then moved to Lodz and waited for papers to allow him to leave Poland. He met a woman who had survived Auschwitz; they moved to Biala-Kama and married. His daughter was born in 1950. He and his family still wanted to leave Poland, believing Jews were still in danger. In 1956, he and his family were allowed to leave Poland. Immigrated to France to join his wife’s brother. Later moved to Montreal, Canada in 1968 where he worked as a carpenter until his retirement.

Volume 2
Marcel Braitstein
Five to Ten: Story of a Hidden Child

The narrative is told in first-person in the voice of an adult recollecting his childhood and represents reality through the sensibility of the witnessing child. It begins in Antwerp, Belgium on Friday, May 10, 1940, the day the Germans began bombing Antwerp. Describes the family attempts to escape the invading Germans by travelling on a crowded truck toward the French border, but forced to return as the Germans are already there. Mother takes ill and dies. Moves in with maternal grandparents -- Yiddish-speaking immigrants from Poland -- in the town of Charleroi, where grandmother earns a living selling cigarettes. Grandparents are traditional Jews who celebrate the Holy days. His father remarries and Marcel stays with new family for a short time but is so unhappy that he is returned to the care of grandparents. Describes theo imposition of Nazi regulations concerning the Jews: the Yellow Star on clothing, expulsion from regular school. Plans are made to hide the children with sympathetic Protestant Christians. Describes his new life with pious Christian family; given a new name; attending church services regularly; enrolled in Christian school. Recalls narrow escapes from the Germans. Dramatic incident when Jewish woman with three year-old child begs Marcel’s "godfather" to take her child too -- and disappears. Aid is given by local pastor. Detailed description of life as a hidden child, with new name, identity, religion, etc. Because of Allied bombings the schools are closed and for months children are given schoolwork material to be completed at home. Describes the food and clothing shortages affecting civilian life. Witnesses the Allied entry into Charleroi and the town’s jubilant reception. At war’s end he considers himself a Christian and, when he learns that his grandparents have survived and he is returned to them, he is unhappy about leaving his Christian family. Family gets court order demanding he be returned. Initially suffers culture shock and his Christian practices clash with grandparents’ Judaism. Encounters difficult adjustment in returning to his real name, former identity, and Yiddish language. Learns of the fate of family members. Participates with group of hidden children in activities sponsored by Jewish agencies. Learns from the Red Cross that his father had been sent to Auschwitz and is presumed dead. Concludes with epilogue, "Fifty Years Later." Gives a summary of his present state of mind and addresses the lessons imparted to him by his wartime experiences and how they contributed to his post-war life as an artist.

Volume 3
Nahum Meir Halpern
From Slavery to Freedom

Narrative opens when author is nine years old. Describes family life in town of Zastavna, Bucovina, where his father is a prosperous businessman. In 1940 as a consequence of the Stalin-Hitler Pact father decides to move to Bucharest, but, frustrated by crowded highways, the family returns to town. Describes Red Army entry into town where, shortly thereafter, the Soviets confiscate his father’s enterprises. Hebrew instruction is forbidden but clandestine cheders (elementary Jewish schools) are organized. Father is arrested by authorities and imprisoned; later transported to Magadan where he slaves in a Siberian gold mine. Author is arrested by authorities – he is ten years old – and questioned on the whereabouts of his mother who had taken refuge with relatives in Chernovitz. Knowing her son was imprisoned, she returns and gives herself up. Describes being transported to the east in cattle cars, travelling for weeks. After two months by train, they reach Novosibirsk, Siberia where they are transferred to barges and travel hundreds of kilometers to the village of Portonikov where they are designated as "special resettlers" and given twenty-year sentences. Detailed description of village conditions. Mother arrested for stealing potatoes and imprisoned in another town, Bakhtar. Describes the social and economic conditions of the Siberian region. In 1944, after three years, he hears from his father. Mother is released and they settle in Tomsk. Father forwards money and they plan to meet him in Kazahkstan. Describes journey and the social conditions in Actubinsk. They travel back to Chernovitz via Moscow and Kiev. Arrive after two weeks of travel – six years from the time of their departure. Father, who lives in Bucharest, arranges to have wife and son smuggled across the Russian border to Romania. Detailed account of the smuggling operation. Joins agricultural school set up by Zionists. In 1949 receive visa for Israel. Describes misadventure when authorities prevent their exit. They return to Bucharest and go into hiding. With changed identities and false papers they get exit visas again and sail for Israel. Reports on problems of adjustment to life in free society. Returns to schooling and later joins the Israeli army, trains as a tank commander. Studies at teacher’s college. Decides to immigrate to Canada. Adjustment to Montreal, where he is employed in Jewish day Schools and at Labour Zionist Unzer Camp. Enrolls in Engineering at McGill University and spends several years there until forced to withdraw due to ill health. Joined by parents in 1958, married soon after. Works as a teacher until 1972 when he resigns and becomes a businessman. Describes his business activities.

Volume 4
Jacob Gutman
A Survivor's Memoir

Author born in Radom Poland in October 1922. Family consisted of four children: a daughter and three sons. Describes his elementary education and the living conditions of a poor family. Apprenticed as a cabinet maker. Father, who had been an active member of the Bund, dies in 1939. Within eight days of the German invasion of Poland, Radom is occupied and anti-Jewish decrees are issued. As a carpenter, he is placed in a labour group in Kolejowa 18, a branch of Szkolna concentration camp. He manages to get both his brothers into the labour brigade and they remain together for the duration of the war. Describes the organization of the ghetto in Radom and the living conditions of the inmates. Was member of a social group others were members of Hashomer Hatzair youth movement, but he does not join. The liquidation of the ghetto and the onset of deportations begin and his mother, sister and her child are sent to Treblinka. Records incidents of relationships with guards and officers of his camp. Describes the escape of six inmates, and of a single survivor who actually returned to the camp and related how the escapees reached the forest where they met members of the Polish underground who opened fire on them when they learned they were Jewish, killing the other five. With the approach of the Red Army the camp is evacuated and prisoners marched to the city of Tomaszow. Confront horrifying conditions and are relieved when transported to Auschwitz. Labour brigade sent on to Vahingen, near Stuttgart. Moved to Hessenthal where they work at construction in a military airport. Describes forced march to Dachau. After a short time, transported to Munich area and travels south. Liberated by a black platoon of the American Army. Describes response to liberation. Travels to Bergen-Belsen in search of his girlfriend, finds her and relates her experiences. They marry and leave for Canada in 1948. Notes the social and economic situation of newcomers to Montreal. Finds employment in Steinberg’s grocery chain. As a witness, he attends trial of Nazi officer in Hamburg. Gives history of employment at Steinberg’s. Describes onset of Parkinson’s Disease and the measures taken to offset its effects. In epilogue, he summarizes his inner resistance to the brutality he experienced and how he consciously struggled to preserve his integrity as a human being.

Volume 5
Marcus Lecker
I Remember:
Odyssey of a Jewish Teenager in Eastern Europe

Manuscript was written during 1992-93. The author was born on February 9, 1923 in the small town of Seletin in the northern Romanian province of Bucovina. Population of the town was 2000, mostly Ukrainians with some 200 Jewish families. German culture predominated and most Jews spoke German. Author describes family life and his elementary and secondary education. Refers to the German occupation of surrounding countries and the utter lack of preparation by the Jews of Romania. In June 1940, Bucovina was annexed by Soviet Union. Author witnesses the arrest and deportation of friends by the Soviet NKVD. Describes the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. Observes the Ukrainians’ welcoming reception of the Germans in Galicia. Attempts to travel east, but was trapped in the German encirclement of Galicia. Receives brutal treatment at the hands of the local Ukrainian police. Arrested in town of Czortkow and assigned to labour gang. Recounts events of July 14, 1941 when Nazis first begin killing Jews. Describes scene where Jewish informer betrays prisoners to the Nazis who proceed to execute them. Relates two contrasting incidents with Ukrainian peasants: one robs them, the other is compassionate and offers aid. Travels to Zalescziky where Hungarian Jews from Budapest had been transported. Describes the destruction of Jewish quarters in Zalescziky in 1942. Moves to Mielnica and works in an agricultural settlement. Goes to Borschkow and finds work as odd-job labourer with the German gendarmerie. Befriended by an officer, he gets reports of planned German actions which allows him to warn the ghetto inhabitants of impending danger. Runs away to join partisans in the forest. Describes the forest bunker which housed 16 people and relates the partisans’ relations with the Polish colony which provided them with food. In April 1944, liberated by Russian soldiers. Reunited with father who had spent the war years in Transnistria; later reunited with mother. Works at a Red Army recruiting centre, then sent to Intelligence unit at the front. Notes the beginning of the Russian offensive near Jassy-Kishineff. Is with unit of Red Army moving westward as Germans retreat. Describes the battles over Budapest. Ordered by commanding officer, General Karlov, to take seven suitcases of war booty to his family in Moscow. Later, is in Austria when war ends. Ordered back to the Soviet Union and after some difficulties succeeds in getting demobilized and returns to Radauti March 26, 1946. Concludes with epilogue wherein he addresses questions relating to the effect his Holocaust and war experiences have had on his character and subsequent life.

Volume 6
Rose Ickovits Weiss Svarc
Forces of Darkness: Personal Diary of Rose Ickovits Weiss Svarc
from 1938 to 1946

Editor's note: this manuscript is an excerpt from an extensive diary the author has maintained for over 60 years. This selection transcribes her wartime experiences. The narrative unfolds in a non-sequential manner; past and present are interwoven and temporal sequences sometimes overlap.
This excerpt is Part III -- earlier entries deal with pre-war experiences -- and is written in Paris in 1946 when the author was 26 years old. Describes her state of mind as a survivor. Most of her family, including her husband and infant son, have been killed and she seeks to reconstruct her life. She recalls 1943 when she married and became pregnant. Describes the difficulties of married life under threatening conditions. In 1946 is transferred by the Joint Distribution Committee to Boulayes, outside of Paris, a mansion on the former Rothschild estate. Describes her first post-war Yizkor memorial ceremony. Recalls her ordeal in Auschwitz - including the arrival of the Hungarian Jews in 1944. Details the transformation of her cousin Alice, who had been appointed as supervisor of barracks. How she imposed harsh treatment on the inmates in order to maintain discipline and save lives. Alice survives the war and shares quarters with the author, but she is physically and mentally broken. Describes the transport from her town Ungvar to the camp, an event that had occurred two years previously. She is carrying her six-month old infant son, but is separated from him when disembarking from train. She never sees him again. Describes selection by Dr. Mengele. On that day she loses her son, parents, two sisters, mother-in-law, seven sisters-in-law, four brothers-in-law, fifteen nieces and nephews, two uncles and many cousins. Recounts her emotional development and episodes of family history. Provides excerpts from her diary written in 1938 when she was eighteen years old and living in pre-war Czechoslov&akia. These were retrieved from their hiding-place after the war. Describes disruptions and mobilization with onset of the political crisis. Germany and Hungary seized territory from Czechoslovakia and the Hungarian army entered the town. Restrictions imposed on the Jewish population in areas of education and commerce. Describes the grave uncertainties and anxieties of the period. Reports on incidents of anti-Semitism by Hungarian ethnics. Jewish men are conscripted into Hungarian labour brigades. Transcribes excerpts from her husband's letters and diaries -- also retrieved after the war -- which he sent her from the labour camp. Reports that the earliest accounts of concentration and death camps reached them in 1942. Describes conditions suffered by Jews during 1942-43, her last meeting with her husband when she travels to his labour camp. Relates how her sister-in-law kept the news of her husband's death from her; she learned of his death on the Russian front only at war's end. The ghetto for Jews was established in 1944. Transported to Auschwitz. Describes being shaved; and conditions in the barracks. Reports that inmates were given information by the block leader about the fate of their families. Provides recollections of Auschwitz written in 1946. Living conditions in the camp, as well as educational and cultural activities organized by inmates. March to Birnbaumly, a village where the work-camp was located. March to Bergen-Belsen and description of the conditions there. Liberated on May 15, 1945. Narrative proceeds to express her views on the genocide and how the Germans succeeded for a time in deceiving the victims. Enumerates the reasons for her personal survival. Provides journal entries dated 1946 describing the celebration of the first post-war Pesach seder at Boulayes, France. Recalls the liberation of the camp by Allied soldiers. Then narrative advances to 1959 and relates family history: marriage and children. Concludes with account of her marriage and decision to come to the U.S. Her future husband settled in Montreal, where she joins him in 1951. Describes the financial and commercial advances of the family, and her experiences. Expresses gratitude to Canada for the opportunities afforded to her for a new life.

