Lidia Gasper was born in 1928 in Szekszard, Hungary. Before the Holocaust, she had a good life. She had other Jewish friends in her town, her father had a mill that gave them water, and she had a bat mitzvah. She had to go to another town to go to school, and this is where trouble started. As the war intensified, she and her family were sent to a ghetto in Hungary for a few weeks before being sent to Auschwitz with her mother and sister; Lidia’s father had been sent to a work camp prior to this. Lidia herself spent several weeks in Auschwitz before being sent to a work camp, where she spent the remainder of the war as a slave labourer. She survived a death march at war’s end as well. Lidia’s family was among the lucky ones – they emerged intact from the Holocaust. After the war, she first went back to Budapest and in 1957 emigrated to Canada with her husband and her kids. Without any education and not able to speak English, it was hard starting a new life but she got a job working as a cook and then at Toronto General. Lidia is currently 91 years old and living in Toronto. Lidia was interviewed on February 22, 2019 by Crestwood students at Baycrest’ Cafe Europa.
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