MĂ©moires

Le Programme a Ă©tĂ© crĂ©Ă© par la Fondation Azrieli en 2005 afin de collecter, conserver et partager les mĂ©moires et journaux intimes rĂ©digĂ©s par les survivants de l’Holocauste qui ont immigrĂ© au Canada. Ces rĂ©cits invitent les Ă©tudiants Ă  engager une rĂ©flexion Ă  la fois approfondie et Ă©clairĂ©e sur les Ă©vĂ©nements complexes de l’Holocauste et Ă  Ă©tablir des liens porteurs de sens avec les tĂ©moins canadiens qui l’ont vĂ©cu. En dĂ©crivant le quotidien des rescapĂ©s, les mĂ©moires font ressortir la dimension individuelle de l’évĂ©nement collectif, permettant ainsi aux Ă©lĂšves de donner sens aux statistiques. Nous sommes animĂ©s par la conviction que la lecture de ces rĂ©cits personnels et intimes, ancrĂ©e Ă  une comprĂ©hension claire du contexte historique, permet d’impliquer les Ă©tudiants et de faciliter leur apprĂ©hension de l’histoire du gĂ©nocide.

Ces mĂ©moires — publiĂ©s en français et en anglais — sont distribuĂ©s gratuitement aux Ă©tablissements scolaires et aux bibliothĂšques Ă  travers le Canada. L’équipe d’éditeurs et de chercheurs du Programme vĂ©rifie avec soin l’exactitude des faits relatĂ©s et propose aux lecteurs du matĂ©riel supplĂ©mentaire : des glossaires, des introductions rĂ©digĂ©es par des experts, ainsi que des cartes. Des ressources pĂ©dagogiques bilingues sont Ă©galement mises Ă  la disposition des enseignants qui utilisent les mĂ©moires dans leur salle de classe.

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La Fin du printemps

Le DĂ©part

En avril 1942, la ville a perdu prĂšs d’un millier d’habitants. On nous avait informĂ©s que nous devions nous prĂ©senter avec nos bagages Ă  un vaste entrepĂŽt situĂ© prĂšs de la gare. Les Juifs de Budějovice avaient un sens civique aigu – nous ne faisions pas d’histoires. Nous avions l’habitude de faire ce que l’on nous disait de faire, nous nous sommes donc rendus Ă  l’entrepĂŽt, avons prĂ©sentĂ© nos documents, des numĂ©ros nous ont Ă©tĂ© attribuĂ©s et nous nous sommes prĂ©parĂ©s pour la nuit. Des enfants pleuraient et quelques garçons plus ĂągĂ©s ont commencĂ© Ă  chahuter.

Le jour suivant, on nous a dit de monter Ă  bord d’un train de passagers qui nous emmĂšnerait Ă  un lieu de rassemblement. Notre souci principal Ă©tait de savoir si ce nouvel endroit se trouvait en TchĂ©coslovaquie. C’était comme si nous avions moins de souci Ă  nous faire tant que nous restions dans notre propre pays. Lorsque le train s’est mis en branle, nous avons eu pour la premiĂšre fois l’occasion d’apercevoir les cruels SS (Schutzstaffel, escouade de protection) – les troupes d’élite nazies qui surveillaient les camps de concentration. Ils portaient des uniformes parfaitement repassĂ©s et leurs visages avaient des expressions quasi animales. Une de ces bĂȘtes – un officier de haut rang avec de nombreuses Ă©toiles Ă  son revers – a inspectĂ© le train. Aboyant des ordres en allemand, il a donnĂ© des coups de poing et des coups de pied Ă  plusieurs personnes qui se trouvaient sur son passage. Le train a filĂ© vers le nord, en direction de Prague, puis vers l’ouest. À la fin de la journĂ©e, on nous a dĂ©barquĂ©s Ă  TerezĂ­n, le lieu de rassemblement. TerezĂ­n Ă©tait une ville ancienne et comptait de nombreuses casernes de soldats, des immeubles de briques massifs Ă  trois Ă©tages et plusieurs grandes esplanades. Un fossĂ© faisait tout le tour de la ville, ce qui rendait toute tentative d’évasion impossible.

Lors de cette premiĂšre nuit passĂ©e Ă  TerezĂ­n, nous avons dormi dans un vaste entrepĂŽt, accolĂ©s les uns aux autres, avec juste assez d’espace pour nous dĂ©placer sur la pointe des pieds. Le lendemain, toutes les familles ont Ă©tĂ© sĂ©parĂ©es. Les femmes ont Ă©tĂ© emmenĂ©es dans l’une des grandes casernes et les hommes dans une autre. Nous n’avons pas eu beaucoup de temps pour nous dire au revoir car nous devions nous mettre en rang rapidement. La nourriture Ă©tait distribuĂ©e Ă  partir de grands tonneaux dans de petits pots qui Ă©taient attribuĂ©s Ă  chacun des dĂ©tenus de TerezĂ­n. Notre principal repas quotidien se composait de pain, de pommes de terre et de jus de viande.

Nous sommes restĂ©s Ă  TerezĂ­n d’avril 1942 Ă  novembre 1943. La ville Ă©tait de plus en plus surpeuplĂ©e avec les convois de Juifs arrivant d’autres parties de la TchĂ©coslovaquie. Les personnes ĂągĂ©es et les personnes malades ont commencĂ© Ă  mourir rapidement. Chaque matin, nous voyions des corps recouverts de draps blancs ĂȘtre empilĂ©s dans des wagons, en attendant d’ĂȘtre transportĂ©s au crĂ©matorium.

Au dĂ©but, nous habitions tous dans les casernes, Ă  beaucoup dans une piĂšce, dormant par terre. Pourtant, en dĂ©pit de tout, les enfants trouvaient le moyen de s’amuser un peu. Nous Ă©tions autorisĂ©s Ă  aller jouer dans la cour, Ă  chanter et Ă  jouer aux devinettes. Je me rappelle un enseignant chantant une chanson qui Ă©tait sa prĂ©fĂ©rĂ©e et ma prĂ©fĂ©rĂ©e aussi : « Le printemps reviendra, le mois de mai n’est pas loin. »

Too Many Goodbyes

Fear

I woke up to the sound of gunfire, and fear returned to my heart. I wondered what was going on. My mother tried to set my mind at ease, telling me not to worry, but she failed to reassure me. My fears were well-founded, we soon found out. Hungary wasn’t surrendering. The Germans kidnapped Horthy’s son, forcing Horthy to resign, and the fascist Arrow Cross Party, also called the Nyilas, took possession of the government, with Ferenc Szálasi, a ruthless Jew-hater, as its leader. The Nyilas were thugs, robbers and criminals.

Rumours were rampant about the goings-on outside, about groups of people marching on the street — we heard that the Jewish houses on either side of us were emptied and that the Jews were being led to God knows where. I was frantic with fear and terrified for my life. There was nowhere to go. I was convinced that whoever was removed would be killed. What else could they do with us with the Russians almost on our doorstep? The gate to our building was locked and we couldn’t leave. I begged my mother to get a message to my gentile uncle to try to get us some false papers, to get us out somehow. I could not imagine dying. She agreed to ask a gentile neighbour to do it. My uncle himself came for us, but the superintendent refused to let us leave. I remember trying to figure out some escape route, but of course there was none.

We feared for the worst. A few weeks later the Arrow Cross men came with gendarmes and policemen. They entered our building and ordered us all to come down to the courtyard, where they sorted us according to age. My mother was among the women who were instructed to immediately pack and be ready to leave. One man timidly inquired whether he may remain, as his fiftieth birthday was imminent. He was allowed to stay.

The expression on my mother’s face as we said goodbye was familiar. I remembered it as the same one my father wore when I last saw him — an intensive stare meant to capture and hold my image.

Un combat singulier : Femmes dans la tourmente de l’Holocauste

Si seulement le monde avait réagi plus tÎt par Rebekah (Relli) Schmerler-Katz

Deux semaines aprĂšs notre arrivĂ©e au Ghetto, on nous a conduits Ă  un cimetiĂšre. Nous Ă©tions quelques centaines, debout en rangs par cinq, Ă  attendre. En cette belle journĂ©e de mai, chaude et ensoleillĂ©e, la nature verdoyante se rĂ©veillait et les fleurs s’épanouissaient. MalgrĂ© la quantitĂ© de personnes rassemblĂ©es, pas un bruit ne se faisait entendre, hormis le gazouillis des oiseaux et les pleurs d’un bĂ©bĂ© ici et lĂ . Devant nous, des gendarmes hongrois ont commencĂ© Ă  aligner des mitrailleuses. Puis ils ont passĂ© un moment Ă  ajuster et rĂ©ajuster ces armes braquĂ©es sur nous. Ces sadiques semblaient prendre un malin plaisir Ă  lire dans nos yeux une terreur grandissante. Un homme de notre groupe a osĂ© demander Ă  l’un de nos tortionnaires ce qui allait nous arriver. Le gendarme a alors rĂ©pondu haut et fort : « Ce soir, vous mangerez tous des pissenlits par la racine. » Cette explication cruelle Ă©tait inutile : nous savions tous ce qui allait nous arriver.