Volume 7
Charles Kotkowsky
Remnants: Memoirs of a Survivor

In preface author states the reasons for the writing of his story: it answers the need to commemorate the victims and helps to rebuff the false charges of the Holocaust deniers.
Describes the history of his town Piotrkow, which had a population of 50,000, including 13,000 Jews, about 26% of the population. Describes the German invasion on September 1, 1939. By September 5th, Germans shell the town. Observes the retreat of the Polish Army and the entry of the German forces. By October a German civilian authority is established. Soon thereafter the Judenrat is organized, headed by Zalman Tenenberg, a Bundist. The Judenrat carries out underground activities to aid the Jews. Describes the underground work of Hashomer Hatzair -- the left-wing Zionist youth movement. Describes efforts to escape the ghetto and reach Russian sector. Russian soldiers refuse them entry and force them back to German-held territory. Returns to the ghetto. Enumerates the decrees governing Jewish life in the ghetto. Attempts to avoid being caught for slave labour brigades, but works in camp in the outlying district. He and his brother escape from camp and return to the ghetto. Together with his mother and brother, he lives for some weeks in a nearby town before returning. Gets work at the local glass factory. Polish worker gives him socialist newspaper which carries news of widespread Jewish killings. Destruction of the Piotrkow ghetto takes place on October 13, 1942. The action of transporting the ghetto inhabitants took over a week. Describes the factory conditions and the organization of a clandestine underground network which transmits messages and news from other centres. Receives funds from the central Jewish resistance organization in Warsaw. Tells of sabotaging the industrial machinery. Through underground, is informed of t!he projected uprising of the Polish underground army in Warsaw. The uprising fails because the Russian forces remain on their side of the Vistula leaving the Polish underground to face the German Army. The factory and work camp are evacuated before the Russian advance. He and his brother are transported to Czestochowiankia, where they work in munitions factory. After seven weeks the prisoners are moved from the town before the Russians capture it. Transported to Buchenwald in January 1945. Describes reception at camp and the conditions. Reports on Jewish groups that take revenge on harsh Jewish kapos. Sees Leon Blum among prisoners. Moved to camp Flossberg, 30 km from Leipzig. Living and working conditions are described. Works at munitions plant and laying rail tracks. Another transport from this camp and after many days in a box-car, arrives at Pilsen in Czechoslovakia. Tells of cruel treatment at the hand of Jewish kapos who came from his native city and were familiar with him. While being transported, he and several others escape from moving train. Finds shelter in a farm and are fed and well-treated by farmer. Walk to the Czech town of K’dinie where they are fed and cared for by a local family. On May 8, 1945 the Americans enter the town and the survivors celebrate the liberation with the townsfolk.
Epilogue: concludes with brief account of why he survived -- to serve as a witness to the experiences he suffered.
Appends list of names of fellow inmates and survivors -- many of whom were named in the narrative -- and tells what happened to them after the war.

Volume 8
Konrad Elkana Charmatz
Nightmares: Memoirs of the Years of Horror Under Nazi Rule in
Europe, 1939-1945
Translated from the Yiddish "Koshmarn" by
Miriam Dashkin Beckerman

This narrative was composed in the post-war years based on the diaries the author kept while he was in Sosnowiec ghetto. The diaries did not survive his incarceration in Auschwitz, but they served as the basis for his personal record of the war years. He describes in detail the initial response of the Polish Jews to the Nazi invasion. He chronicles the establishment of the ghetto in Sosnowiec, the behaviour of the Germans and the various methods used by the Germans to falsify the truth about their plans for the Jews so as to prevent any uprising among the imprisoned Jews. Gives a vivid critical account of the activities of the Judenrat Elder, Moishe Merin, and his cohorts. Arrested by the Gestapo, Charmatz is sent to German labour camps and eventually to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Later, he is transported to Warsaw and works in the labour camp employed to clean up the ruins of the destroyed Warsaw ghetto. His account of existence in these various labour and concentration camps offers a valuable record of the conditions and human relations that confronted him. He describes the desperate experience of the Death March from Warsaw to Dachau. Several days before the liberation of the camp by US forces, he successfully escapes to a nearby village until freed by the US army on May 2, 1945. Describes the immediate post-war years including his stay in Paris and his travels back to Poland where he is repelled by local Poles. Makes contact with his family in Latin America and emigrates to Brazil.

Volume 9a
Gisele Schwartz-Somlo-Foti
Through the Eyes of a Child

Author as born on February 12, 1936. Narrative is written from the point of view of a child, the information and perceptions limited to the awareness of a child from the age of six to nine years old. Relates impressions of family life and childhood experiences from early 1940s. Family moves from Satoraljawjhely to Ragaly. Schooling takes place in city of Putnok. Recollections of 1944 when Hungarian gendarmes came to arrest her mother and older sister, leaving her with her older brother and baby nephew. Brother leaves her and baby in care of relatives. She is separated from nephew who is taken by paternal grandmother. Jewish ghetto established in Budapest. Description of living conditions in the ghetto, Horthy’s resignation and the further restriction of Jewish life. Meets uncle who appears to be an official in the Judenrat. She is assigned to a woman who accompanies her to a convent in Buda where she joins adults who are being sheltered. Descriptions of life in convent under constant bombing by Allied aircraft. Extreme conditions: food shortages, lack of sanitary conditions, vermin and lice infestations. Group moves to air-raid shelter where conditions are more severe. She remains there for three months. German soldiers retreating before the Russians seek to rest in the shelter: they leave and soon after Russian soldiers appear. At the end of the war, she is taken to view the destruction of the city. In spring of 1945, she is informed that a cousin has come looking for her. Records dream of winter 1944. Reunited with cousin who takes her to the dwelling of an aunt; she describes the sight of the devastated city. Lives with aunt and cousins. Together with some 25 other children, she is sent to Zagreb, ostensibly for a two-week summer vacation. Unhappy experience since she realizes that the real purpose of the trip is to have the children adopted by the Yugoslavs. Only the prettier and healthier children are selected. She and a companion are not chosen and their stay with a silent, forbidding couple adds to their misery. She returns to aunt’s home in Budapest. In autumn, 1945, her older sister, Iby, appears. She learns that her parents and brother have been killed, along with Iby’s husband and child. Iby returns to the parent’s home in Ragaly to find it emptied of all belongings except for a few photos. Their former maid admits that she had taken Iby’s wedding dress. Iby takes it back.

Volume 9b
Irene Romer
Courage and Despair

The author, born in 1928 in Nyiregyhaza, Hungary, a town with a sizable Jewish community. She attended Protestant school and felt very integrated in Hungarian culture, although her parents were very religious Jews. After the German occupation of Hungary, she was forced to wear the yellow star and she and her family were sent into a ghetto. Romer, her sister and her mother escaped the ghetto the day before the Germans liquidated it. Her father did not want to risk being caught trying to escape and remained in the ghetto. They remained in hiding for the rest of the war, posing as Christians. Romer hid in a seminary for a short time, but she returned to hide with her mother and sister in an apartment building in the outskirts of Budapest. She described the fear of being raided by members of the arrow cross gang, and living in constant fear of being exposed. Her cousin and a Christian neighbour helped keep her and her mother alive, as well as saving the lives of approximately 30 Jews, by stealing, lying and bribing people. They were liberated by Russian soldiers.
She describes having to disguise herself as a boy to avoid being attacked by Russians. Her mother hid her sister and then disguised herself as an old woman during the first phase of the Russian occupation. Romer, her mother and her sister went back on top of the train to Nnyiregyhaza after they were liberated, thanks to a Russian Jewish officer who helped them leave Budapest. She describes the arrival of the survivors from her town, the return of her father from Auschwitz, and the psychological effects she and some members of her family experienced because of the Holocaust. Romer met her husband in Nyiregyhaza after liberation; none of her husband’s relatives survived the Holocaust. Part of this memoir consists of a letter to her child, Agi. The memoir is also translated into French.

Volume 9c
Pal Romer
Letter to Agi

Pal Romer was raised in an Orthodox family in Nyiregyhaza, Hungary. His family was under severe financial difficulties and he worked to help his family survive. His family became very dependent on his financial assistance. Romer did not receive a religious education, but one rabbi did teach him about Zionism. Many of his friends were interned for their political beliefs in 1943-44.
After the German occupation of Hungary in March 1944, Romer was drafted into a Labor Camp in Kassa, Hungary, although he was taken to various places to work. On one of these days of forced labor when he was working at a railway yard, he witnessed rows of cattle cars full of desperate people he could hear yelling and screaming. A letter thrown from one of these cars was from his mother telling him she was being deported somewhere. It was only after the war that he learned the destination of those cattle cars was Auschwitz.
Romer and four others were given Swiss Safe Conduct papers and allowed to go into Budapest to stay in a so-called "Protected House". This house was then raided by the members of the Arrow Cross Gang who ignored their papers and forced everyone in the house on a march heading eastward. Romer and his friends escaped by sleeping in a woodpile and were forgotten the following morning when the march resumed. After walking toward the Danube, Romer and his friends were liberated by Russian soldiers. He eventually made his way back to Nyiregyhaza, arriving exhausted and in poor physical condition. While hoping for some relatives to return, he worked for Russian Headquarters by finding collaborators and sending them to Siberia. He later became a member of the People’s Court and tried people for collaborating or for participating in deporting Jews. He also helped set up a dental office and laboratory and helped set up a soup kitchen for returning refugees. It was during the time that he met his wife. None of his relatives survived the Holocaust. The memoir is in the form of a letter to his child, Agi.

