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Survivor Speaker Bios

NEUBERGER HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR SPEAKERS 

Amek Adler was born in Lublin, Poland, in 1928 and grew up in Lodz. After Nazi occupation in 1939, his family escaped to Warsaw and then to Radom. In 1943, Amek was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, and from there was eventually shipped to Dachau, where his father and one brother perished. Amek was liberated on April 28, 1945. Amek worked with the Israeli Irgun Tzvai Leumi to help illegal immigrants into Palestine and immigrated to Canada in 1954.

Claire Baum was born in Rotterdam, Holland in 1936. She survived in hiding with her sister from 1942–1945. Separated from their parents, they were raised as Christians for three years by a courageous 26-year old woman. At the end of the war, the sisters were reunited with their parents and immigrated to Canada.

Hedy Bohm was born in Oradea, Romania, in 1928. She was an only child, and attended a Jewish girls’ school. In 1944, Hedy and her family were sent to a ghetto. Within two months she was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. She was then selected for forced work detail at an ammunition factory and shipped to Fallersleben Germany in August, 1944. American forces liberated Hedy in April, 1945, and, for a brief period, Hedy returned to Romania. In 1948, Hedy and her husband immigrated to Canada.  

Felicia Carmelly was born in Romania in 1931. In October 1941, Felicia and her family were deported to the camps in Transnistria where 36 members of her extended family were murdered. Felicia was liberated by the Soviet Army in 1944, and returned to her home in 1945. After living under Communist rule in post-war Romania, Felicia immigrated to Canada in 1962. She is the author of the award-winning book, Shattered! 50 Years of Silence, History and Voices of the Tragedy in Romania and Transnistria.

Judy Weissenberg Cohen was born in Debrecen, Hungary, in 1928. She was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1944 and survived Bergen-Belsen, a slave labour camp and a death march. She was liberated in 1945 and immigrated to Canada in 1948. Judy’s website, www.womenandtheholocaust.com, is an acclaimed scholarly resource.

Anne Eidlitz was born in Antwerp, Belgium, in 1936. She lived with her parents, Kiva and Liba Jacubowicz, and younger sister, Rosie. Anne’s father was deported in 1942, and the family went into hiding. After their mother was arrested by the Gestapo, Anne and her sister remained in hiding until they were smuggled into Switzerland. They returned to Belgium in 1946, and were adopted by family. The sisters both immigrated to Canada in the early 1950s.

Alexander Eisen was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1929. After the Anschluss in 1938, the Eisen family fled to Hungary. In 1939 Alex’s father was arrested and fled to Palestine, leaving his wife alone with their three children. Alex and the rest of the family endured the hardships of the Budapest Ghetto, but later managed to escape and live in hiding until being liberated by the Soviet Army in 1945. He immigrated with his wife Renate to Canada in 1952.

Max Eisen was born in Moldava in the former Czechoslovakia, in 1929. In 1944, his family was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau from Hungarian-occupied Slovakia. Max worked in slave labour with his father and uncle, but in September 1944, the two were selected out. Max survived a death march to Mauthausen, Melk and Ebensee. He was liberated by the US Army in May 1945. He returned to Czechoslovakia and stayed in an orphanage for three years. Max immigrated to Canada in 1949.

Sally Eisner was born in 1922 in Zaleszczyki, Poland. Her entire family was deported to the Tluste ghetto then sent to work as slave labourers. After her parents were shot dead in a large Aktion, Sally managed to escape and survived in hiding for a time, eventually being interned and sent to a series of labour camps. Sally was liberated in 1944 by the Soviet Red Army and immigrated to Canada in 1949. 

Anita Ekstein was born in Lvov, Poland, in 1934, to Edzia and Fischel Helfgott. In 1942, after her mother was taken away, she was placed in hiding. Anita was hidden by a Christian family; then in 1943, by a priest. Her mother was murdered in October 1942 in the Belzec death camp, her father was murdered in 1943. Anita was liberated in 1945. She immigrated to Canada in 1948, with a surviving aunt.

Esther Fairbloom was born in the ghetto in Tarnopol, Poland, likely in 1941. When the Nazis began deporting Jews from the ghetto, her sister hid on one of the farms. Her mother asked the Mother Superior of the Catholic orphanage to hide six-month-old Esther. After the war, Esther learned that her parents had been killed. At the age of five, she was reunited with and adopted by an aunt and uncle. She immigrated to Canada ten years later.