J’étais jeune et j’adorais le printemps, ma saison favorite. Jetant un regard alentours, j’ai tentĂ© de me souvenir de tout ce qui m’entourait pour la derniĂšre fois. Pourtant, notre pĂ©riple ne s’est pas achevĂ© dans ce cimetiĂšre. Les gendarmes nous ont fait subir un Ă  un une fouille complĂšte, y compris corporelle, Ă  la recherche d’objets de valeur. Je me tenais Ă  cĂŽtĂ© de mon pĂšre qui avait nos cinq certificats de nationalitĂ© dans la pochette de son veston. Comme je l’ai mentionnĂ© prĂ©cĂ©demment, ces papiers Ă©taient extrĂȘmement prĂ©cieux et nous y tenions comme Ă  la prunelle de nos yeux. DĂšs que le gendarme a mis la main sur les documents dans la poche de mon pĂšre, ce dernier s’est Ă©criĂ©, paniquĂ© : « Ce sont nos certificats de nationalitĂ© ! » Le policier les a dĂ©chirĂ©s et jetĂ©s Ă  terre en hurlant : « Vous n’en aurez plus besoin ! »

Les gendarmes nous ont ensuite fait traverser des tentes qui menaient Ă  un champ oĂč nous attendait un long train de marchandises. Ils nous ont fait monter groupe par groupe dans les wagons. Mes parents, ma soeur, mon frĂšre et moi nous tenions serrĂ©s les uns contre les autres. Lors du comptage des groupes, les gendarmes se sont arrĂȘtĂ©s juste aprĂšs mes parents et ma soeur et leur ont ordonnĂ© de monter dans un wagon. Cela signifiait que mon frĂšre et moi prendrions le suivant. Mes parents se sont alors mis Ă  supplier qu’on ne nous sĂ©pare pas. Deux personnes ont mĂȘme offert de changer de place avec nous. En vain. Quand j’ai implorĂ© les gendarmes Ă  mon tour, ils m’ont battue Ă  coup de matraque.

Mon frĂšre, le regard triste, est demeurĂ© silencieux durant tout le trajet. On aurait dit qu’il savait que ce serait notre dernier voyage et que nous ne nous reverrions jamais. Je lui ai dit de se souvenir de deux mots : « Duparquet, QuĂ©bec », le nom de la petite ville miniĂšre au Canada oĂč vivait le frĂšre de ma mĂšre. « Si nous survivons, ai-je ajoutĂ©, c’est lĂ  que nous devons nous retrouver. »

Je ne me souviens plus combien de jours et de nuits nous avons passĂ© dans ce train, Ă  dormir par terre, privĂ©s de nourriture, ne nous arrĂȘtant qu’une seule fois par jour pour qu’on vide les seaux hygiĂ©niques qu’on nous avait donnĂ©s. Nous avons fini par comprendre que nous roulions plein nord, vers la Pologne. Nous pouvions apercevoir des villes complĂštement dĂ©truites par les bombardements, oĂč seuls subsistaient des moignons de murs. Je me souviens de Cracovie, noircie par la fumĂ©e et les incendies. Nous avons poursuivi notre course vers le nord, puis nous avons bifurquĂ© vers l’ouest.

TĂŽt un matin, le convoi s’est arrĂȘtĂ©. En regardant dehors, nous avons aperçu de jeunes hommes revĂȘtus de pyjamas rayĂ©s bleu et gris, et munis d’un calot sur la tĂȘte. J’ai vite compris que ce que j’avais pris pour un pyjama constituait en fait l’uniforme des dĂ©tenus. Nous avons dĂ» attendre quelques heures avant de pouvoir descendre du train Ă  notre tour. Les dĂ©tenus en uniformes rayĂ©s nous aidaient Ă  sortir. Mon frĂšre et moi avons retrouvĂ© nos parents sur le quai. Un Ă©norme vacarme rĂ©gnait, oĂč dominaient les cris et les hurlements. Nous Ă©tions complĂštement perdus. Des militaires allemands flanquĂ©s de gros chiens arpentaient le quai. Les dĂ©tenus en uniformes rayĂ©s – des Juifs polonaise – nous criaient aprĂšs en nous pressant de nous mettre en rang par cinq. Au milieu de cette terrible panique, j’ai constatĂ© qu’on sĂ©parait notre groupe des enfants, des personnes ĂągĂ©es et des hommes.

Un dĂ©tenu m’a regardĂ©e en me demandant de lui montrer qui Ă©tait ma mĂšre. Quand il l’a vue, il m’a dit : « Embrasse ta mĂšre. Embrasse-la encore. » Comprenant soudain que je ne la reverrais jamais, j’ai demandĂ©au dĂ©tenu : « Allons-nous rester en vie ? » Il m’a rĂ©pondu, catĂ©gorique : « Vous, les jeunes, oui. »

Before All Memory Is Lost: Women's Voices from the Holocaust

If the World Had Only Acted Sooner par Rebekah (Relli) Schmerler-Katz

After two or three weeks in the ghetto, we were gathered and taken to a cemetery. We were a few hundred people lined up in fives, standing and waiting. It was the month of May, on a beautiful sunny and warm day. Everything was green and in full bloom. In spite of the hundreds of people lined up, there was no sound, except for the birds chirping and here and there a cry of a baby. In front of us, the Hungarian gendarmes started to line up machine guns. Every few minutes, they adjusted their guns aimed at us again and again. It seemed like those sadists enjoyed seeing the fear in our faces. Someone in the crowd dared to ask one of our tormentors what would happen to us. The gendarme answered clearly and loudly, “By tonight, all of you will smell the violets from the bottom.” This inhuman explanation was not needed. We all understood what would follow.

I was young and loved spring, my favourite season of the year. I looked around and wanted to take in everything around me for the last time. But our journey didn’t end at the cemetery. We were taken away one by one and our pockets and bodies were searched for valuables. I was standing next to my father. He had our five citizenship papers in his breast pocket. As I mentioned before, these papers meant life to us. When the police touched my father’s breast pocket, he frantically uttered, “These are our citizenship papers.” The police tore out the documents, threw them to the ground and yelled, “You will not need these anymore!”

The gendarmes marched us through some tents until we arrived at a field where there was a long freight train. We were counted and a number of people were sent into each railway car. The five of us were holding on to one another. As we were counted, they stopped right after my parents and my sister and loaded them into the boxcar. That meant my brother and I would have to go in the next one. At this point, my parents and I started to beg to be together. Although two people offered to change places with us, they were not allowed. Again, I pleaded with the gendarmes, and this time they beat me up with a club.

My brother was quiet and sad during the whole journey. He looked as if he knew that this was our last trip and that we would never see each other again. I told him to remember the words Duparquet, Quebec. This was a little mining town in Canada where my uncle, my mother’s brother, lived. If we survived, I said, this should be our meeting place.

I can’t recall how many days and nights we were on the train sleeping on the floor without any food, only stopping once a day when the pails, which were given to us to relieve ourselves, were emptied. We realized that we kept going north, toward Poland. We saw cities destroyed completely, only shells of buildings after heavy bombardments. I remember seeing the city of Krakow black from smoke and fire. We kept going north, and then west.

One early morning the train stopped. We looked out and saw young men in striped blue and grey pyjamas, cloth caps on their heads. I soon figured out that what I had considered to be pyjamas were prisoners’ uniforms. It took a few hours until our turn came to be unloaded. My brother and I met with our parents on the platform. The men in the striped clothes helped us off the train. There was a lot of noise, screaming and yelling. We were completely confused. There were Germans in uniforms holding big dogs walking up and down the platform. The prisoners in the striped clothes were Polish Jews. They yelled and hurried to line us up by fives. Amid the terrible panic, I realized that our group was separated from the children, the older people and the men.

One of the prisoners looked at me and asked me to show him my mother. When he saw her he told me, “Kiss your mother; kiss her again.” I suddenly realized that this was a goodbye forever. I asked him, “Will we stay alive?” He answered emphatically, “You young ones, yes.”

A Childhood Adrift

The Train

Early one morning, Mama came into the room where I had stayed overnight with Dutch friends. Roused from my sleep, I was shocked to see her in tears as she ordered me to get up and dress quickly because the police were waiting for us in front of the hotel. She pleaded with me that I should cry, so that perhaps I might soften the heart of the policemen. But strangely enough, I, who had hitherto been something of a crybaby, could not bring myself to shed a tear. I looked at Mama with pleading, frightened eyes, yet felt too numb to cry. Once out on the street we were gathered into a large crowd of Jews who had been collected from our hotel and elsewhere in town. To my further dismay, I discovered that Papa was not with us. He had gone out before the police arrived, perhaps to buy a newspaper, or could it be that he pursued a lead to a possible hiding place for us? I shall never know.

Like a lugubrious procession we were marched along the street that led to the railway station. The police chief in charge was a burly brute with a moustache like Stalin’s; he swore at us, spouted antisemitic insults and shoved and bullied our pitiful flock all the way. What awaited us when we reached the square in front of the railway station was a veritable coup de thĂ©Ăątre, a sudden turn of events: by an unbelievable coincidence Aunt Fella had arrived on the night train from Limoges and happened to walk out of the station at the very moment when we were brought there! I still hear her cry of astonishment, “Mon Dieu, qu’est-ce qu’il se passe?” (Oh my God, what is happening?) Then, seeing that I happened to be at the end of the queue and that the police chief had momentarily turned away from it, she pulled me by the hand whispering, “Viens, sauve-toi avec moi!” (Come, run away with me.) But I was too dumbfounded to run. A moment later the police chief turned around; he saw my aunt pull me away and raced after us, slapped my tiny, frail aunt on both cheeks, and violently seized me by the hair and the seat of my trousers. Thus holding me kicking and screaming, that brute ran inside the station and toward the awaiting train on the first platform, past Mama, whom I saw being dragged over the station floor struggling and crying. The entire station was a scene of bedlam, with men, women and children being pulled, shoved and hurled into the train
.