Volume 9d
Agnes Simon
A Child's Story

Narrative begins with recollection of the day the Germans invade Hungary in 1944. Author is ten years old. Sent to countryside with the gentile cousin of her friend. Cousin is unsympathetic and threatens the young girl. Brought back to Budapest when Jews are forced to wear the yellow star of David. Describes the restrictions imposed on Jews. Recalls the surrender of Admiral Horthy and the return to power of the fascistic Arrow Cross under Szalasi. Describes the round-up of Jews and the conditions of imprisonment. Following a night of uncertainty, Jews are returned to their homes. Later, everyone from age 16 to 40 is told to report for transport to labour camps. Mother is saved by intervention of gentile neighbour. In December 1944, the Jewish ghetto is sealed. Allied air-raids increase the uncertainty. Conditions in cellar, which serves as air-raid shelter, are described. Liberated by Russians -- acknowledges her gratitude to the Russian liberators. Return to family dwelling. Father returns from Russian detention camp. Fearing Hungarian antisemitism and the prospect of the communist regime, family decides on emigration. In June 1946, with changed identities, family crosses the border into Austria and reaches Vienna. Later, they travel to Ulm, Germany where they spend the next two years. Describes her studies and the acquisition of English. Since entry to the U.S. proves difficult, family comes to Canada and de
cides to stay.

Volume 9e
Dolly Tiger
We Lived in Historical Times

Born in 1930 in Budapest to a wealthy family of jewelers. After her mother’s divorce, Tiger and her twin sister would spend much of their childhood in the care of a governess and maternal grandfather. In 1938, Tiger, her sister and a cousin were sent to Yugoslavia, where her mother married a local jeweler. Her family settled in Subotica in Vojvodina. Tiger and her sister were baptized as Catholics and took the surname of their step-father. Returned to Budapest after the death of their grandfather and she and her sister were enrolled in a convent. In March 1944, Germany occupied Hungary and there was sudden rise in violent antisemitism. Describes how armed gangs were roaming through Budapest looking for Jews to rob and/or murder. After the arrest of their mother, Tiger and her sister were cared for by a friend of their step-father’s who then molested them. Describes spending the siege of Budapest in an air-raid shelter in her aunt’s building in Buda. After the war ended, her aunt brought her and her sister to Subotica where she witnessed the return of camp survivors. Returned to Budapest at the age of 17 and went to Switzerland where she married a boy from Subotica.
She and her husband then went to Venezuela and had two children. Describes the various jobs she held in Caracas, working in a bookstore, a furniture factory, etc. Her marriage quickly disintegrated and she divorced. Got a job with Texaco as a bilingual secretary and started to write a column for an English language paper in Caracas. Her husband got custody of her children. During the Hungarian revolution in 1956, she went to Vienna to help get her sister out of Europe. When she returned to Venezuela, she married Joe Tiger. Moved to Canada with him and had two daughters. Her son from her first marriage joined her in Canada when he turned 21.

Volume 10
David Jacobs
Remember Your Heritage

the author describes his family’s social setting and his youthful activities. His account of the wartime experiences commences with the German invasion of Czechoslovakia and the occupation of Brno on March 15, 1939, where the author was attending high school. He observes the defeat and humiliation of the Czech military. Describes the political effects of the invasion; the establishment of the Protectorates of Bohemia, etc., and the independent Slovakia as a fascist state. Ten-day journey to Chust; observes battle between Hungarian and Slovakian troops. Works in a lumber-mill owned by his father and uncle. In 1943 he meets with partisan leaders who are camped in the surrounding forests; arranges to bring them supplies. During 1943 Russians turn back the German onslaught on the Eastern front; the German retreat begins. Jews in Hungary and Czechoslovakia begin to hope for a German defeat and an end to the war. But on March 22, 1944 Germany occupies Hungary. Jacobs is placed in a labour brigade and Jews are forced into a ghetto. He is recruited into the ghetto police. On May 15, transports from the ghetto begin and he is transported to Auschwitz. Describes selections by Dr. Mengele and camp conditions. Short time later, Jacobs is transported to Warsaw where he works with a labour gang in the destroyed Jewish ghetto of Warsaw. Describes efforts at organizing prisoners. With the Russian advance, the camp is evacuated; about 10,000 inmates are forced to march -- a distance of 110 kilometers -- then describes the box-cars to Dachau. After a short stay, Jacobs is sent to Kaufering in Bavaria. In January 1945 he learns of his father’s death; his father and uncle had accompanied him in the various camps to this date. Describes sadistic Jewish Kapo. On April 24, 1945 prisoners are ordered to march to a new camp. German guards begin to defect. Reaches Dachau and then proceeds to Allach. Camp is liberated by the American army. Meets with American soldiers -- one of whom speaks Yiddish -- and with their help, takes over a farm house. The Czech government provides transportation to bring its citizens home: Jacobs travels to Prague and seeks out surviving family members. Goes to Budapest, then returns to Jablonec where he operates on the black market selling cigarettes supplied by a boyhood friend.
In Chapter 10, Jacobs’ wife Helen relates her wartime experiences, including a detailed family history. She was deported to Auschwitz and later to Camp "D" near Hamburg. She was liberated by the British army May 9, 1945.
Jacobs returns to his narration. In the immediate post-war years he goes into business as an exporter of costume jewelry and crystal -- the same business his father had been in. With the Communist takeover of Czechoslovakia, he makes arrangements to emigrate to Canada, where he has relatives. Describes the difficulties of obtaining proper documents and the route through Budapest, Vienna and Brussels. He arrives in Montreal April 24, 1945.
Gives detailed account of settling in Montreal; his employment record and changes of residence. Among his undertakings are peddling with partner in Newfoundland, and owning a grocery store in Calgary for some years. At one time he decides to emigrate to the US where his wife has close family, but decides to make Montreal his home. For many years he owned a textile business in partnership with an old friend from his home town. Relates his family history -- birth, education and marriage of children -- until his retirement.
In "Postscript" describes a return visit, after 48 years, to his native district of Carpathia, which had been incorporated into the Soviet Union.

Volume 11
Marian Finkielman
Out of the Ghetto:
A Young Jewish Orphan Boy's Struggle for Survival

Narrative begins when author is eleven years old. Describes his town of Otwock, his home and early schooling. Parents both work in Warsaw, father owns a variety store, mother tutors children in academic subjects. In early September 1939, his father, a soldier in the Polish army, is killed in the German advances near Warsaw. Describes the German policies toward the Jews, including the closing of the Jewish schools, the wearing of an arm-band with the Star of David, and the establishment of the Jewish ghettos. Author includes many German documents (with English translation) acquired from the Archives of Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw and the State Archives in Otwock. These announce the variety of measures taken by the Germans in their war against the Jews. Documents also enumerate the stern measures aimed against the Polish population, warning them of the harsh penalties they would suffer if they helped Jews. Conditions in the ghetto compel the author--aged 12--to begin to trade household goods for food with the farmers in the surrounding region. Describes his tactics in escaping from the ghetto and wandering through the countryside, evading the German patrols and the Polish and Ukrainian bands on the look-out for Jews. Lack of food and sanitation leads to outbreaks of typhus. He travels from village to village passing as a Polish Catholic. In 1941, he marks his Bar Mitzvah and is called to the Torah. Describes his method of surviving in the countryside: he passes as Christian and learns something of Catholic rituals and customs, including a knowledge of the Catechism. He also learns how to get permission from the local town administrator to stay overnight in any particular town. Mother dies during typhus epidemic. Travels to his maternal uncle’s town of Dubeczno, but is received coldly and decides against staying. In spring of 1942 he begins his vocation as a herdsman-farm-labourer which becomes the main method of surviving in the hostile world. He recounts the many experiences he encountered as he moves from locale to locale, acting the part of a Polish boy, as he seeks conditions of relative safety. His situation depends on the reception he receives from the Polish farmers. Some are suspicious and he feels threatened; others are benevolent and provide decent conditions and nourishing food. He recollects a number of narrow escapes and is constantly on his guard, ever conscious of the dangers that threaten his existence. His circumstances change somewhat when, in February 1944, he manages to falsify his record and obtains a Polish birth certificate, giving him a new identity and reducing the danger of being identified as a Jew. At war’s end, he decides not to return to his native town. Travels to Warsaw and Lodz, then settles in the town of Rychbach where he attends school and takes courses in professional photography, which becomes his profession. Leaves Poland in 1969 due to the upsurge of government inspired anti-Semitism and settles in Denmark. In 1970, emigrates to Canada. Reports on a visit to Poland in 1993. In Appendix A, recounts his experiences with post-war anti-Semitism in Poland.

Volume 12
Perec Zylberberg
This I Remember

Narrative begins with lengthy and detailed introspective account of the factors involved in attempting to deal with his Holocaust experience. Concerned with the moral issues of recollecting and assessing past events, he has felt strong urge to record his life during the war years but was inhibited from doing so. Once he begins to write, the narrative is often interrupted by lengthy stretches of time--the manuscript carries the date of each segment’s composition. The story proceeds in a non-sequential mode; the wartime experiences are interspersed with detailed descriptions of pre-war life, especially the memories of family and Bundist youth movement activities and camps. Born in Lodz in 1924 to working-class secular, socialist family, consisting of parents, older brother and younger sister. Describes family conditions in pre-war Poland and the changes that occur at the outbreak of the war. Bombs fall in their neighbourhood. Father and brother leave Lodz for eastern part of the country, but later return. Description of living conditions in the ghetto and his attempts at finding work to supplement the family income. Family attempts to escape ghetto and join father who works in a small town, but attempt is foiled and they return to Lodz. Describes his many jobs within the ghetto factories and provides an account of the industrial-economic situation in the ghetto. Relates the role of Rumkofsky as Jewish head of the ghetto. From radio sources, learns of Warsaw Ghetto uprising. Describes the impact of the event on the Lodz Ghetto inhabitants. At the end of 1943 deportations from the ghetto begin. He is rounded up and spends months in the local prison; then deported March, 1944 to what he believes was a labour camp. Mother and sister remain in Lodz. Taken to Polish city of Czenstochowa and adjacent labour camp of Warta. Describes the social distinctions among the prisoners and the camp conditions. On January, 1945 inmates put on freight cars and transported to Buchenwald, Germany. Inmates are numbered. Prisoners are from all countries of occupied Europe and speak many languages. Labour brigades in Weimar. On April 10, 1945, many days terrible journey to Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia. Contracts typhus and is delirious when camp is liberated by Russian and American troops. Conditions in the camp in the months following liberation. Arrangements by Jewish refugee groups to move survivor youth to England via Prague. Life in England, first in the Lake District in Windemere, later to London. Organization of Bundist youth group and conflicts with Zionist representatives. Reunited with sister who had been relocated to Sweden. Cultural activities in London sponsored by the Bund. Marriage and birth of children. Hardships in England. Emigrates to Montreal, Canada in 1958. Describes family life and education of children.

Volume 13
Sam Smilovic (Smiley)
Buchenwald 56466

The writing of this memoir began in 1985 and was completed twelve years later. The dates of entries indicate the month and year of the reported events.
Born in February 1928, the memoir opens with the author’s recollections of his early childhood in an Orthodox family in the town of Mukachevo (Munkacz), Czechoslovakia. Describes early schooling and traditional family customs. Witnesses the invasion of the region by Hungarian troops and the effect that had on the Jewish community. By 1941, Nazi edicts against Jews were promulgated. The following year, his father was arrested and sent temporarily to a labour camp. In March 1944, the Jews of Mukachevo were moved into a ghetto, conditions of which are described. In May 1944, the ghetto was evacuated and Jews were transported to Auschwitz. Reports on the conditions on the train. The selection process and camp conditions are reported in detail. He and his father are sent to Buchenwald and then are transferred to work in a German factory as forced labourers. The Allies bomb the factory where inmates were employed. He is again transported to Buchenwald. The Germans begin to evacuate the camp in anticipation of the Russian advances. Witnesses the arrival of American troops and General Eisenhower’s tour of the camp and his command to have the Germans from surrounding towns come to the camp to see the devastation. First religious services take place, conducted by Rabbi Schacter, chaplain, U.S. Army. Reports on immediate post-war circumstances, particularly the search for survivors. Discovers family members who survived, including sisters and brothers. Travels to Prague and Budapest in search of family. Relates the wartime experiences of his sister and brother. Returns to his home and retrieves the silver objects that had been buried for safekeeping. Joins a Kibbutz sponsored by B’nai Akiva. Decides to apply for an American visa, but encounters difficulties and obtains a Canadian visa instead. Became a group leader for Jewish orphans who had gained admission to Canada. In January 1948, he embarked on the ship General Sturgis for Canada. Author was honoured by the Canadian federal government, along with 55 other Holocaust survivors, on September 27, 2000.

