Stefania Sitbon is a Holocaust Survivor from Poland. She was born just before the war began, so Stefania doesn’t remember the German invasion, or life before the war. The memories she has are of her childhood, a time when things had changed dramatically. Stefania grew up in the chaos and hunger of the Warsaw Ghetto, where her father had taken up resistance against the Nazis – he later participated in the uprising, which he survived. With the help of a righteous Gentile, Stefania and the other members of her family found temporary refuge in the Warsaw Zoo, the subject of the recent film The Zookeeper’s Wife. From there Stefania and her family were separated and sent to convents and surrounding villages, from which they were liberated in 1945. Her reunited family spent the immediate postwar years in Austria and Poland, after which they emigrated to the new nation of Israel, later deciding to go to Canada.
Oral History Project June 9th, 2017
Helen Zeller grew up in Poland. She was living a very comfortable life with her family when the war began, quickly changing everything. While most of her family was lost, Helen and a few others were fortunate to escape the liquidation. She was able to survive in a bunker and the forest, dependent on a few Righteous Poles to stay alive.
Helen came to us courtesy of Baycrest, where we interviewed her at a Cafe Europa in February 2013.
Oral History Project April 2nd, 2013