Just as the police chief was about to throw me into the train as well, two gendarmes in khaki uniforms appeared in the nick of time to stop him. Without a word he let go of me. One of the two officers took me aside and gently pressed my head to his chest, so that I would see no more of these horrendous scenes. After a moment he turned me around, saying, “Look, your mother is in that window over there waving goodbye to you.” The train then moved. That was the last time I saw my mama.

Une enfance à la dérive

Le Train

TĂŽt un matin, Maman est entrĂ©e dans la chambre oĂč j’avais passĂ© la nuit avec des amis hollandais. TirĂ© de mon sommeil, quelle n’a Ă©tĂ© ma surprise en voyant ma mĂšre en larmes m’ordonnant de vite me lever et de m’habiller parce que la police nous attendait devant l’hĂŽtel. Elle m’a suppliĂ© de pleurer dans l’espoir d’attendrir les policiers. Mais, curieusement, alors que j’avais Ă©tĂ© assez pleurnicheur jusqu’alors, je ne suis pas parvenu Ă  verser une seule larme. J’ai regardĂ© Maman avec des yeux effrayĂ©s et suppliants, mais je me sentais trop hĂ©bĂ©tĂ© pour pleurer. Dans la rue, nous avons rejoint un grand groupe de Juifs raflĂ©s comme nous dans notre hĂŽtel mais aussi ailleurs en ville. À mon grand dĂ©sarroi, j’ai dĂ©couvert que papa ne se trouvait pas parmi nous. Il Ă©tait sorti avant l’arrivĂ©e de la police, peut-ĂȘtre pour acheter un journal, ou peut-ĂȘtre Ă©tait-il parti en quĂȘte d’une Ă©ventuelle cachette pour nous ? Je ne le saurai jamais.

On nous a menĂ©s en une lugubre procession le long de la rue qui menait Ă  notre destination, la gare. Le chef de police responsable de notre groupe Ă©tait une brute solidement charpentĂ©e arborant une moustache Ă  la Staline ; il nous a injuriĂ©s, nous a lancĂ© des insultes antisĂ©mites, bousculant et malmenant notre pitoyable troupeau jusqu’au bout. Ce qui s’est passĂ© ensuite lorsque nous sommes arrivĂ©s sur la place devant la gare a Ă©tĂ© un vĂ©ritable coup de thĂ©Ăątre : grĂące Ă  une incroyable coĂŻncidence, tante Fella Ă©tait arrivĂ©e de Limoges par le train de nuit et sortait de la gare au moment mĂȘme oĂč l’on nous y amenait ! J’entends encore son cri d’étonnement : « Mon Dieu, qu’est-ce qu’il se passe ? » Puis, voyant que je me trouvais en bout de colonne et que le chef de police s’en Ă©tait momentanĂ©ment dĂ©tournĂ©, elle m’a tirĂ© par la main en chuchotant : « Viens, sauve-toi avec moi ! » Mais j’étais trop abasourdi pour courir. Un instant plus tard, le chef de la police s’est retournĂ© et a aperçu ma tante qui tentait de me faire sortir du rang. Il s’est prĂ©cipitĂ© sur nous, l’a giflĂ©e sur les deux joues – elle, si menue et si fragile – et m’a brutalement attrapĂ© par les cheveux et le siĂšge de mon pantalon.

Tout en me maintenant fermement tandis que je me dĂ©battais et hurlais, la brute s’est ruĂ©e dans la gare vers le train Ă  l’arrĂȘt, passant Ă  cĂŽtĂ© de Maman en larmes qu’on traĂźnait par terre malgrĂ© son opposition violente et ses cris. À la gare rĂ©gnait une panique totale tandis que l’on poussait et bousculait les hommes, les femmes et les enfants pour les forcer Ă  monter Ă  bord du train...

Juste au moment oĂč le chef de la police allait me jeter dans le train, deux gendarmes en uniforme kaki ont fait irruption pour l’en empĂȘcher. Sans un mot, la brute m’a relĂąchĂ©. L’un des deux gendarmes m’a tirĂ© Ă  part, puis m’a doucement pressĂ© le visage contre sa poitrine pour m’épargner la vue de ces scĂšnes atroces. Au bout d’un moment, il a pris ma tĂȘte dans ses mains pour la tourner vers le train : « Regarde, ta mĂšre est Ă  la fenĂȘtre lĂ -bas et elle te fait signe de la main pour te dire au revoir. » Son train s’est alors Ă©branlĂ©. C’était la derniĂšre fois que je voyais ma mĂšre.

Flights of Spirit

Syringes on a Tray

The most dramatic event in my life happened in the summer of 1944. I was sixteen years old and I was facing my death. In wartime, death can occur at any time. But today, death would come not from the hand of my enemy — it would come from the hand of my beloved mother.

I was hiding in a basement with my mother, my father, my three uncles and my aunt. We had covered the entrance to the room with an old cupboard and we sat there listening to every sound coming from outside. We had all agreed that we would rather die here than be captured and shot on the killing fields of the Ninth Fort in Kaunas, Lithuania.

My mother, who was a surgical nurse in the ghetto hospital, had been given the task of arranging our communal suicide. She had filled several syringes with a potent heart drug. The plan was to inject an excessive dose of the drug in our veins and cause a heart attack.

I watched my mother as she prepared a serving tray covered with a clean white cloth. On the tray, there was a bottle of medical alcohol and beside each syringe lay a ball of cotton wool. I thought this was funny, so I reminded my mother that as this was a final injection it did not have to be a clean one. Everyone laughed, except my mother; but she took away the cotton wool.

It was very boring to sit for days on end in that dim basement. I had a lot of time to think and I had many questions: How does it feel to die? Does the brain go on working for a time after the heart stops? My mother was a strong woman and I trusted her but would she have the strength to give me, her only child, the first injection?

I tried to imagine my mother injecting the six of us and then, finally, herself. Then I tried to imagine the seven of us lying on the floor waiting for the drug to kick in. What would we say to each other? Would we laugh or cry? Would it be painful? As I tried to picture the scene, I decided it would be good to go first — I did not wish to see it.

I will now try to describe the circumstances that would make a woman like my mother ready to kill her son and her family. That suicide pact came after we had spent three years, from 1941 to 1944, in the Kaunas ghetto — which became the Kauen concentration camp — in Lithuania. My story can only be understood after knowing what was happening in the Kaunas ghetto during those three years.

Stronger Together

Letter from the Ghetto

By the end of November, a ghetto was formed in the heart of the city. What happened from that point on is described in a letter I wrote on January 30, 1945, only two weeks after our liberation from the ghetto. The purpose of my letter was to write down what had happened to us, while it was fresh in my memory, and give it to Zolti, who I was sure would come out of that hell alive. I still have the original letter, written in pencil by the light of a single candle, the pages now yellowed with time and the words faded away.

Budapest, January 30, 1945

My dearest love!

Nine months ago, on May 9, 1944, when you kissed me goodbye, I told you my life would be worthless if you did not come back. “I will be back, sweetheart, because I love you and our little son. Don’t worry, my dear,” you replied to me. Now we are home and safe and so are your parents, and I feel that you will come home, too. I feel it very strongly. Our little son prays for you every night with his tiny hands clasped together.

Where should I begin to tell you of our sufferings? I want to tell you everything that has happened to us. Maybe I’ll go back to October 15, 1944. Our Regent, Horthy, spoke on the radio, and we were told that Hungary would no longer fight in the war, so nobody had to worry. We were tremendously glad to hear it. We had all crowded into the yard of our building to hear our Regent’s declaration from the janitor’s radio. We were jumping with joy and tearing off the yellow stars from our chests. We thought it was the end of our sufferings. We had had enough. The yellow stars were discriminatory – unlike other citizens, we were not allowed to go out of the house except between five and seven in the evening to buy groceries, and of course by that time there were not many groceries left. We were forbidden to go to any public places like cafeterias, soda shops, movies or playgrounds. On the streetcars or buses we could only sit at the back. In many of the stores you could read this: “Dogs and Jews forbidden to enter.” There were many other awful things but now we thought that an end had finally come to these orders. We were wrong. Even more bad things started. Our Regent had the best intentions, but he was weak, and on the same day, the fascist Arrow Cross Party, with its leader, Ferenc Szálasi, took over the presidency. Szálasi was bloodthirsty. He swore that he would help the Germans to annihilate the Jews.

The next morning I saw sixty or more people – men, women and children – marching with their hands raised above their heads. Fascists escorted them. Later on the same day, some police and fascists with swastikas on their arms came to our building. One of them roared, “Every Jew down to the yard or I shoot!” We were very scared. You know, dear, by then about three hundred people lived in the building, most of them Jews. We had no time to pack anything. I just grabbed the knapsack, little Andy’s winter coat and a blanket. Those things were all ready in case of an air raid. We had to raise our hands like criminals and form a double line in front of the house. When Andy heard those words “hands up” he took his hand out of mine and raised his, too.

First they took us to the nearest open ground and robbed us. We had to throw all money, wristwatches, rings and flashlights on a blanket. We had to put our hands up again so they could inspect if any rings were left. If they found something, they beat our hands with a whip. I put my wedding band in Andy’s coat pocket. I wanted to save it.