Volume 14
Meyer Kron
Through the Eye of the Needle

Written in 1980, the author describes his life and family environment in pre-World War I Shavli, Lithuania. Author describes hardships experienced by family in the years of World War I and the period immediately after the Russian Revolution. He received education and training as an engineer in Belgium and Germany specializing in leather tanning, leading to a career with a major enterprise in Shavli. The difficulties resulting from the new Communist regime are softened for him by his senior and indispensable position in the tannery enterprise. Marries in 1934 and has two daughters. Describes the German occupation of Shavli in World War II, the restrictions on Jews and the confinement to the ghetto from where most Shavli Jews were sent to their death. Again, his position in what the Germans also considered an essential industry made his life a little more bearable. It was not enough to protect his daughters. November 3, 1943, the Germans removed children from the ghetto. The author and his wife were at work at the tannery and could not help. His daughter, Ruth, age seven, was spared thanks to the ghetto doctor who claimed her as his illegitimate child. The Germans decided she could be spared because she was old enough to work. The other daughter, Tamara, was four-years old and too young for work. She was sent to a concentration camp and did not survive. Author and wife find a Christian couple willing to help and Ruth stays with them until liberation. Describes liberation by Russian army and the readjustment to Soviet rule. Describes in some detail how shortages and bureaucratic restrictions created a pervasive system of bribery and corruption. While his specialized expertise continued to provide a position with many privileges, he is also suspected of having collaborated with the Germans. Being warned of impending imprisonment, he plots and carries out an escape to Poland and then Germany. He founds another tanning enterprise there, but eventually moves to Canada. Concludes with a description of adjusting to life in Canada. After some false starts in Montreal and Regina, he and his family settle in Vancouver.

Volume 15a
Minna Aspler
My Other Life
(As told to Inge Packer)

Author chose to write memoir in the 3rd person, and has relied on the assistance of another person for the transcription of her account. She was born in Yekatarinaslav, Ukraine, where her father was a textile merchant. Fearing the violence of the post-World War I period, the family moved to Vilna, Lithuania. Notes the history of the Jewish community. Describes members of her extended family and recalls her childhood on a nobleman's estate, managed by her grandfather. Father established business in Warsaw and family moved to that city when she was eight years old. She attended Gymnasium. Describes the anti-Semitism at Warsaw University. Describes the wartime conditions of Warsaw: her father lost his business; the onset of food shortages; her brother, who had escaped to Russia, sent food parcel, then was never heard from again. Germans crowded Jews from the surrounding districts into the Jewish quarter. Narrator was arrested by the Gestapo and jailed for 3 1/2 months.
During her incarceration, the Nazis constructed the walled ghetto. Tells of the fate of Polish informers who were later executed by the Nazis. Aided by a gentile friend, she escaped the ghetto and assumed a Christian identity. Describes several narrow escapes from detection. Worked in a library and supplemented her income by dealing with illicit liquor which she sold to restaurants. Detailed account of how people survived by various black-market dealings. Learned of the death of her parents. Reports on the uprising of Warsaw. She served as a courier to the Polish Underground Army and describes her underground activities. After 63 days of fighting, the Germans vanquished the resistance. She joined massive numbers of civilians who fled the city. Describes the circumstances of how two friends and herself managed to survive, in some cases due to the intervention of gentile Poles. Found work on a farm. Witnesses the arrival of the American military. Three companions left the farm and traveled to a DP camp at Wildflecken. Conditions at the camp led to disturbances. She realized that she no longer needed to rely on a disguise. Confessed to friend that she is Jewish and her friend, in turn, admits that she is too. She and her friend joined Jewish quarter of the camp. With the help of American soldiers, she made contact with aunt and family in the US. Met her future husband, a Canadian who worked in the camp as UNRRA official. Concludes with brief listing of family members and her children.

Volume 15b
Hyman Gutman
What I remember as a Survivor

Narrative begins with a detailed family history, including their customs and religious practices. Joins the Zionist youth movement, Hashomer Hatzair, and participates in their activities. Is apprenticed to a tailor. Describes the effects of the world-wide Depression. At the outbreak of the war and the German occupation of Radom, Judenrat and Jewish police forces are set up. He and his brother work for SS as tailor and carpenter. Describes work conditions and relations with SS. Eight days march to Tomaszow-Mazowieck. Transported to Auschwitz. Shipped to Vaihingen-Enz, a German concentration camp, near Stuttgart. Later sent to Hessenthal where he worked building airplane runways. Evacuated to Allach-Dachau. Liberated on April 30, 1945 and came to Feldafing, a displaced persons camp. Together with brother decides to join the Bricha organized to bring survivors to Palestine. Travels to Italy but decides to return to his family in D.P. camp in Mittenwald. Tells of his marriage and family. Decides to emigrate to Canada, and arrives at Halifax in 1948. Circumstances of new immigrants in Montreal. Participates in Radomer Society, a mutual-aid organization consisting of former residents of Radom. Attends college courses and participates in the planning for the Annual Holocaust Remembrance evening.

Volume 15c
Myra Gutman
Vivid Recollections of a Survivor

Born in Radom, Poland. Family suffered greatly during the Great Depression, although father was able to find work through an uncle who was a prominent leather merchant. Mother worked as a seamstress to help support the family. Joined Hashomer Hatzair before the war. Describes the effects of the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939 and the formation of a ghetto in Radom in 1941. Describes a brave act by several Hashomer Hatzair members to save books from the Peretz library and smuggle them into the ghetto. Also describes deplorable conditions in the ghetto, and the spread of hunger and disease. Fourteen year-old brother was caught smuggling food, was sent to prison and never seen again. Sister contracted typhoid but survived. She and sister sent to Blizyn concentration camp. Also contracted typhoid and managed to survive. In 1944, she and sister were deported to Auschwitz in cattle cars. Were then sent to Bomlitz to work in a munitions factory, then to Bergen Belsen where conditions were extremely unsanitary. Sent to Elsnik, where they again worked in a munitions factory. Sister became very ill. At the end of the war, they were put on cattle cars heading towards the Eastern front. Train bombed by Allied forces, she and sister managed to escape. Returned to Radom after Liberation, describes open hostility and antisemitism she witnessed there. She and sister decided to go to Mittenwald, Germany after learning her sister’s boyfriend, Jacob Gutman, had survived and was living there in an UNRRA funded hotel. Marries Hyman Gutman, Jacob’s brother, in 1946. Their son, Aron Baruch, was born in 1947. Describes voyage to Canada, and arrival in Halifax. Baby fell ill on train to Montreal, describes how Jewish community in Moncton provided support until their baby recovered. She and husband settled in Montreal. Described various hardships while building a new life in Canada. Joined the Holocaust Remembrance Committee as a founding member. In 1973, was voted president of the women’s division of the Holocaust Remembrance Committee; describes various events the Committee became involved in and her participation in and commitment to Holocaust education.

Volume 15d
Rachel Phillipson-Levy
An Odyssey Revisited

Parents leave Berlin in the early 1930s to settle in Paris where several family members are established. After initial difficulties, her father becomes a partner in her uncle’s successful business. The partners are invited to open a branch in Galway and her father is put in charge of the operation; the new factory opens in 1938. As the situation in Germany deteriorates, several relatives emigrate, but those in Paris feel safe. As the war starts, Paris is thought to be a bombing target and the family disperses to Cabourg and Néris-les-bains. As France is divided, they move to the South, first to Sète on the Mediterranean coast and then to Cauterets in the Pyrénés. In August 1942, rumour reaches the family that all Jews who entered France after 1933 will be arrested. Some family members decide to hide in the mountains and they survive; the others are arrested and sent to Gurs from where none return. In 1943 the family relocates to Maubourguet because the cost of living is lower. When the Italian occupying troops are replaced by Germans, life becomes more dangerous, resulting in another move to Nice. Returns to Maubourguet, describes food rationing and further arrests. Financial resources are exhausted, life becomes more hazardous. The author acquires new papers and a new identity. In April 1944, moves to a primitive farm near the village of St. Etienne-de-St-Georgs. Liberation comes in the summer of 1944 in the form of Canadian and Senegalese soldiers. Another move follows to Polémieux-sur-Saône. Contact with father in Galway is reestablished. After several complications, author reunites with her father.
This memoir includes much detail on relatives and friends and their fate during these eventful years.

Volume 15e
Miriam Reich
The Holocaust Recalled

Narrative opens with scene depicting the author’s 10th birthday party in the Lithuanian city of Kaunus (Kovno), the day of the Soviet invasion. The Red Army met no resistance and was largely welcomed by the Lithuanian population. But since father was a businessman who owned a textile plant, he was condemned as class enemy. Mother had obtained a Ph.D. degree in economics at a German university, but never practiced the profession. Describes household and family property; tells of the fate of her grandparents. With Russian invasion, father’s plant is confiscated; all valuables are taken from house; forced to share dwelling with another family. Her Jewish high school is closed and she attends Russian school. Joins the Young Russian, communist youth organization. On June 24, 1941 German invasion of Lithuania. Describes the activities of pro-Nazi Lithuanians who carry out pogroms against Jews. Reign of terror begins which sees the murder of tens of thousands of Jews. Restriction of Jewish activities and erection of the ghetto in Slobodka, on the outskirts of Kaunus; contains 29,760 Jews. Selection of Jews begins. Describes her personal emotional state and how she coped with the reality she confronted. Life in the ghetto is described, including the educational and cultural activities. Describes selection and transport from the ghetto; she remains with mother but separated from father and brother who, she later learns, were killed in camp in Estonia. Works in labour group clearing forests and building roads. After several months moved to another camp; forced to walk 50 kilometers which took three days to reach Goldfiels. By August 1944, with Russian advance, transported by boxcar to Germany, in Stutthof; later sent to Oksenzoll, camp near Hamburg. She worked in munitions factory under relatively good conditions. Remained there until February 1945 when transported to Bergen-Belsen. Describes terrible conditions of the camp. Shocked at the appearance of the inmates. At liberation she and mother suffer from typhus. Decide against return to Kaunus, live in DP camp in Germany. Joins classes organized by the Jewish Brigade from Palestine. Through efforts of family in Israel, she and mother obtain papers for Sweden. Attends Jewish school. Cool reception from the small Jewish community. Get visa to Canada and arrive in Montreal December 11, 1947. After short time chooses not to associate with refugees; wants new beginning.