Shary Fine Marmor was born in Bistrica, Romania, in 1927. She was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau in early 1944, transferred to Plaszow labour camp where she worked in the stone quarry, and transferred back to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Later she was deported to the Stuttgart area in Germany for slave labour. Shary survived a death march to the Alps and was liberated by the US Army on April 29, 1945. She immigrated to Canada in 1948.

Edward Fisch was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1933. In 1942, his father was conscripted into the Slave Labour Battalion in Hungary; his mother was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau in the spring of 1944. Together with his younger brother, he survived in Swiss protected houses, and then in the Budapest ghetto until liberation in January 1945. Edward’s mother survived but his father was murdered by the Arrow Cross. Edward immigrated to Canada in 1948.

George Fox was born in Berdichev, Russia (later Poland), in 1917, where he lived with his family. The Nazis forced his family into the Brzeziny Ghetto, where they remained until its liquidation in 1942. George was sent to the Lodz Ghetto until 1944, and then to Auschwitz-Birkenau. He was liberated by the US Army after a death march to Flossenburg, Gross Rosen and Pocking, in Bavaria. The only survivor of his family, George immigrated to Canada in 1948.

Miriam Frankel was born in Dunajska Streda, Czechoslovakia, in 1927, and raised in Italy. In 1940 Miriam was forced to leave her childhood home in Italy so they returned to their home town of former Czechoslovakia. Miriam’s father was sent to a forced labour camp. Shortly after his return, and a six week stay at the local ghetto, the entire family was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau in May 1944. Miriam, sole survivor of her family, was liberated in Saltzwedel, Germany, on April 14, 1945. Miriam immigrated to Canada in 1948.

Gerda Frieberg was born in Upper Silesia, Poland, in 1925. With the Nazi occupation, her father was taken away in October 1939. In 1940, Gerda, her mother, and sister were deported to the Jaworzno Ghetto. In 1942, she was sent to the Oberaltstadt concentration camp, where her sister was interned. Her mother joined them in 1943. Gerda worked in the machine shop of a spinning mill until liberation on May 9, 1945. Gerda immigrated to Canada in 1953.

Edith Gelbard was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1932. She lived with her parents, sister and grandmother. After the Nazis annexed Austria in 1938, her family fled to Belgium and then to France. In 1942, her father was murdered in Auschwitz. Edith and her brother were hidden in an orphanage. She was liberated in 1945 and reunited with rest of her family. After the war, she lived in Paris and immigrated to Canada in 1958.

Bill Glied was born in Subotica, Serbia, in 1930. He was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1944 along with his family. He was later transferred to the Dachau concentration camp in Germany and worked as a slave labourer. Bill was liberated by the US Army in April and immigrated to Canada as an orphan in 1947.

Mel Goldberg was born in Biala Rawska (southeast of Warsaw), Poland, in 1942. As an infant, his parents placed him with a Christian family to be hidden and save his life. His parents and four siblings were likely murdered in Treblinka. First sent to an orphanage in Otwock, Mel immigrated to Canada in 1948 at age six, and was adopted by his relatives in Toronto.

Elly Gotz was born in Kovno, Lithuania, in 1928. His father worked in a bank and his mother was a nurse. Beginning in 1941, Elly spent three years in the ghetto/camp in Kovno and then one year in Dachau concentration camp, where he was liberated by the American army in 1945. After the war, he lived in Germany, Norway, Rhodesia and South Africa. Elly immigrated to Canada in 1964.

Pinchas Gutter and his twin sister were born in Lodz, Poland, in 1932. In 1939, his family was forced into the Warsaw Ghetto. In April 1943, they were deported to the death camp, Majdanek, where the whole family was murdered on arrival, except for Pinchas. He was sent to a work camp, then to Buchenwald, and then on a death march from Germany to Theresienstadt. He was liberated by the Soviet Army in May 1945. He immigrated to Canada in 1985 from South Africa.

Denise Hans was born in Paris, France, in 1938. In 1942, after her father, aunt and uncle were taken from her home and murdered, her mother sought places to hide her six children and two nieces. Denise was hidden twice with farmers and then in a convent. She and two sisters stayed there until 1948, when they were reunited with their mother and siblings. Denise immigrated to Canada in 1956.