After we were robbed, we were ordered to form a double line once more and to march to an unknown place. While we were marching, still with raised hands, you couldn’t imagine what the crowd on the sidewalks did to us. They were enjoying watching our march. They hit us and spat on us. One man grabbed the blanket from my hand, so Andy had no cover for the night. Others took the coats off of people’s shoulders. One man beat your father and smashed his eyeglasses. At that point, Andy and I lost your parents in the crowd. On the route, I saw that we were being led to the Tattersall racetrack. There, we spent two horrible days and nights. It was like a nightmare. When we arrived, it was already dark. We had to sit down on the bare ground, which was covered with dung from the horses. There were a lot of people, collected from every part of the city. Many of them didn’t even have a place to sit, so they stood all night. The children fell asleep in their mother’s laps. Andy too fell asleep and I hugged him all night to keep him warm. We adults were awake the whole night waiting for the morning. What would happen to us? Finally, morning came. We were ordered once more to form a line of four and to walk around a platform where some Arrow Cross bandits were pointing machine guns at us. One of them roared, “You rotten Jews! All of you will die within a few hours.” But nothing had happened yet except that we had no food, water or roof above our heads.

During the day we walked all over the place looking for Mama and Papa. There were Arrow Cross women with whips, and they hit everybody around them. I tried to avoid those beasts. From time to time, Andy and I sat down on the ground and I fed him some crackers and apples from the knapsack. I couldn’t take a bite. After that, we again went to look for your parents. Finally in mid-afternoon, we found each other. We were crying and hugging to try to comfort each other. We all sat down on the ground again to try to keep Andy warm. Then came the second night. About 3 a.m. we suddenly saw a bright light and a man on a loudspeaker announced that we could all go home. The order came from the chief, Szálasi, who had become the head of the government. As soon as we got out, German soldiers shot among us at random. Many were wounded and killed, but somehow we got home. Little Andy’s first words were “Hello, my red tricycle. You say hello to me, too.” You know, dear, he had just received that red tricycle from Joe, our superintendent, before we were taken away.

Memories in Focus (Traduction française à venir)

Memories of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

I took my book, Gone with the Wind, which I had been reading for a while, with me to the bunker and I read it front to back many times. There must have been light in the bunker, as well as a trap door that could be opened so we could go out for some fresh air, but only at night, when the Nazis usually didn’t operate. Even so, we had to be careful when we went out because there were informers who would come at night, mix with people and beg them to be let into their bunkers. That’s how they found out where the bunkers were and the next day they would go and tell the Germans, who would come with flame throwers and artillery and announce that if the people didn’t come out in half an hour, they would burn the bunker down. Eventually, the Germans levelled the whole ghetto that way.

We were in the bunker for about three weeks, and for the last few days we stayed inside and didn’t venture out. People spoke only in hushed tones, which had a hint of hysteria in them. Then, the first week in May, the inevitable knock came on the trap door and we heard voices through the air vents. We had been found out. The voices — I can’t recall if in German or Polish — said that if we didn’t come out within half an hour, they were going to throw gas bombs into the bunker and we would all die. When we emerged, we saw Germans squatting with machine guns and they set the building on fire anyway.

One image has stayed clearly in my mind: As we left the bunker, we saw German paratroopers dressed all in black, like the devil himself, with black helmets and machine guns strapped across their chests. They kept shouting, “HĂ€nde hoch! HĂ€nde hoch! Nicht schiessen!” (Hands up! Hands up! Don’t shoot!) They thought that we had guns and they were afraid of us. I felt very proud.

We were all searched and then forced to lie down next to the building, where Ukrainians guarded us. Now the collaborators were either Ukrainians, Latvians or Lithuanians. We stayed that way for a long time while they gathered up a large column of people. By the time we started walking, it was dark and we were surrounded by burning buildings. People were trying to escape, running away from the column, and one man ran toward the flames of a burning building as one of the guards aimed his rifle and shot after him. The guard was laughing himself silly as he shot, not even seeming to care whether he hit the man or not since it really didn’t matter whether the man died of a bullet or in the flames.

That image became my first recurring nightmare; for years I would dream that I was being shot in the back and was dying as I ran into the flames.

As the Lilacs Bloomed

A Glimpse at Life and Missing Auschwitz

All of a sudden, we arrived at a city. It was well-lit and we could see the streets from the station. My God, how this made me feel! Never before had I experienced such bitter heartache. Was it true that there were still people with a life? Elegantly dressed women, babies with smiling faces. We hadn’t seen children for five months. During those five months, our minds had dulled – perhaps we didn’t even have a soul anymore. All that interested us was not to starve and not to be so cold.

From the train, I could see through a window into a house. The gentle light of a lamp fell on a table covered with a white cloth, a family seated around it. A father, mother and four children were having dinner. No, this was impossible to bear, too much of an ordeal for us who had not sat on a chair for five months, who instead had to crouch, backs bent, to avoid hitting our heads on the bunk above. We thought of our old homes only as if they were part of a beautiful dream, from which we would awaken to the harsh reality. I sensed that we would never see our loved ones again; I didn’t know where to locate them in my thoughts. My weak, tall, lanky son, János, who lived only for his books. My dear husband, who shared my very thoughts. Where could they be living, if they were living at all?

The tears were streaking down my face as I closed the train curtains, and the optimism that had filled us at our departure evaporated as the train pulled away. We were like falling leaves in the current of the autumn wind
. A miserable night passed and toward dawn, while it was still dark, we arrived at our unknown destination in the pouring rain. As we got out of the carriages, I saw an undulating, menacing body of dark water in front of us. There was water wherever I looked and water streaming down our necks. At last we could decipher the name of the station: Schlesiersee. This was the name of the lake and also of the small town situated on its shore.

Rows of five and marching. The outlines of a pretty little town became visible in the grey, pre-dawn light. Mansions, each one more beautiful than the last, and tidy streets. Not a soul to be seen at this early hour, but behind a few windows a woman’s hand would pull aside a snow-white curtain, so suggestive of a peaceful home, and a pair of curious eyes peered out. I wonder what they felt, what they were thinking, as they caught sight of two thousand women marching in a downpour.

We marched for hours. We left the town behind us and all we saw around us were barren fields. Not a factory chimney in sight, even though it had been our hope to work in a factory. After all, it was almost the end of October – what could we possibly do in the fields? We saw all sorts of windmills, which, previously, I had only seen on Dutch postcards. My first time seeing a windmill, soon to become the thousand times cursed backdrop to the tragedy that played out on these fields, whose ill-fated protagonists we would become.

“We talked about Auschwitz as we had before about our dear old bourgeois homes.”

We passed through two villages. People who had just gotten up were shaking their heads, watching our sad, drenched company. The rain that had plagued us since the beginning of our exile was still cascading down on us incessantly, trickling down our skin. Our new attire, which we were so proud of, turned into wringing-wet, foul-smelling rags. My stockings, which I had stopped readjusting, slipped down, and I trampled on them; they were in tatters by the time we arrived in front of a small farm that stood all by its lonely self in the fields.

Fear pierced my heart. Could this be the place where we were going to live? In the autumn? In the winter? No! This was unbelievable, surpassing even our most pessimistic imaginings and yet, at the same time, nothing was impossible or unbelievable. We marched into the courtyard of the farm and were made to stand in a quadrangle-shaped formation. Never, not even on my arrival at Auschwitz, did I feel this level of hopelessness. The lack of civilized amenities had been my fear all along. In Auschwitz, I had been reassured by the presence of electricity and Waschraums. Now, even the gas chamber seemed better than perishing in this place. From the outset, I was convinced that we would never survive a winter here.

Pendant la saison des lilas

FenĂȘtre sur la vie et la nostalgie d’Auschwitz

Soudain, nous nous sommes arrĂȘtĂ©es dans une ville. L’endroit Ă©tait bien Ă©clairĂ©, et de la gare, nous pouvions apercevoir les rues. Mon Dieu, quelle Ă©motion j’ai pu ressentir Ă  ce moment-lĂ  ! Jamais je n’avais connu une peine aussi amĂšre. Était-ce bien vrai qu’en ce monde, des gens continuaient de vivre normalement ? Existait-il encore des femmes Ă©lĂ©gamment vĂȘtues, des bĂ©bĂ©s aux visages souriants ? Nous n’avions croisĂ© aucun enfant en cinq mois – cinq mois qui nous avaient anesthĂ©siĂ© les sens. Peut-ĂȘtre avions-nous mĂȘme perdu notre Ăąme. DĂ©sormais, nos deux seules prĂ©occupations Ă©taient d’éviter les morsures de la faim et celles du froid.

Du train, je pouvais observer un intĂ©rieur de maison. Une lampe diffusait sa douce lumiĂšre sur la table recouverte d’une nappe blanche autour de laquelle la famille avait pris place. Un pĂšre, une mĂšre et quatre enfants dĂźnaient tranquillement. Non ! Que cesse cette vision insupportable ! C’en Ă©tait trop pour nous ! Depuis cinq mois, nous n’avions pas pu nous asseoir sur une chaise ; nous devions nous accroupir, l’échine courbĂ©e, pour ne pas nous cogner la tĂȘte Ă  la couchette du dessus. Nos maisons Ă  nous n’appartenaient plus qu’au monde des rĂȘves dont nous Ă©mergions pour replonger dans l’impitoyable rĂ©alitĂ©. J’avais le sentiment que nous ne reverrions jamais nos proches ; je ne savais pas oĂč les situer dans mes pensĂ©es. JĂĄnos, mon grand Ă©chalas de fils, un ĂȘtre fragile qui ne vivait que pour ses livres ! Mon cher mari, qui partageait jusqu’à mes pensĂ©es mĂȘmes ! OĂč se trouvaient-ils Ă  prĂ©sent ? Étaient-ils seulement en vie ?

