Harvey, Frederic

Major Harvey has over 20 years of experience in the Canadian Armed Forces, having joined the reserves in 1992. While serving in the reserves and completing his university education, Major Harvey was deployed as a part of Canada’s peacekeeping missions in Haiti (1996) and Bosnia-Herzegovina (1999). In 2000, Maj. Harvey transferred to regular forces as

Rosenberg, Freda

Freda Rosenberg is a Holocaust Survivor from Radom, Poland.  She survived the full weight of the war years, passing through a number of ghettoes and camps, including Auschwitz Birkenau.  When the Red Army was approaching, she was forced on a death march, which she recounts in detail here.  Surviving that ordeal too, Freda was liberated

Davies, Fred

Fred Davies was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, into a family of six brothers and one sister. He graduated high school and volunteered for the RCAF, choosing the air force because he wanted to be a pilot. After enlisting, he was sent to Manning Depot in Montreal for training, after which he was sent overseas. 

Orosz, Angela

Angi Orosz was born December 21, 1944, in Auschwitz-Birkenau, one of a handful of Jewish babies born in the camp who was able to survive.  Her mother Vera Bein gave birth to Angela in that terrible place, and as Angi says in her testimony she speaks to honour her mother’s determination and fight to survive,

Mesner, Mila

Mila Mesner was born November 22, 1923 in Zalishchyky, Poland (now Ukraine).  She recalls a positive childhood, full of family and good memories.  All of that changed with the beginning of the war:  Mila’s town was in the Soviet zone of occupation, and she remembers that arrests and deprivation began right away.  Mila’s father chose

Black, Judith

Judith Nemes Black was born November 15, 1941 in Budapest, Hungary.  She grew up against the backdrop of the war and the mounting restrictions that Hungarian Jews were forced to endure, including the conscription of her father into forced labour.  In 1944 the situation deteriorated for Hungarian Jews; Nazi Germany invaded and the fascist Arrow

Peter, Avraham Haim

Avraham Peter grew up in the city of Lodz, Poland, where he was born August 12, 1926.  His parents had their own factory/business and the family was living a good, observant life, and the young Abe attended a Jewish school, and was raised in part by his grandparents.  Anti-Semitism was a reality in 1930s Lodz

Mitelman, Les

Les Mitelman is a Crestwood grandfather; his grandson Liam Stern was in Grade 8 at the time this interview was completed.  Les was born in Tarnopol, Poland on July 21, 1938, so he was only a baby when the war began, so growing up he had to learn the unspeakable and horrible lessons the Shoah

Gold, Daniel

Daniel Gold was born in Lithuania on February 10, 1937.  When the war began for Lithuania – in 1941 – the country was quickly overrun by the Germans, and Lithuanian Jews were placed in ghettos, and not longer after the mass murder began.  Daniel remembers having to be quiet while Lithuanian neighbours were initiating the

Nash, Georgine

Georgine Nash was born in Hungary on June 16,1937.  She grew up during the war, and as was the case with most Hungarian Jews, she enjoyed a distance from the terrible conflict, and the from the terrible Shoah that was commencing in the neighbouring countries.  Georgine remembers her father being taken away to a labour

Hirschl, Helena

Helena Hirschl (nee Beinhacker) was born in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia in 1928.  An only child, she grew up in a well-to-do assimilated family, and her father was in the construction business.  Helena remembers the prewar period in largely positive terms.  She was unaware of the hatred bubbling beneath the surface; she had friends and liked school,

Voitinsky, Evgeny

Evgeny Voitinsky served in the  Red Army in the Great Patriotic War.  Evgeny grew up in Leningrad before the war, but after the German invasion of June 1941, Evgeny and his mother relocated to Kazakstan, where the teenaged Evgeny adapted to the new realities of wartime life. He worked at this time in a factory,

McPhee, Jim

Jim McPhee served in the RCAF during the Second World War. Jim grew up in northern Ontario, not too far from the Sault; Jim came from a large family, and lived not too far from Bruce Mines . Jim remembers going to a one-room schoolhouse in his early years, as well as work on the

Zarembo, Michael

Michael Zarembo is a Lithuanian Jew, one of so many overwhelmed with the terrible events that befell his people and region during the war.  1941 saw the initiation of that horror…Germany initiated Operation Barbarossa, and within days Michael’s family was under the heel of the Nazi regime.  Life became increasingly difficult in the ghettos that were