Magda Hilf was born in Maly Kevesd, Czechoslovakia, in 1921. After Nazi occupation in 1944, her family was driven to the nearby ghetto in Satoraljaujhely, Hungary. Shortly after, they were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where all were killed except for Magda, who was sent for slave labour. In April 1945, she was forced onto a death march, but she and four friends managed to escape. One month later, they were liberated. Magda immigrated to Canada in 1953.

Lou Hoffer was born in Vijnitz, Bucovina, Romania, in 1927. He lived with his parents and his younger brother, Yosel. In 1940, Soviet forces occupied his town, and the entire family was deported to Transnistria in 1941. Lou was liberated by the Soviet Army in 1944, and his whole immediate family survived. After spending several years in various Displaced Persons camps, Lou immigrated to Canada in 1948.

Howard and Nancy Kleinberg were born in the village of Wierzbnik, Poland, and were raised in traditional, observant homes. By October 1942, their lives had changed forever. Before either of them had turned 20, Howard and Nancy endured years of forced labour, hunger, hardship, cruelty, forced marches, as well as internment in several concentration camps. After liberation from Bergen-Belsen in April 1945, they learned that their parents, most of their relatives and friends had not survived. They immigrated to Canada separately and crossed paths again in 1947. In 1950, Howard and Nancy were married.

Mark Lane was born in eastern Czechoslovakia in 1929. In the spring of 1944, he and his family were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where his mother, two brothers and sister were murdered. He remained in Birkenau until January 1945 when he was taken on a death march to Mauthausen in Austria. He was finally liberated in May 1945 from Gunskirchen. Mark immigrated to Canada in 1951.

Manny Langer was born in Lodz, Poland, in 1929. Manny was forced to live in the Lodz Ghetto before being transported to Auschwitz-Birkenau and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps. After liberation, he travelled back to Poland where he found two surviving sisters. In 1946, he immigrated to the United States, and in 1951, Manny and his sisters immigrated to Canada.

Joe (Joseph) Leinburd was born in Suceava, Romania, in 1922. In 1941, the Romanian Fascist Regime, collaborating with Nazi Germany, deported the entire Jewish population of Northern Bucovina and Bessarabia to Transnistria, an area in southwestern Ukraine. Miraculously, his entire family survived a death march from Moghilev to Murafa and was liberated in 1944. After spending two-and-a-half years in Displaced Persons camps, Joe and his wife immigrated to Canada in 1949.

Nathan Leipciger was born in Chorzow, Poland in 1928. He survived the Sosnowiec Ghetto and the camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Funfteichen, Gross Rosen, Flossenberg, Leonberg, Muhldorf am Inn and Waldlager (two sub-camps of Dachau). Nathan and his father were liberated in May 1945, and immigrated to Canada in 1948.

Alex Levin was born in Rokitno (Volyn), Poland, in 1932. He survived a massacre at the Rokitno Ghetto where his parents and younger brother were murdered. He managed to escape into the forest with his older brother. He was liberated by the Soviet Army in 1944 and immigrated to Canada in 1975. His memoir, Under the Yellow and Red Stars, received the 2010 Pearson Prize Teen Choice Award.

Faigie (Schmidt) Libman was born in Kovno, Lithuania, in 1934, an only child. In 1941, she and her family were forced into the Kovno Ghetto. When the ghetto was liquidated in 1944, her father was taken to Dachau, where he perished. Faigie and her mother were transferred—first to Stutthof, then to three slave labour camps—before they were liberated by the Soviet Army. They immigrated to Canada in 1948.

Rose Lipszyc was born in Lublin, Poland in 1929. On October 14, 1942 Rose escaped forced deportation. She survived the war under a false identity, posing as a teenage Polish child worker in Germany. Rose’s mother, father and two brothers were murdered by the Nazis. After liberation, Rose and her future husband Jack immigrated to Israel in 1948. They immigrated to Canada in 1952.

Judy Lysy was born in Kosice, Czechoslovakia, in 1928. She lived with her parents, sister and grandmother. In March 1944, Judy and her family were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau and from there to various slave labour camps. She was liberated in May 1945 by the US Army. She immigrated to Canada in 1952 with her husband and daughter.