Le visage ruisselant de larmes, j’ai fermĂ© le rideau de la fenĂȘtre. Quand le train est reparti de nouveau, il ne restait plus rien de l’optimisme qui nous habitait en quittant le Lager. Nous Ă©tions comme ces feuilles mortes emportĂ©es par le vent d’automne. Une nuit affreuse s’est Ă©coulĂ©e puis, peu avant l’aube, alors qu’il faisait toujours noir et que tombait une pluie battante, nous sommes arrivĂ©es Ă  notre destination. Elle nous Ă©tait restĂ©e inconnue jusqu’alors. À la descente du train, j’ai pu distinguer devant nous une masse d’eau ondoyante et menaçante. L’eau nous entourait de toutes parts : celle du lac s’étendant Ă  perte de vue et la pluie qui nous dĂ©goulinait dans le cou. Enfin, nous avons aperçu le nom de la gare : Schlesiersee. Il dĂ©signait Ă  la fois le lac et la petite ville sur sa rive.

En rangs par cinq, nous avons entamĂ© notre pĂ©riple. Les contours de la petite ville se rĂ©vĂ©laient dans la lumiĂšre grise qui prĂ©cĂšde l’aube. Des maisons cossues, toutes plus belles les unes que les autres, des rues bien entretenues. Personne en vue Ă  cette heure matinale, mais derriĂšre certaines fenĂȘtres, nous voyions apparaĂźtre ici et lĂ  une main de femme soulevant un de ces rideaux blancs comme neige si typiques des demeures paisibles, puis une paire d’yeux curieux. Je me demande Ă  quoi pouvaient bien penser ces gens en voyant une colonne de deux mille femmes avancer sous la pluie diluvienne.

Nous avons marchĂ© pendant des heures. La ville a disparu derriĂšre nous et nous ne voyions plus que des champs dĂ©nudĂ©s. Pas une seule cheminĂ©e d’usine Ă  la ronde, ce qui nous a déçues car nous avions espĂ©rĂ© que notre prochain travail ait lieu Ă  l’abri. Nous Ă©tions Ă  la fin octobre, aprĂšs tout : qu’y avait-il Ă  faire dans les champs ? Nous apercevions toutes sortes de moulins Ă  vent ; je n’en avais jamais vu que sur des cartes postales envoyĂ©es de Hollande. Ils deviendraient la toile de fond de la tragĂ©die qui se jouerait bientĂŽt sur ces terres et dont nous serions les malheureuses protagonistes. Nous sommes passĂ©es par deux villages. Les gens, qui venaient tout juste de se lever, secouaient la tĂȘte en observant la triste colonne dĂ©trempĂ©e que nous formions. La pluie qui nous avait tourmentĂ©es depuis le dĂ©but de notre exil continuait de nous ruisseler dessus. Nos nouveaux vĂȘtements, dont nous Ă©tions si fiĂšres, n’étaient plus que des chiffons dĂ©goulinants d’eau. Je marchais sur mes bas, que j’avais cessĂ© de tirer. Ils Ă©taient en loques quand nous sommes arrivĂ©es devant une petite ferme qui se tenait toute seule, au milieu des champs.

La peur m’a transpercĂ© le coeur. Était-ce lĂ  que nous allions vivre ? En automne ? En hiver ? Non ! L’endroit dĂ©passait nos scĂ©narios les plus pessimistes. C’était inimaginable. Pourtant, il n’y avait rien d’impossible, rien d’incroyable. Nous nous sommes avancĂ©es dans la cour et on nous a fait placer en formation carrĂ©e. Jamais, pas mĂȘme en arrivant Ă  Auschwitz, je n’avais ressenti un tel dĂ©sespoir. Depuis le dĂ©but, je redoutais l’absence d’installations adĂ©quates. À Auschwitz, l’électricitĂ© et les WaschrĂ€ume m’avaient rassurĂ©e. À prĂ©sent, mĂȘme les chambres Ă  gaz semblaient prĂ©fĂ©rables Ă  la mort dans cet endroit. DĂšs que j’ai vu cette ferme, j’ai Ă©tĂ© convaincue que nous ne passerions pas l’hiver.

From Dream to Nightmare

The Vale of Tears

I worked with all my strength. I pictured our house, the synagogue and my street on the eve of Yom Kippur. Jews would be rushing to and from the bathhouse, wishing each other “a good year” and “may you have a good inscription in the Book of Life.” Some would hurry to synagogue early, bringing large wax candles. I pictured my mother standing in front of the candles, piously praying with tears in her eyes. Around her, we, her children, always stood crying, as was traditional for us on Yom Kippur eve. Looking at the position of the sun, I ascertained that it was probably time to light the candles. My poor mother was at this moment most certainly crying her eyes out for me, her only son, who was not with her. My mother’s suffering broke my heart. I put away my work and went over to a nearby tree. I rested my tired head there and my tears began to flow. I made every effort to stop my tears, to control my emotions, but my efforts were in vain. Leaning my head against the tree, I stood crying like a little boy. My tears fell on the dusty ground and on my dusty clothes. I felt strangely better. I felt lighter, revitalized. I had completely forgotten that I was supposed to be working and that all around me were Nazi murderers. I began to float in higher realms. My grandfather stood before me. I saw my grandfather in his kittel and his tallis, standing on the bimah and exhorting the congregation to repent from the bottom of their hearts.

Suddenly, from out of the blue, a hail of blows landed on my bent back. I lost my bearings, not so much from the beating but from the unexpectedness and suddenness with which the blows had so murderously and mercilessly targeted my back. Nevertheless, I collected myself immediately, realizing where I was in the world. It was not my grandfather but a Nazi overseer that stood before me. His eyes glowered with violent rage. He was ready to kill me. I went straight back to work.

A Part of Me

Escape

In October 1942, rumours came from Dubno that the last roundup of Jews there had been completed. Even those with special skills, now no longer needed, were murdered. I cried for my sister and her child. But my sorrow was even greater when those who were taken to work on the highways returned home with news that Nazi soldiers were surrounding our ghetto. We understood what this meant. My husband’s mother begged me to leave my child with her and said I should try to escape on my own. As a devoted mother, I refused and declared, “Whatever will happen to me, will also happen to my child.”

I picked up my darling daughter in my arms, parted from my friends, with whom I had lived for the last three years and learned to love, and left. I knew this was the end. When I left my mother-in-law and her home, I broke all ties with my past, all that had been my support, my entire defence. I was now almost totally alone, dependent on my own strength and the caprice of fate. With me was my daughter — a helpless little being who depended on me for solace, comfort and protection — and a piece of bread, which was not nearly enough. I ran out of the house with my beloved Lucy in my arms and the hope that God would not desert me.

We Sang in Hushed Voices

Survival

The small acts of courage were what made it possible to survive. One evening, for example, we were made to stand for hours and hours in the Appellplatz for roll call. When we were finally released, some of the women who needed to go to the bathroom went straight to the barracks to relieve themselves in the latrines. When they got there, however, the doors were locked. A few of the poor women were truly in agony after holding it in for so long. Not being allowed to empty their bladders was torturous. This was the last straw for some of us, and we began to shout in resistance, “Let us pee!” over and over again. “Don’t let them suffer!” I called out. “Don’t torture people so much!” One of the female SS guards heard us yelling and came to the barracks.

The guard must have recognized my voice because she came directly over to me, as if I were to blame for the rebellion. The other women were sure that I would be killed. Then, something unexpected happened. A friend of mine from Mukačevo, a woman named Hilda, came to my aid. I had known her before the war, and she was normally very quiet and reserved. Yet, she rallied everyone together and encouraged them all to shout. All seven or eight hundred women in the area began shouting so loudly and with such intensity that the female SS guard grew afraid and left.

There was another way that we could resist – with hope. As we sat on the hard wooden bunks in our barracks, with only our thin, torn dresses to cover us, we still hoped that we would survive. Some of us even tried to learn new languages. By that time, I had already learned some English and spoke it quite well. I also still remembered Hebrew from high school and taught Hebrew words to my friends. It was a time of emptiness, pain and desperation, a time when it was impossible to imagine a way out. There was no way out. But I often thought about miracles.

An extremely important part of our resistance was singing. Although it seems paradoxical to talk about music and Birkenau in the same breath, singing was a key part of our existence. When our work was done and the guards weren’t present, we could find safe moments to sing Hebrew songs. We had to be careful never to sing in front of the SS because they would have beaten us to death. I couldn’t sing well, but it didn’t matter. None of us were really singers. I would teach my friends the words to songs I had learned in school and the women with good voices would figure out the tune. Together we combined words and voices, our voices hushed so that no one would hear us. It gave us encouragement and lifted our spirits; in those moments, we didn’t speak about death and killing.

