Hoffer, Lou

Lou Hoffer was born in the northern province of Bukovina, Romania in a small  town called Vijnitz. His exact date of birth is uncertain; however, it was around 1927. In 1939, the Russians and the Germans had invaded Poland making the neighbours to the north no longer under Polish rule but Russian. A  year later

Fine, Shary

Shary Fine was born in Romania in 1927. She is currently 90 years old and is the youngest out of all of the girls in her family. As she was growing up, she lived in a small town in Transylvania. She was a gymnast, mountain climber, and an actor. Shary’s family was Jewish. To Shary

Holocaust Education

            This week Crestwood was visited by Hedy Bohm and Leonard Vis, who spoke to Ms. Young and Mrs. Winograd’s respective grade 8 classes about their experiences during the Holocaust. The grade 8 classes have been studying the novel The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, and discussing the social and

Carmelly, Felicia

Felicia Carmelly is a Romanian Holocaust survivor currently residing in Toronto. Born in 1932  amidst European anti-Semitism, Felicia faced persecution at the hands of the Green Shirts in Romania. Felicia and her family were taken from their hometown to Transnistria, an area under Romanian governance where Romanian Jews were forced into mass ghettos. Here, she

Roth, Helen

Helen Roth was born towards the end of the Great Depression.  Helen was only in elementary school when World War 2 began. She had 2 sisters and four brothers and out of all of them only her and her brother are still alive today. Helen’s father passed away when she was 3, so he did

Nirenberg, Erica

Erica Nirenberg was born in 1931 in a small town in Romania. She had 3 siblings but they passed away at a young age. When she was 12 years old, her father was rounded up by the Russian Army and never returned. She and her mother fled to a large Romanian city called Czernovitz to

Seiler, Paul

Paul Seiler is the grandfather of Crestwood student Ben Sharer, who interviewed him for this project in February 2014.  Paul grew up against the backdrop of wartime Romania, where he and his family were fortunate to survive the Holocaust.  Paul remembers wearing the yellow star, and the deportation of many family and friends to the

Mr. Masters’ Oral History Project Continues in 2014

As you know, Crestwood’s Mr. Scott Masters won the National Award for Excellence in Holocaust Education late in 2013 for an oral history project he developed with Crestwood students. The section on Holocaust Survivors now holds almost 100 testimonies. As a result, Mr. Masters has been asked to take part in a National Film Board Virtual

Gamulka, Ala

Ala Gamulka is a Holocaust Survivor from Bucharest, Romania.  She and her family were fortunate to escape the city as the German invasion closed in around them, making their way to a boat which took them on a harrowing journey through the Adriatic Sea.  Like many wartime refugees, they were intercepted and placed in a

Bohm, Hedy

Hedy Bohm grew up in prewar Romania, in a region that later came under Hungarian control. As the war escalated, she and her family increasingly came under the influence of the Nazis, and the family was deported to Auschwitz in the summer of 1944. Hedy was able to survive Auschwitz-Birkenau for three months; at that

Weiss, Allen

Allen Weiss was born in Romania in 1929. Allen had loving parents along with two sisters and a brother. He grew up in a small village where his family owned a grocery store. Allen was 14 years old when the Nazis forced him out of his village. Allen was taken to Auschwitz – Birkenau with

Meister, Ernie

Ernie Meister was separated fom his family and sent to a work camp for the majority of World War Two, first in Transylvania and later in the Ukraine. He was forced into slave labour, digging ditches and other defenses for the German military. In late 1944 he escaped the camp and made his way back

Grifeld, Tova

Tova Grifeld is a child survivor of the Holocaust. She grew up in Romania, and she shared with us her memories of the restrictions of the ghetto and of the increasing weight of the Nazi persecution. Tova was able after the war to make her way to Italy and then to Israel, where the survivors

Csillag, Irene

Irene Csillag was born in 1925 in Satu Mare, Romania. Irene was living a good life, but when the Germans occupied Hungary in 1944, everything changed. In April 1944 Hungarian Jews were moved into ghettoes. The Hungarian authorities worked with the SS and began deporting Jews starting in the middle of May. 440,000 Jews were

Rosner, Paul

Paul Rosner was born into a Jewish family in Bucharest, Romania in the interwar years. His family was leading a comfortable life, something that changed with the arrival of the Nazis and WW2. As the discrimination and violence escalated, Paul’s parents made the decision to leave Romania. Two efforts to go to France were unsuccessful,

Karp, Adrian

Born in the 1920’s in the city of Sighet, Romania to a family of seven children, my grandmother, Adrian Karp was a member of a large, comfortable, religious home. In 1939 Romania was taken over by Hungarian forces. Soon normal life became impossible. Under the command of Germany, these forces began to treat their Jewish