Volume 15f
Andrew Savin
Dreaming and Survival

Describes family life from age 13 in 1936, in small town in Transylvania. Prior to the war he and sister are arrested as political radicals and imprisoned by the Hungarian authorities. With the outbreak of the war he is deported to Auschwitz. Description of selection procedures. Transported to Buchenwald where he is imprisoned until liberation by the American army. Relates how Americans forced the local Germans to view the camp. Detailed description of the role of the political prisoners in camp management in Buchenwald and the organization of resistance within the camp. Speaks of being part of a group which offered mutual aid and contributed to survival. Worked in group that defused live bombs from Allied air-raids. Describes the liberation of Buchenwald and witnesses speech by Eisenhower to assembled inmates. Post-war activities in the Labour Party and the organization of Jewish youth group. In 1948, marries, has child, later divorced. Works as mechanical engineer. Family life and career development in post-war period. Escape to Vienna, stay for 5 months before proceeding to Canada where his sister lived. Arrives in Canada on April 7, 1970. Attends the 50th anniversary of liberation in Buchenwald. Retired, age 68, spends part of year in Florida.
Manuscript includes genealogical table and list of deceased and living family members.

Volume 15g
Koineh Schacter-Rogel
A Letter from the Ukraine

Begins in Tshudin, Ukraine in June 1941 during the first days after Germany declared war on Russia. Hours after war was declared, German airplanes bombarded the town. Rogel, her sister Fraydeh and father had been living in a house the Soviets had given them. Rogel had friends who were Polish refugees who had recently moved to Tshudin, Modja and Kopl. Kopl was mobilized in the Red Army, so Modja stayed with Rogel and her family. Rogel and her sister wanted to leave Tshudin, having heard that the Russians were withdrawing. They loaded up a wagon with their belongings and forced their parents to come with them.
They arrived in Strashinetz after an order had been given to evacuate Chernovitz Street, where they had planned to join Rogel's aunt. Rogel's father wanted her and Fraydeh to return to Tshudin to make sure their house and belongings were safe. Although she was opposed to this plan, she felt she could not contradict her parents. Fraydeh and Modja left for Tshudin ahead of Rogel and had only made it to Budenitz when they were forced to turn back.
Rogel and Fraydeh stayed with an elderly couple, the Shmeltzers, in Strashinetz. When bombardments started, Rogel, her sister, father, her aunt, the Shmeltzers and another couple moved into the cellar. The following day, the Rumanian army entered the town and soldiers and local non-Jewish residents began looting Jewish homes. The couple who were hiding with them went outside and were immediately captured and shot.
After several days of hiding in the cellar, they had no food left and decided to try to run away in the early morning. They ran into a garden of a Christian woman. Rogel lost the others and hid in a tree. Fraydeh returned to the tree several times, but there was no way to get down without being noticed by soldiers. Rogel stayed in this tree for several days, without food or water. Modja was hiding in a field within sight of the tree. Rogel witnessed a soldier rape Modja. Afterwards, Modja came to the tree where Rogel was hiding. Together, they tried to find another place to hide, but were unsuccessful. The following day, Modja was taken away by two soldiers. Rogel never saw her again. Rogel decided to give herself up. She learned that all Jewish people were being held in a local school. She was escorted there by a Romanian officer.
The school was packed with women and children. Conditions deteriorated rapidly: there was no food or water; the sewers had backed up and people were getting sick. Soldiers were entering rooms and raping women. Women were selling their jewelry to the soldiers for food. A woman told her that her sister and father were still alive and hiding. They later gave themselves up and her sister and aunt joined her in the school. Her father was staying in a synagogue reserved for Jewish men. They were then deported on wagons. Was able to rejoin her father when the transport stopped because of bad weather. Rogel's father happened to be at the same place. They were then taken on a forced march to Vashkoitz, then to Besarabia and Yedinetz.
Note: author did not have the energy to continue to write about her experiences.

Volume 15h
Veronika Schwartz
A Survivor's Memoir

Author was born in 1927 in Kisvárda, a small town in Hungary with a Jewish øpopulation of 4,000. Her parents were Orthodox Jews and kept kosher; she had two sisters and a brother. Her parents owned a general store. Provides vivid descriptions of her childhood and her many relatives. Attended public school, but also received Hebrew lessons. In 1939, during her first year of high school, she experienced some anti-Semitism. Her uncle flees to Canada that year, escaping local anti-Semites and the authorities. Her father is spared forced labour because of his health. Describes rise in anti-Semitism and attacks on parents’ home and store by Arrow Cross thugs. By 1944, conditions have worsened; she and family are forced into the ghetto in Kisvárda. In May 1944, they are sent by cattle car to Birkenau. There she was separated from her parents and sisters, never to see them again. Author is sent to Auschwitz. Describes the torture of being shaved and stripped naked, and the horrible conditions of the camp. Her first cousin is also in Auschwitz. Almost always together, they are sent to work on a farm three hours away from Auschwitz. Tells of awareness that Russians were close by. She and cousin are sent to another concentration camp. Describes starvation conditions; cousin is beaten by SS officers. In winter 1945, they are sent on a forced march. She and cousin pretend to be dead and are left behind. The Russians liberate the area. Witnesses the rape of a local girl by a Russian soldier; she and cousin in fear of being raped themselves. They are aided by a Russian officer who noticed their situation. In May 1945 she and cousin return to Hungary. Author learns that her brother had survived and joins him in Ujpest. She meets Miklós Mandel and they become engaged. His parents were also murdered in Auschwitz. They decide to leave Hungary. Joined by her brother, they go to Austria, then to Germany. She marries Miklós in Windsheim, a DP camp in Germany. Her brother obtains documents allowing them to get into the United States. They arrive in New York and are helped by HIAS. They join her uncle in Montreal. Describes the many hardships she and her family experienced in building a new life in Canada. Describes in some detail experiences with name changes and associated difficulties.

Volume 15i
Babey Widutschinsky-Trepman
What Makes Babey Run?

Family life in small town, Siauliai, Lithuania. Soviet invasion in 1940; father forced to sign declaration expressing sympathy for the "masses" in the Soviet Union. When Germans invade on June 24, 1941, Lithuanian police arrest him as communist sympathizer. Local Lithuanians carry out pogroms. Jews forced into labour camps and ghetto established September 4, 1941. Describes living and working conditions in ghetto. Works as maid for gentile family outside the ghetto. Later works in auto-repair shop; notes the kindness of the director of the plant, a German army officer. Organization of illegal schools and cultural activities in the ghetto. Selections begin and ghetto closed July 22, 1944. Mother and younger sister sent to their deaths in Auschwitz. Works in munitions plant in Ochsenzohl camp near Hamburg. Characterizes camp commandant as brutal and sadistic; but he is succeeded by a commandant who is described as a "wonderful human being." Some days before liberation, sent to Bergen-Belsen. Description of camp conditions. She contracts typhus, but survives due to the efforts of her older sister who has been with her throughout the entire period. Describes the reactions to liberation. Post-war activities in theatrical group, tours European countries. Meets her husband, a journalist, who survived the camps as a gentile. Sponsored by the "Canadian Jewish Eagle," they come to Canada. Both work as educators in Montreal Jewish day schools. Raise two children, now professionals. Husband Paul publishes his account of the war years, Among Men and Beasts in 1978.

Volume 16
Michael Zimmermann
How I Survived the Wars and Peace:
My Life in the Gulag

The memoir begins with an account of the author's family in Warsaw, Poland. He was born in 1907 and wrote this personal history between August and November, 1995. He depicts Jewish life in Poland as oppressive, subject to the constant pressure and prejudices from the majority Catholic population. Reports on the discriminatory practices in most areas of Polish society, particularly in the field of education where the author describes his experiences at the Warsaw Polytechnic where he studied and graduated as an Electrical Engineer. Reports on the violent antiSemitic activities of the Polish student body. Recalls his father’s business ventures and, with the outbreak of World War I, the family move to Moscow, where they live from 1915 to 1919. Depicts the wartime conditions in Moscow and the onset of the Bolshevik Revolution. Family moves back to Warsaw. At the outbreak of World War II and the German invasion of Poland, great masses of people seek to escape the German onslaught by moving to the eastern border with the USSR. Gives detailed report of the chaos that resulted. Author and companions make their way to Lvov where they are arrested by Soviet police and transported by prison car to the north-east region of the Soviet Union. Arrives at a concentration camp where inmates work at felling trees and preparing lumber. Describes the camp conditions. Organizes attempt to escape the camp, but the attempt is foiled and he is arrested by the NKVD and sent to prison. Transported to several Gulag work-camps. With German invasion of the USSR in June, 1941, shipped to eastern region beyond the Urals. Following the German advances, transported to the central Asian republics, and to Tashkent in the Uzbeck Republic. Experiences life and work on several cooperative agricultural farms. Describes NKVD attempt to recruit him as informer. Russian agreement to allow displaced Polish citizens to join General Anders' army. At war's end travels back to Poland. Describes the work of organizations who aid displaced persons. Reports on the prevalent antiSemitic attitudes and acts perpetrated against Jews returning to their former homes. He and his surviving family make their way to Austria where he works as teacher and principal at an ORT school. In 1950, he and his wife and child, emigrate to Canada.
In a postscript, describes his post retirement employment as a translator and interpreter to Canadian professional groups who cooperate with Soviet agencies in a mutual agreement pact for cooperation in various fields of science and technology. Over a number of years he visits the USSR many times and reflects on the irony that while he had suffered at the hands of the Soviet regime, nonetheless he had them to thank for his surviving. Had he remained in Poland under the Nazi occupation he undoubtedly would have perished in the death camps, as had his family.

Volume 17
Helen Rodak-Izso
The Last Chance to Remember

Describes the features of her town Kosice-Kassa, located in the border area between Czechoslovakia and Hungary. Recalls past family life; brother leaves for Palestine. She marries in 1942, husband sent to labour camp, then into combat on the Russian front. Air raids over town. German invasion of Hungary 1944. Introduction of "Yellow Star" and leaving home for temporary quarters on outskirts of town. Evacuated to Auschwitz June 2/3 1944. Selection by Dr. Mengele. She manages to stay together with her older sister for the duration of the war. Last view of Mother. Describes the distinctive "stars" worn by the different prisoners. Sent to Kaiserwald Camp near Riga. Transported to Kurbe, Latvia where she spends a month. Recalls cruel treatment at the hands of Jewish woman from her town. Incident when S.S. guard gives her a bowl of soup. Moved to Stutthof camp, Danzig. Calls this the darkest of all camps. No work was carried out, but suffered from the constant selections. Moved to Glowen, a labour camp. Allied air-raids begin, camp evacuated. Inmates forced to march for three weeks. Roads crowded with civilians escaping the Russian onslaught. Reach Ravensbruck camp; receive Red Cross parcels. After short stay prisoners are forced to march again, until guards desert and they are left on their own. Liberated May 2, 1945 in Muritz near Hamburg. Journey home through Cracow, Bratislava, Budapest. Finds brother alive. Relates incidents of meeting relatives who are indifferent to their plight. Narrative includes description of all family members who did not survive. Emigrates to Canada via Southampton and Halifax to Toronto. Works as library assistant at University of Toronto. Death of husband and remarriage until widowed again. Describes her children and grandchildren.