These were not the only music events in the camp. There were also concerts organized by the SS – although these were hardly happy occasions for the Jewish prisoners. I recall one concert that was spontaneously arranged under orders from the camp administration. We were called out to the Appellplatz and commanded to sit on the ground. What we saw in front of us was a group of men in their filthy, striped prison uniforms, emaciated from hunger, each one holding a violin, a cello or a wind instrument. They were told to take their places on a platform and began to play – and, oh, how beautifully they played. Starving and ill, the musicians played waltzes by Johann Strauss II while the SS guards danced to the music.

I began to cry. I cried inconsolably because those musicians were playing music that had been created to make the world a more harmonious and beautiful place. Yet, these men, imprisoned and starving, were forced to play through suffering and humiliation. Strauss’s waltzes and operettas, which brought joy to listeners for a hundred years, had nothing in common with Hitler and his ideology.

Nous chantions en sourdine

Survivre

De petits gestes de courage nous permettaient de survivre. Un soir, par exemple, nous attendions depuis des heures et des heures sur la place de l’appel. Quand on nous a enfin laissĂ©es partir, certaines des femmes, qui avaient besoin d’aller aux toilettes, se sont rendues directement aux baraquements pour se soulager aux latrines. Mais les portes Ă©taient verrouillĂ©es. Quelques-unes des femmes n’en pouvaient plus aprĂšs avoir attendu aussi longtemps. Ne pas pouvoir se soulager Ă©tait trĂšs pĂ©nible. Pour certaines, c’en Ă©tait trop. Nous avons donc commencĂ© Ă  crier, en rĂ©pĂ©tant : « Laissez-nous faire pipi ! » Je clamais : « Ne les faites pas souffrir ! ArrĂȘtez cette torture ! » Une des gardes SS nous a entendues et est venue au baraquement.

Elle avait dĂ» reconnaĂźtre ma voix, car elle s’est dirigĂ©e directement vers moi, comme si j’étais responsable de la rĂ©bellion. Les autres femmes Ă©taient sĂ»res que j’allais ĂȘtre tuĂ©e. Mais il est arrivĂ© quelque chose d’inattendu. Une de mes amies de Moukatcheve, qui s’appelait Hilda, m’est venue en aide. Je la connaissais avant la guerre : c’était une femme habituellement trĂšs calme et rĂ©servĂ©e. Cependant, elle a ralliĂ© tout le monde et a encouragĂ© les femmes Ă  hurler. Les 700 ou 800 dĂ©tenues du secteur ont commencĂ© Ă  crier si fort et avec tant d’intensitĂ© que la garde SS a pris peur et est partie.

Il existait une autre maniĂšre de rĂ©sister : en gardant espoir. Assises sur nos chĂąlits dans le baraquement, vĂȘtues de robes lĂ©gĂšres et toutes dĂ©chirĂ©es dans lesquelles nous gelions, notre force de vie subsistait malgrĂ© tout. Certaines ont mĂȘme essayĂ© d’apprendre de nouvelles langues. J’avais dĂ©jĂ  appris un peu d’anglais Ă  cette Ă©poque et je le parlais assez bien. Je me souvenais aussi de l’hĂ©breu qu’on m’avait enseignĂ© au secondaire et dont je partageais la connaissance avec quelques amies. C’était une pĂ©riode de vide, de souffrance et de dĂ©sespoir. Il Ă©tait difficile d’envisager un moyen de s’en sortir et il ne semblait pas y avoir d’issue possible. À moins d’un miracle
 et je me raccrochais parfois Ă  cette pensĂ©e.

Notre rĂ©sistance se manifestait plus que tout par le chant. Bien qu’il paraisse paradoxal de parler en mĂȘme temps de musique et de Birkenau, chanter reprĂ©sentait un Ă©lĂ©ment essentiel de notre existence. Quand notre travail Ă©tait fini et que les gardes n’étaient pas lĂ , nous en profitions pour entonner des chants hĂ©breux. Nous devions faire attention Ă  ne jamais chanter devant les SS, car nous aurions Ă©tĂ© battues Ă  mort. Je chantais faux, mais cela n’avait pas d’importance. Aucune d’entre nous n’avait de talent vĂ©ritable pour le chant. J’apprenais Ă  mes amies les paroles des chansons qu’on m’avait enseignĂ©es Ă  l’école, et les femmes dotĂ©es d’une belle voix se chargeaient de trouver l’air. Ensemble, nous combinions paroles et mĂ©lodies, et nous chantions en sourdine pour que personne ne puisse nous entendre. Cela nous donnait du courage et nous remontait le moral. Au cours de ces sĂ©ances, nous ne parlions ni de la mort omniprĂ©sente ni des assassinats qui nous menaçaient toutes.

Ce n’étaient pas les seuls moments musicaux du camp. Nous avons eu droit aussi Ă  des concerts organisĂ©s par les SS – des occasions pĂ©nibles pour les dĂ©tenus juifs. Je me souviens d’un concert qui avait Ă©tĂ© montĂ© Ă  l’improviste par ordre de l’administration du camp. On nous a rĂ©unies sur l’Appellplatz et ordonnĂ© de nous asseoir par terre. En face de nous se trouvait un groupe d’hommes dĂ©charnĂ©s et revĂȘtus de leurs guenilles de prisonniers. Chacun d’eux tenait qui un violon, qui un violoncelle, qui un instrument Ă  vent. On leur a dit de prendre place sur l’estrade et de commencer Ă  jouer. Quel talent ! AffamĂ©s et malades, les musiciens interprĂ©taient des valses de Johann Strauss fils, tandis que les SS dansaient.

Je me suis mise Ă  pleurer. J’étais inconsolable : ces musiciens Ă©taient en train de jouer des airs crĂ©Ă©s pour rendre le monde plus beau et plus harmonieux. Et ces hommes, emprisonnĂ©s et famĂ©liques, Ă©taient forcĂ©s de jouer au-delĂ  de la souffrance et de l’humiliation. Les valses et les opĂ©rettes de Strauss, qui avaient fait la joie de tant de mĂ©lomanes depuis si longtemps, n’avaient rien en commun avec Hitler et son idĂ©ologie.

Inside the Walls

Loss in the Ghetto

During this first winter, as the walls grew wet and frozen, we had to move to Brzezinska Street, where we were warmer and away from the barbed wire fence and the German guard who occasionally fired his gun. I made friends in our new place. One of them was a composer a few years older than me. He had a girlfriend who was a musician as well. Even though we lived in the same building, we exchanged letters; we promised to be friends forever.

The small apartment where we lived was available for a short time only, and we were next sent to occupy a small room on Zgierska Street, near the bridge. The apartment consisted of a tiny entrance hall and kitchen combination, and another room that was already occupied by a family. This building was close to the barbed wire fence, behind which the tramways for the gentile population moved along freely. However, we were not directly exposed to the fence, as our room faced the courtyard. There was an outhouse in the yard, where people would empty their chamber pots. In the winter the opening to the outhouse would freeze over, and people would continue to empty their pots, creating a hill that grew and froze until spring came. There was no escaping the stench and it was hard to avoid stepping into it. While I dulled my senses to everything else, this sight and the smell repelled and revolted me. I washed every part of my body whenever I could.

Almost immediately upon our arrival to Zgierska Street, we were, to our horror, infested with lice, and there was no escaping the scourge. I succumbed to a feeling of self-loathing, and once, as my father and I stood by the window, I exhaled loudly and told him that I wished that someone would push me into a hole in the ground and bury me. Surprised at my own vehemence, I glimpsed my father’s profile and saw a look of sadness and despair.

During the first few months in the ghetto, we received mail from my brothers in Soviet-occupied Poland. They were preparing to come back and lead us to the Soviet Union along a certain route. My brothers specifically stressed that there would be schooling for me there, which was an ongoing family concern. But in the spring of 1940, the ghetto was hermetically closed and there was no longer any mail, news or communication whatsoever with the outside world. The penalty for listening to a radio was death.

[...]

In the fall, on Yom Kippur, we went to a prayer gathering; it was the first time I saw my father dissolve into tears. Whenever we thought things could not get worse, they did.We were hungrier than ever and we were getting weaker. My father was unable to carry on digging ditches for potato storage, the work to which he had been assigned. I started to work at a saddle factory, sewing leather and making harnesses, and the meagre pay was enough to receive our basic weekly food ration. It was up to us to consume the ration – bread and other staples – when we wished, and we rationed our food scrupulously, but it was a terrible temptation to dig into the weekly supply. The amount of the ration changed every week, depending on what the administration could get as payment for the production of goods for the Germans.

I felt mindless. Starvation was soon rampant, and mortality in the ghetto reached epidemic proportions. Death started with apathy, weakness and the swelling of ankles. The swelling would move upward, and ultimately the heart and lungs would shrink, resulting in a lingering death. On July 2, 1941, that is how my father died.

When my mother realized that my father’s situation was critical, she sent a neighbour to come and get me at work, and I came home. My father looked at me for a while, and then he closed his eyes for the last time. He was buried in the cemetery at the edge of the ghetto.

My mother and I were now alone.

If, By Miracle

I will always remember my mother’s last words to me. “If, by miracle, you survive, you must bear witness and tell the free world what happened to us.” I am the only survivor of the Holocaust from my mother’s large family, which originally comprised more than 150 people. Among the few survivors on my father’s side were his younger brother, Shimon, the only survivor of seven brothers, and a few of his cousins. That was all that remained of our family. I often asked myself whether there could be a God who allowed the murder of my family and my people, young and old. When I was ten years old, I heard the last cries of Jews reciting the prayer Shema Yisrael on their way to mass graves in my hometown of NieƛwieĆŒ. As a child, I was angry and disappointed that God had permitted this to happen, but to adopt a negative opinion of God would have meant giving up the struggle to survive and especially giving up on my mother’s last words to me. I came to the conclusion that there was a God and that He would give me the determination to live and be free again, and to avenge the Jewish people. I remembered what I had learned in Hebrew school about the two-thousand-year history of our people – how we had survived pogroms, slaughters and inquisitions.

