Thursday | August 17, 2017

On December 7th, 2015, six students from Crestwood Preparatory College went to the Baycrest Centre to interview Sam Weisberg, accompanied by his wife, Rosa.

Sam is a Holocaust survivor, born to a Jewish family in a German-speaking region of Poland called Silesia in 1927. He was taken to the Krakow ghetto, and later to multiple concentration camps including Plaszów (as featured in Schindler’s List) and Bergen Belsen. He lives in Toronto with his wife (also a survivor). They have a daughter, six grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren!

March 18th, 2016

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Riva was born in 1926 in current day Belarus, but at the time it was Poland.  Riva had three sisters and her Mom and Dad.  Her family was in the upper class and her father was a lumber merchant; since she was in an upper class family Riva and her sisters went to private school.  At the beginning ofWW2, Riva and her family were transported to the Osmeana ghetto, where they began to feel the harshness of the impending Shoah.  From there, Riva was transported to several camps, including Bergen Belsen, where she was liberated by the British.  After the War Riva got married in1947 and then left to go to Israel at the beginning of 1948.  Riva and her husband had their children in Israel, two girls, and then in 1958 came to Canada.
We met Riva at Baycrest’s Cafe Europa, where she was interviewed by Sydney Swartz, Sabrina Wasserman, and Hailey Friedrichsen in October 2013.

 

 

November 5th, 2013

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On Tuesday, February 12th, a television crew from CBC News visited Crestwood Preparatory College to film Howard and Nancy Kleinburg speak to students as part of the Oral History Project.

Howard was born in Poland, in 1926 and was the youngest brother of ten.— in 1941 his entire family had to pack up their things and move into the ghetto. They had to leave everything behind. Every Jew within the perimeter of the Ghettos was marched in and this became their home for the next few months. From there Howard was used as a slave labourer and was moved through a succession of camps, ending up in Bergen Belsen – it was there that Nancy saved his life. They reconnected and married after the war and built a life in Canada.

Howard and Nancy’s story will be featured on CBC News on Thursday, February 14th at 5pm. The title of their segment is “A Romance that grew from the Camps of WWII”. Take a moment and tune in to an incredible Love story during your Valentine’s Day.

February 13th, 2013

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Rose Zimmerman comes from Poland, where she and her family were living a normal life before 1939. The advent of the war saw all of that turned upside down; she and her family experienced the full weight of the Shoah, and Rose herself ended up a slave labourer in Auschwitz, before ending the war in the Bergen Belsen death camp.

We met Rose at Baycrest’s Cafe Europa in February 2012, where she sat down with Jenny Wilson, Cathy Kim, Ryan Seigel, and Cam Teboekhurst for a interview about her experiences.

July 9th, 2012

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Aaron Nussbaum was born in Sandomierz in Poland. He stayed here until he could not hide from the Nazis anymore. He spent 8 months in Bergen Belsen where he was rescued by American troops. Aaron was sent to Palestine at the age of 13, until he joined his mother and brother in Canada. He fought in the Palmach for the independence of Israel. He fought in the Negev Brigade. He later moved to Canada to be with his mother and brother in Toronto.

He was interviewed for this project by Crestwood students Adam Orenstein and Mitchell Ber.

July 9th, 2012

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Mr. and Mrs. Kleinberg are survivors of the Holocaust. They have witnessed the terror, the tears, pain; emotions that are inexplicable. They lost their friends, their family and have opened their hearts to each other.

Nancy comes from a small town in Poland where she grew up with five brothers and two loving parents as well as her large extended family. She lived a wonderful childhood where she would play in the parks and every summer visit her Grandparents on the farm.— Nancy’s parents owned a shoe store; however as time passed, one afternoon Nazi soldiers stomped into their store and told them they had no more rights as owners. Her parents life long business, and most shocking, their freedom was taken away. Nancy’s family was forced into the ghettos. Her entire family had to leave everything behind; their house, their store, their belongings. They had to back up a small bag with as little things as possible. When the ghetto was liquidated, nancy was separated from much of her family. She was deported to Auschwitz and became a slave labourer. As the war ended she found herself in Bergen Belsen, where she saved a teenaged boy on the verge of death.

July 9th, 2012

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Mr. and Mrs. Kleinberg are survivors of the Holocaust. They have witnessed the terror, the tears, pain; emotions that are inexplicable. They lost their friends, their family and have opened their hearts to each other.

Howard was born in Poland, in 1926 and was the youngest brother of ten.— in 1941 his entire family had to back up their things and move into the ghetto. They had to leave everything behind. Every Jew within the perimeter of the Ghettos was marched in and this became their home for the next few months. From there Howard was used as a slave labourer and was moved through a succession of camps, ending up in Bergen Belsen – it was there that nancy saved his life. They reconnected and married after the war and built a life in Canada. They came to us courtesy of the Holocaust Centre of Toronto, and their inspirational story received great attention this year when they appeared on the Regis and Kelly show.

July 9th, 2012

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Mr. David Jacobs was born in Tomaszów, Poland. He grew up within the small town, and soon joined his father in working at their family tailoring shop. At age 18, when the war broke out, Mr. Jacobs was sent to Buchenwald concentration camp, where he served as a slave labourer. Mr. Jacobs traveled across Europe to various concentration camps, including Blizyn and Auschwitz Birkenau, where he served as a cook for his fellow prisoners. After being liberated by Eisenhower and the American Armed Forces in 1945, Mr. Jacobs was soon given the opportunity to work. Soon after, he travelled to the Bergen-Belsen DP camp, where he and his brother were able to reunite with their sister. He began working for the American Joint Distribution Committee in order to help displaced Jews across Europe. Mr. Jacobs later moved to Toronto, Canada to continue working in the clothing industry, where he still resides today.

Mr, Jacobs was interviewed for this project in January 2015 by Sabrina Wasserman and Blair Gwartzmann.

February 25th, 2015

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Leslie Meisels was born in Nádudvar, Hungary in1927. He lived with his parents, two brothers, and both sets of grandparents. He survived the ghetto in Debrecen, slave labour and eventual deportation to Bergen-Belsen. He was liberated in April1945 by the US Army. His mother, father and both brothers also survived. Leslie immigrated to Canada in 1967.

He and his wife Eva, whose story is also featured here, visited Crestwood in October 2013, where Leslie was interviewed by Cassie Wasserman, Alex Hobart, and Sifana Jalal.

October 27th, 2013

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Gershon Willinger was born in Holland, in 1942.  His experience in the Holocaust is a very different story because he was a very young boy who was unaware of his environment, and did not know what to do. Guido and Edith, his parents, were German Jews. They were both murdered in 1943, in a Polish concentration camp called Sobibor.  His parents gave him to a friend in Holland who was a farmer.  Gershon was taken by the Nazis and placed in a children’s home in Westerberg, Germany.  He was then taken with a group a children originally headed to Auschwitz concentration camp, but they were rerouted to  Bergen-Belsen.  Gershon and 48 other children were then moved to the Theresienstadt concentration  camp.  He was liberated by the USSR and remembers one of the soldiers hugging him and giving him candy.  Gershon is currently 73 years old and lives in Toronto with his wife.
Gershon was interviewed for this project in February 2015 by Jonah, Mert, Shane and Augusta.

“Look out for people regardless their race, religion, you accept everybody…”

– Gershon Willinger

July 9th, 2012

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