Oral History Project August 24th, 2016
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 sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, and from there was sent to a series of work camps and 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 when he heard that his mother had survived he moved on to Sweden, where he married and started his own family. He immigrated to Canada in 1954, where he and his family built a new life for themselves.
We met Amek at Baycrest in September 2015, where he was interviewed for this project by Aaron Joshua, Jonah Patel, Charley Swartz, Rohan Narayanan, and Ted Kang.
Oral History Project October 29th, 2015
Freda (Franka) Kon is from Lodz, Poland. Freda and her family had been a nice, normal life when the tragedy of the Holocaust descended upon them. They were put into the Lodz Ghetto, where they would stay for the next four year, condemned to slave labour and starvation. But as a young woman, in a community with so many other young Jews, Freda was resilient, and she recalled how they managed to find ways to bring at least some joy into their lives. Freda’s insights there are compelling, and they speak to the resistance that went on, even in the darkest moments. In 1944, the tragedy of the Shoah persisted, and Freda and her family were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau; Freda subsequently was sent to Stutthof, and was forced on a death march at the war’s end.
She attributes her survival to her mother’s spirit, as the two were together through the duration of the Shoah. At war’s end Freda married and had a child before emigrating to Canada. We first met her at Baycrest’s Cafe Europa, and she was kind enough to invite us to her home, where Crestwood students Sy Greenberg, Alix Postan, Lindsey Swartzman, and Katherine Charness interviewed her in May 2011. In 2014 Freda and her daughter travelled to Lodz, where Freda participated in ceremonies commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the ghetto. Savannah Yutman and Scott Masters visited Freda in July 2015, where she updated her interview and shared the story of her recent travels to Poland.
Oral History Project September 4th, 2015
Israel Cohen is a Survivor from Poland. Mr. Cohen was born is Lodz, Poland. He had two sisters. One was killed in the camps, and the other was murdered by the Polish a few months after the war. At first he was in the Lodz Ghetto, then Auschwitz, and then Kaufering until liberation. After liberation he went to Switzerland, to a treatment center for TB. After meeting his wife in Switzerland, he came to Canada, where he lives now with his family. Mr. Cohen published a book called, Destined to Survive, where he recounts his story of survival.
He was interviewed by Amanda and Michael Lawee in December 2013.
Oral History Project January 15th, 2014
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. He has since dedicated himself to Holocaust and tolerance education, and he has been sharing his story for twenty years.
We met him at Baycrest’s Cafe Europa in October 2013, when he sat down with Savannah Yutman, Jessica Seger, and Meghan Kates.
Oral History Project October 25th, 2013
David Rybowski is a survivor from Lodz, Poland. He experienced the full weight of the Holocaust, living in the ghetto before being deported to a series of camps and subjected to slave labour before surviving death marches at the war’s end. He spoke to Crestwood students Gabi Sandler, Sam Wasserman, So Hee Pyo, and Dov Houle at Baycrest’s Cafe Europa in May 2011. In February 2013, he agreed to a second interview, this time with Isabelle Pinto, Sidra Fisch, and Gabi Sandler.
admin July 9th, 2012
Pinchas Gutter was born in Lodz and was 7 years old when the war broke out. After his father was brutally beaten by Nazis in Lodz, he fled with his family to what they thought was safety in Warsaw. From there, Pinchas and his family were incarcerated in the Warsaw Ghetto for three and a half years – until April 1943, the time of the ghetto uprising. After three weeks the family was deported to the death camp, Majdanek. Pinchas was sent to a work camp where people were beaten, shot or worked to death. Towards the end of the war he was forced on a death march, which he barely survived. He was liberated by the Russians on May 8,1945 and was later taken to Britain with other children for rehabilitation. He spoke at Crestwood for the first time in our Holocaust Conference in 2008. He has since visited classes and spoken to students on many occasions, including our 2012 Human Rights Symposium. In February 2014 Josh Zweig visited Pinchas in his home for this interview, and in 2016 Pinchas returned to visit Mr. Masters’ History 10 class.
admin July 9th, 2012