When I was older, I always held on to my mother’s words and I promised myself that I would fulfill her wishes by telling Jewish and non-Jewish youth, as well as adults, about everything that our people had been forced to endure during the war, to implore them to pass on our history to future generations so that these events would never happen again.

Si, par miracle

Je me souviendrai toujours des derniĂšres paroles de ma mĂšre : « Si, par miracle, tu survis, il faut que tu tĂ©moignes et que tu dises au monde libre ce qui nous est arrivĂ©. » Je suis le seul survivant de l’Holocauste de la grande famille de ma mĂšre, laquelle comptait Ă  l’origine plus de 150 personnes. Du cĂŽtĂ© de mon pĂšre figurent parmi les survivants son frĂšre cadet, Shimon, le seul de ses sept frĂšres, et quelques cousins. VoilĂ  tout ce qu’il reste de ma famille.

Je me suis souvent demandĂ© s’il Ă©tait possible qu’un Dieu permette le meurtre de ma famille et de mon peuple, jeunes et vieux. Lorsque j’avais 10 ans, j’ai entendu les derniers cris des Juifs qui rĂ©citaient la priĂšre Shema YisraĂ«l en route vers les charniers. C’était Ă  NieƛwieĆŒ, la ville oĂč je suis nĂ©. Enfant, j’étais en colĂšre et déçu que Dieu ait permis cela, mais si j’avais adoptĂ© une vision nĂ©gative de Dieu, j’aurais cessĂ© de lutter pour survivre et, surtout, j’aurais trahi les derniĂšres volontĂ©s de ma mĂšre. J’en suis venu Ă  la conclusion qu’il y avait un Dieu et qu’Il me donnerait la force de vivre et d’ĂȘtre libre Ă  nouveau et, surtout, de venger le peuple juif. Je me suis souvenu de ce que j’avais appris Ă  l’école hĂ©braĂŻque Ă  propos de l’histoire de notre peuple, vieille de 2 000 ans – comment il avait survĂ©cu aux pogroms, aux massacres et aux inquisitions.

Un peu plus ĂągĂ©, je m’en suis toujours tenu aux paroles de ma mĂšre et je me suis promis que j’accomplirais ses souhaits en racontant aux Juifs comme aux non-Juifs, jeunes et adultes, tout ce que notre peuple a Ă©tĂ© forcĂ© d’endurer pendant la guerre, en les implorant de transmettre Ă  leur tour notre histoire aux gĂ©nĂ©rations futures pour que de pareils Ă©vĂ©nements ne se reproduisent jamais plus.

Confronting Devastation: Memoirs of Holocaust Survivors from Hungary (Traduction française à venir)

The Light in a Dark Cellar par Susan Simon

When it all started, I was more afraid of the sirens than the bombs. The drawn-out, high-pitched blast seemed to land right inside my head, seeping down to invade my heart till it froze in terror. As the war progressed, sirens were followed by explosions, and I learned to reserve my fears for the latter. Eventually there were no sirens at all; life turned into a perpetual night in underground cellars, where the sound of bombs and buildings crumbling were all we could hear.

In the early stages of the war, with sirens alerting the public, Rozi and I had to grab a bag filled with food, drink, a first-aid kit and toys and run as fast as we could. If I was in the washroom, Mother waited for me. When the sirens were not enough to penetrate my childish sleep at night, she woke me up and urged me to hurry. In the cellar we gave silent thanks for arriving in one piece.

Windows were covered with black paper, and cracks were filled with caulk to shroud our house in darkness at night. Rumours circulated about cellars collapsing, as well as the buildings above them, but Mother didn’t pass on such gossip to us so the threats would not ruin our hopes.

We had to wear a yellow star above our hearts to identify us as Jews, and we were allowed to leave our homes for an hour or two at certain times to buy food. Scared to walk with our stars, our heads buzzing with horror stories about how Jews were killed on the streets, we rarely stepped outside. It didn’t help that Nazi propaganda was spread on huge posters, glaring from rooftops. One of them showed a little girl covered with vivid splashes of blood, holding a toy that had exploded in her hands. This shocking scene blamed the Allied forces for throwing down explosives in the shape of toys from their air­planes. In truth, only the Nazi imagination could invent such crimes. Confused, Rozi and I thought of this disturbing picture before we fell asleep, particularly because the little girl on the poster had a sweet baby face with big blue eyes, just like Rozi. This likeness terrified her.

The Arrow Cross, the Hungarian party closely allied with the Nazis, took over the government on October 15, 1944. Shortly after this event, they passed a law ordering the Jews in the capital to move into a ghetto.

My family had already escaped a ghetto in the small town of Gyöngyös; Mother didn’t want to enter another one. She decided that we should hide.

At Great Risk

Eva Lang

Three Stars in the Sky

The children’s homes were becoming targets of the Vichy authorities, so OSE (OEuvre de secours aux enfants) decided to try a more radical way to hide French Jewish children. They would change their identities. They would make the children accept that — although it was totally incomprehensible — they would have to become someone else until the end of the war. We were little girls, but we were expected to become grown-ups. We had to play a double game, to completely adopt this new personality and to act normal in spite of everything. The leaders of OSE made us promise never to reveal our true identities, and I never heard of anyone inadvertently revealing their real identity, even though there were little girls in our group who were barely five years old.

I wish I could meet the administrative geniuses who came up with the brilliant idea of hiding the Jewish children in the government’s own children’s homes run by the Entr’aide d’hiver du marĂ©chal, the “Marshal’s Winter Mutual Aid Society!” Life in these homes was not necessarily simple, and after the war some of my friends told me that they had been very unhappy there. A certain number of children were not taken to these hiding places. Some girls were smuggled into Switzerland, some became domestics in private homes and others were sent to convents or farms. Thanks to a few good people, innocent children were saved from the Germans’ clutches.

One evening, Chief Cabri told me, “Starting tomorrow morning at dawn, your name will be Yvonne Drapier, and your sister’s, Raymonde Drapier. You’ll be part of a group of big sisters with little sisters under your protection. Here’s a short history of your family: Your father was born in MĂ©nilmontant. He drank a lot and didn’t remember anything. He was inducted into the army and taken prisoner in Germany. No one knows where your mother is at the moment. She left you and your sister, and you were found in the streets and taken into the government children’s homes. Say nothing, absolutely nothing, unless somebody asks, and try not to attract notice.”

David Korn

Saved by Luck and Devotion

xWe left Spiơská Stará Ves in the middle of the night. We went to live on a farm in a nearby village. We would spend the whole day inside the farmer’s house, only allowed to go out during the dark evenings when we were sure we could not be seen by anyone who might betray us. After about a month, the farmer told my parents that it was too dangerous for him to hide us any longer; sheltering a Jew was punishable by death, and we had to leave.

But we had been extremely lucky to have left our town when we did. On May 26, 1942, all the remaining Jews from our town and the nearby villages were ordered by the local police to come to the synagogue. Men, woman, children and the elderly were rounded up and loaded on trains with the enthusiastic support of the Hlinka Guard. Their final destination was one of the Nazi death camps.

When we left the farm, my parents took us to the nearby town of StarĂĄ Äœubovƈa, where my aunt Malka lived. She had married Joseph Taub, who was from there, in 1941, in a wedding ceremony I still remember so well, even though I was only four years old then.

Through the Taubs, who we stayed with for some time, we had a connection with the local Lutheran Evangelical priest, who was sym­pathetic to Jews. This priest issued my brother and me false identity documents that stated we had been born as gentiles in a village near StarĂĄ Äœubovƈa: Jacob was given the name Kubo, and mine stated that my name was Ć ano Alexander. After receiving these documents, I remember walking past a sign in the entrance to a garden that read “Jews and dogs not allowed,” and saying, “Now we are allowed to en­ter the garden.” I was five years old.

Eventually, the priest from StarĂĄ Äœubovƈa communicated with an orphanage that the Lutheran Evangelicals operated in LiptovskĂœ SvĂ€tĂœ MikulĂĄĆĄ, a town about a hundred kilometres away. We arrived at the orphanage on October 2, 1942, and my parents asked the pas­tor, Vladimir Kuna, who managed the orphanage, to take in their two Jewish kids and keep them until the end of the war. They must have been thinking that if something happened to them and they did not make it, at least we, their children, would survive. Otherwise, all of us would perish. In hindsight, it must have been an agonizing decision for our parents to let their children be in a different place, separate from them. But the decision proved to be the smart one, the right one. My parents were very resourceful, and we were very lucky.

Fishel Philip Goldig

The Survival Story of a Six-Year-Old Boy

At first, we stayed in the attic of the farmer’s house. But this was very dangerous because the children, who at first did not know we were there, would occasionally go up to the attic to bring down some toys or play. Some of the neighbours’ kids often came to play, especially in winter, and if even one person had said anything about us being there, we’d all be dead. We had to find another place to hide.

The farmer’s yard extended back to a small hill, and, years before we arrived there, he had dug into that hill and constructed a cellar, which was like a cave, with walls and a ceiling made of stones. He stored his supply of potatoes there over the winter.