Volume 18
Emery Gregus
Occupation and Liberation 1944-1945
Aftermath: The Postwar Years: Remembrances

Author was born on August 7, 1922. His testimony covers the period of March, 1944 to February, 1945 -- from the occupation of Hungary by the German military forces to the liberation of Hungary by the Russian Army. Summarizes the measures imposed on the Jewish population of Hungary since the onset of the war. Describes the various means taken by family members to cope with the restrictive edicts aimed at Jews. Reveals the fate of family and friends in the ensuing months. As part of a labour battalion, his brother is sent to the eastern front where he is captured by the Russians and succumbs -- as later revealed to author by witnesses. Futile attempt by prominent Jews and local Rabbi to have the Catholic bishop intervene on their behalf. Brother sends a man to accompany the author to Budapest, where some family have sought to avoid the ghettos by leading clandestine lives in the city. With the help of friends, he attains false identity papers. Gives detailed account of the months spent in avoiding arrest and his constant need to change domiciles in order to escape capture. Witnesses the Allied bombing missions over Budapest. Acknowledges the assistance he receives from Christian friends. Spends days wandering about the city, fearful of being recognized. Describes the liberation by the Red Army soldiers, and the conditions of war-torn Budapest. Records his personal response to the loss of his family. Concludes section with "Epilogue" expressing his sense of responsibility as a survivor to tell his story.
Examines the reasons that prompted emigration from Czechoslovakia and Europe. Describes life under the Communist regime and the special relationship with Israel.† Notes the difficulties imposed by the regime on those who decided to leave the country. He and his wife leave for Bratislava by train, then travel on to Vienna where they remain for several days, then proceed on to Paris. Describes their conditions and the cultural scene of the city. Wife works as seamstress. After two years in Paris they obtain immigration papers to Canada and arrive in August, 1951. Travel to Montreal where relatives had already settled. Describes the employment hardships and his work in an optical firm. Birth of children and raising family. Opens optical shop which he maintains for many years until his retirement. Concludes with a thoughtful reminiscence on his past experiences and finally assesses life as a mystery.

Volume 19
Andrew Salamon
Childhood in Times of War

Born in 1932, the author's father was a glazier, his mother was well-educated. Father left Orthodoxy in favour of Conservative Judaism. Describes his childhood before the war as idyllic. Parents open a store in Budapest for glassware repair and as a showroom for glassware and porcelain. His brother Mordi was four years older. Author attended a local elementary school, describes several antisemitic incidents he experienced in school after 1939. Father was sent into the Hungarian army as a foot soldier in the invasion of Czechoslovakia. As Germany's influence within the Hungarian army increases, his father is sent to a forced labour camp and later to a forced labour unit. Describes the onset of various restrictive laws against Jews, the wearing of the Yellow star, the restriction on movement, curfews, etc. After the Nazi takeover in 1944, Hungarian Jews face more restrictions and deportations to concentration camps. Author states that many Hungarian Jews were aware of Nazi concentration camps by 1944. Describes air bombing of Budapest, how Jews were forbidden from entering air-raid shelters. Author and his mother are forced to leave their apartment and are sent to a Yellow Star building attached to the synagogue in Kobanya. Describes living conditions as cramped, food becoming more scarce. After it became clear that living in that building would be too dangerous and facing the increasing danger of being arrested and sent to a concentration camp, mother decides they must all live separately, believing the family would have a better chance at survival. Author takes on an assumed identity, robs corpse of clothing and identity papers. He also assumes the identity of a young Nazi, spending time with various groups of Nazi youth. Describes one group's beating of an old Jewish couple and hearing of their murder the following day. Group of Nazi youths discover author's Jewish identity: he is beaten and then sent to be shot into the Danube. Describes being rescued by members of the Zionist group Hanoar Hatzioni masquerading as SS officers. Father is saved by Raoul Wallenberg. Family reunites and hides in a lumberyard for last weeks of the war. Family is liberated by Russian soldiers on January 5, 1945. author discusses how his survival has affected his beliefs. Provides a brief history of Hungarian Jewry at the end of his memoir.


Volume 20
Guenther Ludwig Zilversmit
From Holland and Back

Author was born in Leer, Germany, in 1926. Describes the social and cultural life of the town which had a population of thirteen thousand including approximately 175 Jewish families. Major Jewish occupation was cattle dealing. Gives account of the changes that occurred following the election of 1933 when Hitler came to power. In 1937, at the age of eleven, he joins his grandparents who had earlier moved to The Hague. With the Nazi invasion of Holland, family forced to move away from the coastal region. When the German decree forbidding Jewish attendance at school takes effect, he gets a job as blacksmith’s apprentice. Describes the hardships of daily life and the food shortages. In 1943 Jews are transported to transit camps in Holland, and he arrives at Westerbork where author and his brother work in the garage and at maintenance and repairs. Questions the role played by Jewish inmates who ran the camp. In 1944 transported to Theresienstadt where grandparents had been sent earlier. Detailed description of the conditions in Theresienstadt and the German deceitful transformation of the camp into a resort village in order to deceive the Red Cross officials. Meets his grandparents who are later sent to Auschwitz on the last transport from Theresienstadt. He and brother are transported to Auschwitz and pass selection by Joseph Mengele. Describes camp conditions: food, work, barrack life. Sent to Gleiwitz, a camp 50 kilometers from Auschwitz, where he works as a welder producing sea-mines. With the Russian army approaching, prisoners are forced to march to the south west. Meet Russian soldiers and occupy barracks that formerly held P. O. W.s. Later transported by Russians to Lvov and then Chernowitz where he encounters other survivors. Travels to Odessa and relates his adventures en route. In June 1945 embarks on British troop transport for Holland. Lands in Marseilles. Reaches Holland and travels to hometown of Nunspeet. Records his reception by former neighbours: all the possessions the family had left with neighbours were returned. He moves to The Hague and finds employment as a blacksmith in a chandelier factory. Enrols in school for flight engineers. Meets future wife and they marry in 1949. Emigrates to Canada in 1951.

Volume 21
Leslie Vertes
Can You Stop The Wind?
An Autobiography

Author is born on February 18, 1924 in Ajak, a small Hungarian village. Giveõs summary account of modern Hungarian history, and a genealogy of both parents’ families. Describes early education and boyhood friendships in Kisvarda. Family moves to Budapest in 1937. Employed in a shoe manufacturing factory. Relates troubled relationship with father. Hungarian government orders all males to participate in para-military units. Author works in a volunteer fire brigade. Describes living conditions in 1944, and tells of his induction into labour camp. With entry of the Red Army, he and friends escape and he assumes a new identity. Arrested by the Red Army and sent to labour camp. Describes transport to Ploesti in Romania and the conditions he meets there, including an account of work in a limestone quarry. Later works on construction projects. Describes an interrogation with the KGB and treatment from Russian officers. Detailed description of his personal health and the care shown by female Russian doctor. Spends two years in Russian camps and is released in June, 1947.
Returns to Budapest and learns the fate of his family. Describes the post-war conditions and is reunited with family. Resumes his education and becomes supervisor of leather shoe-making factory and an administrator of technical societies. Meets his future wife whom he marries and they have a son. Account of the 1956 Hungarian uprising and plans for escaping to Austria and the West. Meets with difficulties but ultimately reaches Austria. Describes the conditions of the Austrian refugee camps. Receives visa to Canada and emigrates to Montreal. Gives a full description of refugee adjustment to Canada, including employment and housing difficulties. Tells the story of family development and personal advance and of the friendships he encountered. Concludes with literary acknowled
gement to family and friends.

Volume 22
Alexandre Citrome
50 ans de ma vie
(This memoir is available only in French.)

Family origins; schooling in Debrecen; apprenticeship in father's bakery; university baccalaureate; rising antisemitism; effect of depression (1930) on family business; siblings leave for America; studies briefly in Bologna; remaining family emigrates to Paris; economic difficulties caused by lack of residence permits and language; short-term illegal jobs between periods of unemployment punctuated by a series of love affairs; in September 1938 he returned to Debrecen in response to his call-up notice for military service which to his surprise was postponed due to the crisis situation in Central Europe; when he was called again he had organized reasons for a medical discharge that he received after three weeks in uniform; efforts to return to France via Zurich; arrested while crossing the border and jailed in Mulhouse; declaration of war was followed by an offer of residence to those who volunteered to serve in the French army - which he accepted; inducted into the Foreign Legion and sent to camp Barcarès; transfer to La Vallebonne; again succeeds in getting a medical discharge in April 1940; German occupation of Paris; round-up and internment in Drancy; transfer to Compiègne; liberated in 1942 on the basis of Hungary being an ally; evading new round-ups made life increasingly difficult; decided to present himself at a recruitment bureau for voluntary labour in Germany; succeeded in being accepted for bakery work in Frankfurt; the bombardments by the allies; return to Paris; the risks of illegal living; liberation; marriage; naturalization; Became proficient as fur cutter; U.S. visa arrived and he went alone to explore the possibilities in New York; disappointed return to France; December 1951 left with family for Canada via New York; 1952 arrival in Canada; his establishment in the fur business; records the major events in the family, in his work, until retirement. This memoir was written in 1982-1983.

Volume 23
Benjamin Kujawski
My Long Road to Freedom

The author describes the social and economic conditions of growing up in Lodz during the 1930's, especially the wide-spread anti-semitism. Father wins a lottery ticket which improves living conditions. When the ghetto is established they do not have to move because their building is located within it. Conditions rapidly deteriorate; food shortages lead to epidemics.
Is active in starting a soup kitchen. Father volunteers to be sent to a labour camp near Poznan because he wants to reduce the burden on the family. Describes the round-ups and deportations, the camp management, working conditions, the wide-spread corruption and its benefits. Meets Rumkowski and speculates about his character.
The final evacuation of the ghetto is conducted with politeness and deception and promise of resettlement to fool people into docility when being loaded into cattle wagons. Arrival in Auschwitz. Selection is accompanied with great brutality. Transfer to Birkenau's gypsy camp. Mistreatment by Tadek, a Polish criminal, full of anti-semitism and sadism. Continued selections for work and again into cattle cars. During the long journey they vainly hope for some gifts of food from Polish farmers, but when they cross into Czechoslovakia farmers throw them food without being afraid of the guards who ignore them. When they arrive in Munich the public ignores them and the behaviour of the guards changes while they are transferred into passenger cars. The train arrives in the town of Kaufering and from there they have to walk to the camp.
They are employed by the Leonard Moll Construction company project under inhuman conditions and with too little food. Then they were moved to Camp 1-Landsberg to do the same work, but conditions were even worse due to the dominance of Lithuanian Jews who discriminated against Polish Jews. For a short time he enjoyed much better conditions by being assigned to an O. T. camp for German¯ work supervisors to make drawings for an art-loving SS man.
Diseases were spreading. His twin brother was transferred to a special unit for sick inmates - their first separation ever. When he also got sick he was placed into a newly constructed model hospital that was spotlessly clean and where good meals were served in bed. This special treatment was eventually explained as being due to an anticipated Red Cross visit.
When he needed an operation he was returned to the standard hut. Much ethnic friction among inmates. Return to camp 4 where people soon reached the last stages of starvation. Brief reunion with twin brother. Transfer to "typhoid hut" where people were left to die without any attention or food rations. Final evacuation of camp. Being thrown on top of other bodies - some dead, others still barely alive. Death train. Liberation. Waking up in an American field hospital. Slow recovery. D.P. camp. Emigration to Canada.

