Saturday | October 21, 2017
Lili Friedman is a child survivor from the Holocaust and a longtime supporter of our program here at Crestwood.  Born in Poland at the outset of the war, Lili grew up in the Lodz ghetto, from where she remembers snippets of her childhood.  She and her family were deported to Auschwitz with the liquidation of the ghetto, and as a young child she entered into that place where so few children survived.  On a trip to Yad Vashem she discovered a photograph of her mother climbing down from a cattle car, holding the young Lili in her arms.  Lili and her mother were only in Auschwitz a short time, and she survived because one of the transports had been dispatched without her.  She and the others were sent on to Stutthof and then Theresienstadt at the end of the war, where Lili lived through one of the death marches that marked the end of the Holocaust.  She and her mother made their way back to Poland, but with anti-Semitism still in evidence, they headed west, through France and ultimately to Canada.  Growing up in the 50s, she pursued her education and eventually met and married Arnold Friedman, a Holocaust Survivor from the Carpathian region whose story can also be found in this project.
Lili was interviewed in her home by Scott Masters and Savannah Yutman in July 2016.

August 24th, 2016

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Peter Rival was born in Bratislava in modern day Slovakia in the earliest days of World War Two. For almost 5 years, Peter and his mother lived as Roman Catholics, hiding their true identity from the Nazis. In April of 1944, he was sent to Theresienstadt Concentration Camp. While Peter’s extremely young age at the time prevented him from sharing many specific details regarding his time in the camp, he is able to vividly describe his experiences after, including immigrating- first to Israel and then to Canada. His story is a clear example of the hardships and difficulties that survivors endured in the years after the war. Peter sat down with his grandson, Owen Rival, to share his story in 2014.

May 28th, 2014

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Vera Schiff was born in 1926, in Prague, Czechoslovakia, to a middle class family. After the Nazi invasion of the country in 1939, her family became marginalized at home until 1942, when they were deported to the concentration camp, Theresienstadt. She would be the lone survivor from her family. Theresienstadt is also where she met her future husband, Arthur Schiff. They both survived the camp and eventually moved to Israel for 12 years, before settling in Toronto, Canada. She has 2 sons, 6 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren.

Vera came to visit us at Crestwood in December 2013, when she shared her story with Ms. Winograd’s class, followed by an oral history interview with Sifana Jalal and Hailey Friedrichsen.

January 20th, 2014

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On Tuesday, December 10, Crestwood invited Vera Schiff to come speak to Mrs. Winograd’s grade 8 class about her experience in the Holocaust.

Vera Schiff was born in 1926, in Prague, Czechoslovakia, to a middle class family. After the Nazi invasion of the country in 1939, her family became marginalized at home until 1942, when they were deported to the concentration camp, Theresienstadt. She would be the lone survivor from her family. Theresienstadt is also where she met her future husband, Arthur Schiff. Vera has written 2 books about her experiences during the Holocaust:Theresienstadt: The Town the Nazis Gave to the Jews and Hitler’s Inferno: Eight Personal Histories from the Holocaust.

Crestwood is grateful that Mrs. Schiff could share her knowledge and experiences with us.   

SAMSUNG CSC

December 11th, 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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Howard Chandler was born in December 1928, in Weirzbnik, Poland. He had three siblings, a sister, who was the oldest, and two brothers. He was the middle child and had a normal experience in school before the war. When the war started he was almost eleven years old, finishing grade three and moving onto grade four. When the creation of the ghetto was made in his town, he remembers the rounding up and kidnapping of Jews for forced labor and the constant search of houses. After a selection his column was marched away to a camp, that was about five kilometers away. In the summer of 1944, the Russian front was nearing and they started to dismantle the factory so they were then transferred to a nearby camp. In July 1944, they were gathered and put on a train and we were shipped off to another slave labor camp further west. In early September his brother was sent to another camp, and his father and he were sent to an adjoining camp, all within Auschwitz where they were given work. When he was liberated from Theresienstadt only his brother and he had survived. After recovering, in 1947, he was able to be included in a group to go to Canada, where he found his mothers’ two sisters, and lived with another sister. Howard was interviewed by Crestwood student Michael Hochberg in April 2011.

July 9th, 2012

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