Katz, Eugene

Eugene Katz was born in Dyszna, Poland in in 1927.  He was one of five children, growing up in a Jewish family not too far from Vilna; he recalls a difficult life, beset by hunger and poverty, but also filled with family and friends.  When war came in 1939, Eugene’s family was in eastern Poland,

Blium, Reuven

Reuven Blium survived the Holocaust in Lithuania, a country where as many as 95% of Jews were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators.  Reuven was born in 1930 in Kaunas, into a family of limited means.  Reuven’s father passed away when Reuven was only 3, and his mother had no alternative but to put

Smith, Mike

Mike Smith was born in the USSR, in the former republic of Belarus.  He grew up near Pinsk, in a traditional Jewish family.  When the war came to the USSR in 1941, he joined the Soviet Red Army, where he became a member of the Scouts’ Brigade.  Doing some of the most dangerous work behind

Sitzer, Max

Max Sitzer is a Holocaust Survivor from Poland who has a family connection at Crestwood; he was interviewed by his young cousin Mara Bowman here at the school in March 2013. Max lived in eastern Poland and was under Soviet rule for the first part of the war, but with the German invasion in 1941

Sterk, Eddie

Eddie Sterk lived in Holland at the beginning of the war. As his father worked in a hospital, Eddie and his family were able to evade the early deportations, which slowly saw Amsterdam’s Jews transported “to the east”.  Eddie’s siblings were eventually taken, and soonafter Eddie and his parents were rounded up as well.  Eddie

Pagelson, Edith

Edith Pagelson’s personal story of survival began in Germany. She and her family were victims of Hitler’s Nazi regime well before the war began, feeling the sting of the Nuremberg Laws and Kristallnacht all through the 1930s. She and her family were deported from Duisberg to the Terezin Ghetto, where Edith’s father died. After spending

Levin, Alex

We met Alex Levin courtesy of the Memory Project and the Azrieli Foundation, where he is a keynote speaker and author. Alex’s story is one of the most compelling ones we have heard; his family was from Poland, and they experienced the full weight of the war’s early years, invaded first by the USSR and

Lakrits, Michael

Michael Lakrits is a veteran of the Soviet Red Army who fought on the eastern front during WW2. He attended an air force academy and was at first a machine gun and radio operator in a bomber. He joined when he was 19 and first faced the Nazis in Estonia in 1941. In December of

Gutierrez, Eugene

Eugene Gutierrez was born September 14, 1921 in Harlingen, Texas.  He grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression, and remembers well the tough times that the family went through.  His parents had a grocery store that went out of business since customers rarely had the money to pay for groceries.  Eugene graduated high

Riesinger, Frank

Frank Riesinger was born August 20, 1926 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  He recalls moving around the American Midwest during the Depression years, as the family went where work was available.  Still, Frank doesn’t remember being poor; he said everyone was, and that’s what they were all used to.  Frank describes his childhood in positive terms, remembering

Brody, Josef

Josef Brody was born April 26, 1936 in Slovakia.  During the Second World War, Slovakia came under the rule of the fascist Josef Tiso, and was a part of the Axis powers, alongside Nazi Germany.  The country’s Jews suffered tremendous hardship because of this arrangement, becoming victims of the Shoah, first through restrictions imposed by

Hacker, Alex

Alex Hacker was born in Budapest, Hungary on May 7, 1926.  His father was a successful businessman in the vegetable oil business, and because of that  – as well as Hungary’s alliance with Nazi Germany – Alex and his family and the Jews of Hungary in general were shielded from the immediate brutality of the

Webb, Betty

Betty Webb was born May 13, 1923, near the town of Ludlow in Shropshire, England.  She grew up in the countryside, where she remembers long walks picking wildflowers, and she was home-schooled – so she also remembers cataloguing those same flowers!  Betty’s mother had had German housekeepers in the 1930s, so Betty learned to speak

Fairbrook, Paul

Paul Fairbrook was born into a Jewish family on August 21, 1923 in Berlin, Germany.  His first ten years were spent in that country, but his father saw the writing on the wall and made arrangements for his young family to get out in 1932.  First they made their way to France, and then to