Volume 24
Rachel Shtibel
The Violin

Author was born in 1935 on the family farm in Turka and describes farm life and kinship relations. 1939 brought the first antisemitic incidents and the occupation by Russian troops. Father was enlisted into the Russian army. This was soon followed by the German occupation and the persecution of the Jews. Mother was tortured by the Gestapo. In 1941 the Jews were sent to the newly established Kolomyja ghetto where they were subjected to hard labour, starvation, torture, and killings. Mother was selected to act as translator for a tailor who made uniforms to measure and the 6-year old author tagged along. One of the German officers offers to save them but mother refuses to leave. Father returns after having served in the Russian army, being captured by the Germans, and having escaped. The family, consisting of ten people, hide in a bunker under a Polish farmer's barn. When this becomes too dangerous they dig a bunker in the forest.
They live like this until March 1944 when they are picked up by Russian soldiers who feed them and take them to a house in Kolomyja that is already full of other survivors. When the Germans advanced once more the Russians evacuated them to Chernowitz and into Red Cross hospital. There all were cured, except the author who was mute after several years of the enforced silence in the bunkers. The family settles into a normal life with the now cured nine-year old author attending her first school. In 1945 they return to Kolomyja, but when it becomes part of Russia they return to Poland. But first the father returns to Turka to dig out the violin that his brother had buried before leaving. They settle in the coal town of Bytom where the author gets TB which causes them to relocate to Wroclaw. Author does very well in school and in her music lessons. Marries in 1956 and moves to Israel in 1957 where she attends university and has children. In 1967 her husband serves in the war. In 1968 they emigrate to Canada to join relatives. Describes their jobs in Toronto, family life, children's careers, and the discovery of her origin.

Volume 25
Nelli Rotbart
A Long Journey: A Holocaust Memoir and After:
Poland, Soviet Union, Canada

Nelli Rotbart was born in 1930 in Bojmie, a village 60km east of Warsaw. She describes her family and kinship, including the social and economic conditions of their lives. Polish antisemitism which was taught in schools and churches resulted in the two communities living entirely apart. There was no mixing and a steady rise of fascism.
When the war broke out in 1939 people fled in panic toward the east and were bombed in the roads. German advance and the increasing hardships of occupation. In 1941 the Jews were deported to the Wengrow ghetto. Author escaped Galki, was caught and sent to Kalushin ghetto, and escaped again just before transport to Treblinka. Until the end of the war living in hiding under horrible conditions while being hunted by the Germans with Polish help. For two years living in a bunker under a pig sty. Then hiding in field and woods where she and her sister survived while most of the others in hiding were found and killed.
A sympathetic Pole provided her with a new birth certificate that allowed her to work as a maid and being sold as one. With the Russian advance she found work in a Russian hospital which was safer than the Polish environment. Decided to move to Russia. While waiting for the train from Lublin to Russia Lublin, she visited Maidanek. In Kiev they first put her into an orphanage, then into a factory. Took courses in evening school and then entered the library school at the university. Eviction from the Komsomol. Graduation and job search. During a vacation in Odessa she found a job there and got married. They move to Liepaja on the Baltic. Moved into their own apartment. Husband worked as an engineer while she got a job in the library of the Marine Officers Club. Birth of daughter. Emigration eventually became permissible, but only to Israel. But an application to leave meant loss of jobs and being branded as traitors. After many applications and many refusals permission to emigrate was finally granted in 1982 to join her sister in Canada. Complicated travel arrangements: via Moscow to Montreal and on to Winnipeg and a long awaited family reunion.

Volume 26
Abraham Zylbering
A Survivor Remembers:
The Gulag and Central Asia

The author was born in 1920 in Bodsanov, a small town near Warsaw. He describes the social and economic life, including the 1937 typhus epidemic that infected him also. The German occupation brought a curfew and forced labour. He was excepted because he was working for a tailor who was making pants for the German army. Police disappeared and thieves looted undisturbed. Fleeing across the border to Russia resulted in being put on a train to Northern Siberia and working in a labour camp on very little food. Boat trip west on the Vela Morski canal to Rybinsk and on to Saratov, Angurus, Stalingrad, Astrakhan, and to Makhachkala and Derbent where he worked making hats for the army. Then to KavKas on the Caspian Sea and work on a kolchoz making wine and getting plenty to eat. Then back to Derbent to work in a restaurant and enjoying bathing in the sea and having a love affair with a Georgian girl, Because of German army advances, Polish Jews were told to leave. Went to Baku to cross the Caspian Sea to Krasnovosk and Samarkand and Kamibadam with many adventures and selling goods in the market, especially apricots. Then had to go by train to Valtooz in Siberia to work on rail lines that had been bombed. Volunteered for the Polish army and was put into a "sanitary batallion" which meant working in field hospitals. Frequent moves with the advancing army. Visit from the "Police Bureau"who made them sign a document blaming the Katyn Forest massacre of Polish officers on the Germans. There were many wounded on the Warsaw front. Advances to Coburg and deep into Germany.
When the war was over he wanted to take the train back to Tashkent to look for his father and brother. Stop-over in Kielce. Visit to Bodsanov to look for survivors. Release from the army. On return from Russia he married and settled in Vrotzlov where he bought a house and started a tailoring business. In October 1950 they finally received their papers to emigrate and left by boat from Dansk to Haifa, Israel and in 1954 they moved to Canada.

Volume 27a
Gerta Fink
Ditti's Story: Fragments From The Past

This memoir consists of two elements: excerpts from a juvenile diary written in German that the author kept as a young girl, and the recollections of the author transcribed in the recent past. It opens with an account of her birth in Vienna in 1925 and her early schooling marked by overt anti-Semitism. Grandfather was one of the 'Stolen children' who were forced to serve in the Russian czar's military for decades and, in consequence, lost touch with their Jewish identity and folk customs. Author witnesses the Nazi invasion of Austria and she describes the enthusiastic response of the Austrian people welcoming Hitler. Father goes into hiding for a short time.. Author is put into the care of a teacher who takes her to a country village for safekeeping. Returns to Vienna and witnesses the widespread intensification of anti-Jewish sentiment culminating in Kristallnacht. In 1938 her aunts obtain papers for emigration to England. Describes the family's leaving for Belgium. Sad farewell from grandparents. Relates the hardship of finding accommodations for Jews and the dangers encountered in being smuggled across the Belgian border, led by paid gentile guides. Conditions they meet in the refugee quarters organized by the Jewish Agency. In 1939 they receive visas for Palestine. Describes journey to Paris and the trip to Marseilles where they board the ship 'Marietta Pasha.' Relates the experience with suspicious character. Ship arrives at Haifa and they travel to Tel Aviv. Tells of the difficulties of adjustment in new and different country. Speaks of her alienation from classmates, in part overcome with private Hebrew lessons. Compares the formal requirements of Viennese schooling with the behavioral informalities of schooling in Tel Aviv. Acknowledges her debt to teachers who guided her literary and cultural development. Describes the war in North Africa and the fear of the Yishuv of German victory which could lead to the destruction of the Jewish community. She participates in activities of Gadna and Palmach and membership in Hashomer Hatzair. Meets her future husband. Gives detailed account of the birth of the Jewish State in 1948, the outbreak of hostilities with the assault by surrounding Arab armies. Describes conditions during the British mandate including searches by British soldiers. Concludes with story of family life: the birth of children, the death of parents, and emigration to Canada.

Volume 27b
Adam Shtibel
Testimony of a Survivor

Editorial Note
This narrative marks a departure from our usual practice of including only autobiographical accounts of survivors' experiences written by the witnesses themselves. In the case of Adam Shtibel we are publishing his verbal deposition which he gave in Polish before the Jewish Historical Institute in 1948 in Warsaw. Only recently was the report translated into English by Adam Shtibel and his wife, Rachel.

Author describes his native town and his family. Witnesses the entry of the Russians into the town of Komarow where they remain for several weeks before they withdraw in accordance with their pact with Germany that calls for the dividing of Poland between Germany and the Soviet Union. Records the entry of the Germans into the town and the changed conditions under the German regime. Continues studies in an illegal cheder. Jewish children serve as herdsmen for the local farmers. Death of his father. Works as labourer for Polish farmer. Describes the round-up of the Jewish population and their being loaded onto cattle cars. Tells of the murder of the entire Judenrat. Told by his farmer that he must leave because of German regulations. Meet group of boys and girls from his home town. Describes their condition as they wander over the countryside begging for food from the peasants. He is arrested and escapes. Gives detailed account of his treatment by gentile farmers. Arrested and brought to camp where he is sheltered by the Red Cross. Selected by farming family to work in the village of Borki. Describes meeting with invading Russian troops. His farmer attempts to convert him. In 1947 he learns about the war's end. Accompanied by the farmer's wife he travels to Warsaw and is cared for by the Jewish Committee. Sent to orphanage. Realizes that he is the sole survivor of his family. Concludes with a brief summary of events that led to his survival.
A postscript tells about the author's life in the post-war years including his emigration to Israel and Canada.

Volume 27c
Olga Sher
with Margrit Rosenberg Stenge

This testimony tells the story of the war-time experiences of Olga Sher. She was assisted in the composition by Margrit Rosenberg Stenge.
Author describer her family history which originates in Tarnow and includes details about the lives of her grandparents, her parents, and their siblings. Outlines the increasing violence against the Jews that culminates in “Kristallnacht.” Relates the fate of Polish Jews who had migrated to Germany and who were forced to return to Poland. Describes her early childhood and life in the small town of Boryslaw. Family moves to Warsaw. Witnesses growing incidents of anti-Semitism. Leave Warsaw and take up residence in Soviet-occupied Poland. In the summer of 1941 the German army invades the Soviet sector. Describes the pogrom in Boryslaw, A ghetto for the Jews is established, and a Judenrat appointed. Find hiding place for the family in the countryside. Gentile friend offers financial aid to pay for the hidden quarters. Depicts the hiding place and the constant fear of being detected. In August 1944, the Russian army retakes the town. Describes conditions under Red Army occupation. Parents move to Krakow; author follows. Aid provided to refugees by and the Joint. Attends the university and noted the activities of the Zionist groups recruiting for settlement in Palestine. Decides to emigrate to Canada. Tells of the conditions that confronted new immigrants. Meets future husband, and raises family. Completes a degree as special education teacher. Retires at age 71.

Volume 27d
Albert Fuchs
My Experiences From November 9th to 16th, 1938
(Written on November 19, 1938 on the way
from Strasbourg to Paris)

Author describes the events of several days beginning with November 9, 1938, later to become notorious under the name of Kristallnacht. He refers to himself as a 'German patriot,' born into a family of important jurists. He is a respected lawyer, married to a German woman. He fought in World War I and was decorated with the Iron Cross. Some days earlier his licence to practice law was rescinded. From the radio he learns of the assassination in Paris of the German diplomat Rath by the distraught Jewish refugee Grynspan and the subsequent outbreak of violence against Jews in many German cities. Receives late night phone calls which warn him of imminent dangers. He meets with friends who are equally distraught and learns of the widespread violence ravaging the city. Jewish banks and shops are demolished, and a Jewish hotel is attacked, its residents are cast out and beaten. Describes the orders that were given by the local SS, regulating their treatment of the Jews.. Learns that his cousin has committed suicide and reports in detail on the factors that led to his desperate act. Realistic description of the violence and bloodshed in the city - many Jews arrested, homes are looted, older people savagely beaten.
Following another phone call warning him of impending arrest, he leaves home for the relative safety of his country cottage. His wife and son bring provisions, wife returns but son joins father. Author lists the names of his immediate family and circle of friend who had been arrested and sent to Dachau. Describes the Nazi edicts against the Jews. For the first time begins to consider the option of emigration. Decides to leave Germany for France - for which he has an entry visa. Carrying only a small travelling bag he successfully passes the border control. Reveals his feelings about Germany. Throws his World War I medals from the window of the moving train. Once he reaches Strasbourg he telephones his family to 'announce his successful flight.'

