Zelcovitch, Simon

Simon Zelcovitch was born in Poland shortly before the onset of the war. When his father foresaw the approaching Nazi invasion, the family fled to Russia, where they lived in ghettoes. With the escalation of the Holocaust, the family followed Simon’s older brother Yossel into the forest, where they took refuge in the Bielski Brothers’ family camp. With the exception of his brother, killed during partisan activity, the Zelcovitch family survived the war. They emigrated to Canada shortly after and began their new lives in Winnipeg. Their lives are profiled in the film Defiance.

Simon’s family story also appears in the book Fugitives of the Forest. Mr. Masters read about him and contacted him; Simon has visited Crestwood on several occasions now; in the fall of 2012,  he was interviewed by Savannah Yutman and Kristen Stribopoulos.  In 2016 he returned to visit Mr. Hawkins’ class, and students reworked his story for this project.