Martin Maxwell was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1924. His whole family witnessed the Kristallnacht pogrom. Martin and his brother were sent on the Kindertransport to England, and adopted. Martin joined the British army in 1942, was one of the first to land in Normandy on D-Day as a glider pilot, and fought in the liberation of Holland, where he was wounded and captured. He was freed in May 1945, but two of his sisters died in concentration camps. Martin immigrated to Canada in 1952.

Eva Meisels was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1939, an only child. After her father was taken to a forced labour camp in 1942, Eva and her mother were in the Budapest Ghetto and eventually, a safe house. They obtained false papers from Raoul Wallenberg and were liberated by the Soviet Army. After the war, Eva went back to school and immigrated to Canada in 1956.

Leslie Meisels was born in Nadudvar, Hungary, in 1927. He lived with his parents, two brothers and both sets of grandparents. He survived the ghettos in Nadudvar and Debrecen, slave labour in Austria and the eventual deportation to Bergen-Belsen. He was liberated in April 1945 by the 9th US Army from a death train. His mother, father and both brothers also survived. Leslie immigrated to Canada in 1967.

Andy Réti was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1942. He survived in the Budapest Ghetto together with his mother and paternal grandparents. His father was murdered in a forced labour camp. Andy and his remaining family were liberated in January 1945. In October 1956, during the Hungarian Revolution, he and his mother were able to escape and immigrate to Canada to begin a new life.

Sally Rosen was born in Poland, in 1929, and lived in the Lodz Ghetto with her mother for four-and-a half years during the war. In 1944 they were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. From there, Sally was taken to Bremen-Hafen to clean bombarded houses. In April 1945 she was transported to Bergen-Belsen, from where she was liberated by the British Army. In total, she lost 45 members of her family during the Holocaust. Sally immigrated to Canada in 1948.

Vera Schiff (née Katz) was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, in 1926. In 1942, the entire Katz family was deported to Theresienstadt, where all but Vera perished. She was liberated by the Soviet Army in May 1945. Vera is the author of the award-winning Theresienstadt—The Town the Nazis Gave to the Jews, Hitler’s Inferno—Eight Personal Histories from the Holocaust and Letters to Veruska.

Faye Schulman was born in Lenin, Poland, in 1919. In 1942, the Nazis murdered her family. She had two sisters and four brothers. She escaped and joined the Soviet partisans in the forest to fight for freedom. She survived as a partisan, and was able to save many lives. Faye was liberated by the Soviet Army in 1944. She has been decorated by several governments for bravery. She immigrated to Canada in 1948.

Leonard Vis was born in Amsterdam, Holland, in 1930. After the Germans occupied the Netherlands, his family went into hiding. They all survived and were liberated in 1945. After the war, Leonard served two years in the Dutch Army before moving to New York. In 1967, Leonard came to Canada for a job posting.

Lenka Weksberg was born in Tacovo, Czechoslovakia, in 1926. In 1944, the entire family was deported to the Mathesalka Ghetto in Hungary and then to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where her mother and brother were murdered. Lenka survived a slave labour camp in Geislingen, and Alach, as well as a death march. Lenka was liberated by the US Army in April 1945. After the war, Lenka returned to Czechoslovakia, then moved to Israel, and finally immigrated to Canada in 1953.

Gershon Willinger was born in Amsterdam, Holland, in 1942 to German-Jewish parents who were later murdered in Sobibor in July 1943. He was placed in hiding as a very young orphan. In 1944, as a two-year-old child, he was deported on a children’s transport to Bergen-Belsen and later to Theresienstadt where he was liberated in 1945. He became a social worker and immigrated to Canada in 1977.

Helen Yermus was born in Kovno, Lithuania, in 1932. She had to endure hardship, intimidation and fear in the Kovno Ghetto. Her brother was taken away and murdered. In 1944 the ghetto was liquidated, and her father was deported to Dachau, where he died of starvation. Helen and her mother were taken to the Stutthof concentration camp in Germany. Both survived the camp and immigrated to Canada together in 1948.

Roman Ziegler was born in Dombrowa Gura, Poland, in 1927, the youngest of eight children. He spent 31 months in four slave labour and death camps, including Brande, in Germany, and Auschwitz-Birkenau. He was liberated in May 1945 by the Soviet Army. Of his entire family of ten people, Roman was the only one who survived. Roman immigrated to Canada in 1948.