Editorial Note:
The decision to publish this memoir marks a change in our usual selection procedure. In most previous cases the memoirs have been personal accounts of extensive wartime experiences covering months and years in the lives of survivors. This remarkable manuscript is a first-hand report on the events of several days, sparked by the outbreak of violence against Germany's Jews in what since been named 'Kristallnacht.' In effect it was a national pogrom instigated by the Nazis; it took many lives and destroyed numerous synagogues and Jewish businesses.
In this brief account we have a vivid description of the situation that confronted Germany's Jews as they were overtaken by these violent events. The events that began on November 9, 1938 marked the end of whatever hopes the German Jews may have had about accommodating themselves to Nazi rule. Our author is a typical representative of a large segment of upper middle class Jews whose allegiance to Germany was reflected in their unswerving patriotism, their intermarriage, their remoteness from Judaism. Their initial response to the events of November 9, 1938 was shock and disbelief. In a matter of days their world was changed. This disturbing narrative is a dramatic record of how one individual witnessed and coped with those sudden and unexpected days.

Volume 27e
Gabriel Miller
Eye-Witness to History:
A Survivor's Testimony

This testimony was written in‹ 1956. Author was born in central Poland in 1928. Describes members of the family and the area in which they lived. Recalls incidents of his childhood. Schooling consists of Public school and Hebrew school. In 1940 he was expelled from school which was now forbidden to Jewish children. Family forced to abandon their house and farm and to move to a single room in a gentile household. Author works as shepherd for the landlord. Describes his chores. Receive notice of the establishment of a ghetto in the town of Wengruf where they share two rooms with another family of six. In May 1941 Germans set up the Judenrat. Author replaces older brother on work brigade. Conditions of the work camp are described in detail. For a short time employed by farmer outside camp. In October 1942 learns that his family has been sent to Treblinka. Describes his escape from work camp with another inmate and his encounters with the local people. After four days they reach his village and he is informed that a local farmer was hiding his sister and that a brother was being sheltered by another farmer in the village. His brother was seriously wounded. Finds medical assistance from former teacher. After some weeks other survivors from his family appear, including brother, sisters and nephew. Each tells the story of their past experiences and how they managed to escape their pursuers. They plan to stay in the village and warn neighbours that if they are reported to the Germans they would burn the village down. Author learns of the death of his parents, siblings and their children. Tells of hallucinatory dream where his mother appears and warns of imminent danger. Describes the constant search for food and shelter. When liberated by the Russian army, the remnants of the family return to the village. Describes the attitude of the gentile neighbours toward the Jewish survivors. Accounts for his experiences immediately following the end of the war. Travels to Germany and Poland trading scarce goods for money. Decides to leave Poland and travel to Israel. Joins Gordonia Zionist movement, dedicated to bringing young Jews to Israel. Contacts family members who had emigrated to Canada. They encourage his joining them in Canada, which he does. Describes his adjustment in Canada.

Volume 28
Paula Frankel-Zaltzman

Editorial Note
This memoir by Paula Frankel-Zaltzman of her experiences in German labour and concentration camps, was originally published in Yiddish in 1949. It was published in Montreal by a committee of supporters composed of many Latvian Jews who provided financial assistance. The memoir was edited by M.M. Shafir, a teacher in the Jewish People's Schools and the Jewish Peretz Schools, and a well-known Yiddish poet, author of many volumes of Yiddish verse. His difficult task was to transliterate the memoir - written in Yiddish but using the Roman alphabet - into the standard Yiddish version using the Hebrew alphabet. This first English? version has been translated by Miriam Dashkin Beckerman.
Melech Ravitch, who wrote an appreciation of the Yiddish memoir, places it within the context of the history and evolution of Holocaust Yiddish literature. Ravitch was an internationally renowned Yiddish author, then domiciled in Montreal; for a number of years he served as director of the Jewish Public Library.
One feature of this narrative which sets it apart from other memoirs is the retention of many names of individuals whom the author knew or came to know in the ghettoes and camps she experienced. This lengthy list may help in identifying persons, a quest which still operates some 60 years after the event. These names are listed in the Appendix

This narrative records the events beginning on June 22, 1941 when Germany attacked the Soviet Union. Describes her family situation and the unexpected effects of the bombing. Burdened with an invalid father who requires special care. Cites the anti-Semitic reaction to the invasion by the Latvian population. Describes the work brigades and living conditions. Jews are crowded into the Beis Medrish which is set on fire. Author is assigned to agricultural field work. Jews are ordered to wear yellow patches on their clothing . Ghetto is established. Author becomes nurse, assisting the doctors. Jews from the surrounding villages are brought to the ghetto. Separation from mother who is sent to a German camp. Describes hospital duties and the terrible conditions she endures. Desperate actions to care for father. Execution of Jews following Kristallnacht. Death of father. Gathers food and sends small parcels into the ghetto. Depicts matza being prepared for Pesach. Many Jews are employed as labourers in the 'work fortress.' Doctor distributes poison to his family. Transported to the Riga ghetto. Meets with her brother Aaron in the ghetto; she is sent on to Kaiserwald Concentration Camp. Detailed description of the camp. Works in electric cable plant. Russian advance on Riga. Taken by ship to Danzig and Stutthof Camp. Tells of living conditions. Describes liberation and desire to locate family and loved ones.
Memoir spans the years: June 22, 1941 - January 25, 1945.

Volume 29
Margrit Rosenberg Stenge

Author born on December 27, 1928 in Cologne, Germany. Describes her childhood in middle-class family. She is an only child. Maternal side of the family was assimilated; paternal side was orthodox. Her father, a chemist, was a veteran of World War I and suffered multiple health problems as a result. When the Nazis came to power in 1933 life changes significantly. She is forced to attend a Jewish school, Recalls incident in 1937 when their house was stoned by a gang of youngsters. Family prepares alternative routes to security; describes the desperate attempt to obtain visas to foreign countries. Family leaves for Belgium, but unable to find employment decide to proceed to Scandinavia. Author is left in Brussels with a Jewish family until parents settle in Norway. Father finds work in his profession. Describes the conditions in Norway, living among a number of Jewish refugees. When the Germans invade Norway in 1940 father plans to escape; they travel to the country-side and find shelter with a Norwegian couple. Detailed account of life in isolated mountain village, and the measures they resort to in order to evade arrest. Family moves to an area above the tree-line where skis were the sole means of transportation. Friends supply them with money from the company that employed her father. Contact is made with the underground who arrange to smuggle the family into Sweden. Description of conditions in Sweden. War ends; meets future husband. Emigrates to Canada in 1951.

Volumre 30
Benjamin Kujawski,
Haunted by Images:
Drawings and Commentary on the Holocaust.
(This volume is not available on the net.)

Volume 31
Lev Bilich
What I Will Always Remember:
Pre-War / Wartime / Post-War In Russia (Soviet Union)

Author describes his personal and family history. Raised in Odessa. Family was secular; Russian was the language spoken at home, with a minor role for Yiddish. Attended Ukrainian schools and tells of his school environment. Normal life ends at the outbreak of hostilities in june 1941. The civilian population builds air-raid shelters as protection against bombing. Family decides to leave Odessa. They travel by steamship - which was struck by an enemy mine or hit an under-water reef. They board trains which take them east. They reach Taldy-Jourgan in the Alma-Ata region of Kazakhstan. Family is assigned to Alkapa aul in the Aksuyski region; well received by Kazakhs. Describes his work assignments and the training he received. Sent to work at project of construction of a metallurgical plant. Detailed description of working and living conditions. Trains as electrical engineer. At the end of the war, family is united and receive documents to move back to Odessa. Learns of the fate of his extended family. in 1947 enrolls in Polytechnic Institute. the political situation of the Jews becomes more difficult following the establishment of the State of Israel. Son, trained as doctor, emigrates to Montreal, Canada, but faces serious problems getting license to practice medicine and find employment. Lev obtains a visa to come to canada in 1995 to help finance his son's studies. Wife dies of cancer. Concludes with a description of his integration into the Montreal jewish Community.

Volume 32
Vera Kovesi
Terror and Survival: A Family History

Narrative opens with an account of family history, beginning with her paternal grandfather in the mid-nineteenth century. She traces the business history of the family. She details the path of her education and provides sketches of each family member. Offers insights into the life and values of a large, extended Jewish Hungarian family, tracing their history from the nineteenth century to the end of World War II. From the late 1930s begins to chronicle the growing anti-Semitic and pro-fascist elements that were active in Hungarian society. Author stresses that her powerful memory derives from the fact that so many family members did not survive the holocaust and she feels herself to be a custodian of their memories. Describes the effects of the war on the Jewish population. Outlines the factors that led to the Kastner case. Radio announces that the fascists have been overthrown; then almost immediately a retraction informing the populace that the fascists have regained power. Tells of the experience when she and her younger brothers are cared for by an aristocratic Hungarian family. For about a month they live the life of luxury before being returned to their mother. Witnesses the post-war years including the hardships with housing and food supplies. Description of the communist regime and its efforts at introducing radical change in Hungary. With the death of Stalin, notes the liberal changes that have reshaped Hungarian society. Meets future husband and the establishment of a tailor shop. Plan and execute leaving Hungary for Austria. Receive Canada visas and leave for Canada, arriving there in December, 1956.


Minna Aspler vol. 15a
Lev Bilich vol. 31
Marcel Braitstein vol. 2
Konrad Elkana Charmatz vol. 8
Alexandre Citrome vol. 22
Gerta Fink vol. 27a
Marian Finkielman vol. 11
Paula Frankel-Zaltzman vol, 28
Albert Fuchs vol. 27d
Emery Gregus vol. 18
Hyman Gutman vol. 15b
Jacob Gutman vol. 4
Myra Gutman vol. 15c
Nahum Meir Halpern vol. 3
David Jacobs vol. 10
Charles Kotkowsky vol. 7
Vera Kovesi vol. 32
Meyer Kron vol. 14
Benjamin Kujawski vol. 23
Benjamin Kujawski vol. 30
Marcus Lecker vol. 5
Gabriel Miller vol. 27e
Rachel Phillips¡on-Levy vol. 15d
Miriam Reich vol. 15e
Helen Rodak-Izso vol. 17
Irene Romer vol. 9b
Pal Romer vol. 9c
Nelli Rotbart vol. 25
Andrew Salamon vol. 19
Andrew Savin vol. 15f
Koineh Schacter-Rogel vol. 15g
Gisele Schwartz-Somlo--Foti vol. 9a
Veronika Schwartz vol. 15h
Olga Sher vol. 27c
Adam Shtibel vol. 27b
Rachel Shtibel vol. 24
Agnes Simon vol. 9d
Sam Smilovic vol. 13
Margrit Rosenberg Stenge vol. 29
Rose Ickovits Weiss Svarc vol. 6
Dolly Tiger vol. 9e
Leslie Vertes vol. 21
Kalmen Wewryk vol. 1
Babey Widutschinsky-Trepman vol. 15i
Guenther Ludwig Zilversmit vol. 20
Michael Zimmermann vol. 16
Peter Zylberberg vol. 12
Abraham Zylbering vol. 26


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