We thought that we could hide in this cave, but people were coming and going, buying the farmer’s potatoes, and the kids played near there as well, and we were afraid that the children would hear us. And so, in the middle of the night, my father, uncle and the farmer removed a few large stones at the base of the wall of the potato cave and dug further into the side of the hill to make another bunker for us to hide in. The opening of the cave was small and narrow, just wide enough for us to crawl through. We then made it wider, longer and higher to accommodate my parents, me, my aunt and uncle, and my three-year-old cousin Eva. When we were inside the cave, we would replace the stones, so that it could not be detected by anyone who might come inside the potato cellar.

The cave was not very high. When I stood up, I had to bend my head. It was warm and dark, and we had kerosene lanterns and some candles for light. There was a wire mesh over the window that was in the door to the cave, and so we also had some air. Kravchuk gave us a small table, blankets to put on the ground and to cover ourselves with, as well as some old clothing that had belonged to his children.

Once a day, early in the morning, Kravchuk would bring us some food and remove the waste. He would also bring us a big pitcher of water to wash with and for drinking. Once in a while he would spend some time talking to us. He was a nice, gentle man, though he and his wife were afraid of hiding us — they were often afraid to even come into our hole because they were worried neighbours would see them. There was always the fear of betrayal.

The Weight of Freedom

The Slow Roar

Later, in 1941, we would be ordered to wear a yellow Star of David with the word “Jude,” which had to be sewn onto each piece of our outer clothing. Wearing the yellow star, my mother explained, was an ancient method used to keep the Jews separate from the Christians. We were not allowed to leave the house without the yellow patch on our outer clothing. This made it much harder to mix with the Polish population.

Selling anything on the street was considered “black marketeering” and prohibited by the Nazis. To make a point, the Nazis convicted six men caught doing business on the black market and sentenced them to death by hanging. The hanging was to be public to let us know what the consequences of black marketeering were. A huge stage with a scaffold was erected – built high so that everyone could see – in one of the city’s squares and everyone was compelled to attend. To me it appeared as though people wanted to attend this public display of barbarism. The square was ringed with four- or five-storey buildings, and all the windows were packed with onlookers. My family’s friends had an apartment overlooking the square and we were invited to see the spectacle from a good vantage point, right across from the gallows. From the window, we could see the entire square and as far as I could see, the square and streets were packed with people. The mood appeared high, anticipatory, if not festive. No one had ever seen a public execution.

Soldiers and police surrounded the square as the six men were lined up on the scaffold. The executioners put ropes on their necks. A Gestapo official read a short verdict and the trap was sprung. It felt like the crowd uttered a shudder as the men fell through the trap. Their knees jerked, then dropped, and their bodies swayed. They were left hanging for twenty-four hours. The crowd’s mood changed to sombre, and people left either crying or in silence. I heard that the families were allowed to retrieve the bodies for burial the next day. This exhibition understandably caused everyone to take notice, and my mother stopped me from going on the street to sell or trade.

Le Poids de la liberté

Plus tard, en 1941, nous avons dĂ» porter une Ă©toile de David jaune avec l’inscription « Jude », que nous devions coudre de maniĂšre bien visible sur nos vĂȘtements. Ma mĂšre m’a expliquĂ© que le port de l’étoile jaune Ă©tait une ancienne mĂ©thode visant Ă  mettre la population juive Ă  l’écart de la population chrĂ©tienne. Comme il nous Ă©tait interdit de sortir sans Ă©toile jaune sur nos vĂȘtements, il est devenu beaucoup plus difficile de nous mĂȘler Ă  la population polonaise.

Vendre de la marchandise dans la rue Ă©tait assimilĂ© Ă  faire du « marchĂ© noir », activitĂ© interdite par les Allemands. Pour bien se faire comprendre, les nazis ont arrĂȘtĂ© six hommes qui se livraient Ă  cette pratique illicite et les ont condamnĂ©s Ă  mort par pendaison. Tout le monde a Ă©tĂ© obligĂ© d’assister Ă  leur exĂ©cution de façon Ă  ce que nous voyions ce qui nous attendait si nous n’obĂ©issions pas Ă  leurs lois. Sur une des places de la ville, ils ont Ă©rigĂ© un immense Ă©chafaud — trĂšs haut pour que la foule puisse bien voir. J’avais l’impression que les gens tenaient Ă  assister Ă  cette dĂ©monstration publique de barbarie ; toutes les fenĂȘtres des immeubles de quatre ou cinq Ă©tages qui bor-daient la place Ă©taient remplies de curieux. Des amis de ma famille qui habitaient dans l’un de ces bĂątiments nous ont invitĂ©s Ă  assister au spectacle. Nous avions un bon point d’observation : juste devant la potence. InstallĂ©s Ă  la fenĂȘtre, nous apercevions aussi l’ensemble de la place et les rues avoisinantes, bondĂ©es de gens. Il y avait de la fĂ©brilitĂ© dans l’air, et une atmosphĂšre presque Ă©lectrique rĂ©gnait. Personne n’avait jamais vu d’exĂ©cution. 

Des soldats et des policiers ont encerclĂ© le square au moment oĂč les six hommes ont Ă©tĂ© placĂ©s l’un Ă  cĂŽtĂ© de l’autre sur la plateforme. Puis les bourreaux leur ont passĂ© une corde autour du cou. Un fonctionnaire de la Gestapo a alors fait lecture d’un bref verdict, aprĂšs quoi on a ouvert la trappe. Un frisson a semblĂ© traverser la foule lors de la chute des six condamnĂ©s ; leurs jambes ont Ă©tĂ© parcourues de secousses un moment, puis se sont immobilisĂ©es, et les corps se sont mis Ă  se balancer. On les a laissĂ©s lĂ , accrochĂ©s Ă  la potence, durant 24 heures. L’humeur de la foule s’est assombrie, et les gens ont quittĂ© les lieux en pleurant ou en gardant le silence. On m’a dit que le lendemain, les familles ont eu l’autorisation de rĂ©cupĂ©rer les corps pour les enterrer. Cette dĂ©monstration a permis Ă  tous de bien comprendre le message. Ma mĂšre m’a dĂšs lors interdit de retourner vendre ou troquer quoi que ce soit dans la rue.

Under the Yellow & Red Stars

The Rokitno Massacre

These horrors came to a deadly resolution on August 26, 1942. On that day the whole Jewish population of Rokitno was ordered into the market square. No one was exempt now, including infants, the gravely ill and the elderly. Those who couldn’t walk were carried to the square on stretchers. Some people carried others on their backs. German soldiers and German and Ukrainian police surrounded the square. They began by separating children, women, men and the elderly. The situation developed into fear and disorder. Soon, deafening screams and moans filled the square. People panicked. Children were clinging to their mothers. Everyone was trying to defend the old and the sick.

All of a sudden, a sharp scream pierced the air: “Jews, they’re going to kill us all now.” It was Mindl Eisenberg, a big, tall, brave woman nicknamed “The Cossack” who saw the police squadron arrive from behind the train station and alerted the crowd. Anguished, people began to run for their lives. Men ran to find their wives and children. Everyone was trying to escape. Only bullets could stop them. The guards fired at the crowd and dozens of people were killed instantly, covering the square with blood. In this hell, my seventeen-year-old brother, Samuel, found me, grabbed me by the arm and we started running
.

That was the last time we saw our mother, our father and our five-year-old brother, Moishe. We found out later that our father had been captured with other survivors of the shooting in the market square and taken to the Sarny area, approximately forty kilometres from Rokitno. Just outside of Sarny, in the ravines by the brick factory, he was shot along with some 18,000 other Jews who met horrifying deaths in that awful place. Witness accounts of the massacre say that the ground, covered with hundreds of bodies, was moving for days because people had been buried alive.

We never found out exactly what happened to our mother and our youngest brother.

My brother and I ran away from the market square to the house of the German officer who had promised to save Samuel. We broke into the house through the back window, but unhappily encountered the Polish chef. Without hesitation, my brother took my hand and we ran out the door into the backyard and then through the yard toward the woods. We crawled underneath the rail cars that had, I know now, been prepared for transporting Jews to the Sarny area and escaped into the forest. We ran as fast as we could and kept on running.

Étoile jaune, Ă©toile rouge

Le massacre de Rokitno

Ces horreurs ont culminĂ© et trouvĂ© un terme fatal le 26 aoĂ»t 1942. Ce jour-lĂ , toute la population juive de Rokitno a reçu l’ordre de se rassembler sur la place du marchĂ©. Cette fois-ci, personne n’était exemptĂ©, ni les bĂ©bĂ©s, ni les vieillards, ni les grands malades. Ceux qui ne pouvaient pas marcher ont Ă©tĂ© transportĂ©s sur des civiĂšres ou Ă  dos d’homme. Les soldats allemands, la police allemande et la police ukrainienne encerclaient la place. Ils ont commencĂ© par sĂ©parer les enfants, les femmes, les hommes et les vieillards. La peur et le chaos ont gagnĂ© la foule. BientĂŽt, la place s’est emplie de hurlements assourdissants et de gĂ©missements. C’était l’affolement gĂ©nĂ©ral. Les enfants s’agrippaient Ă  leur mĂšre. La foule essayait de protĂ©ger les vieillards et les malades.

Tout Ă  coup, un hurlement aigu s’est Ă©levĂ© : « Juifs, ils vont tous nous tuer maintenant. » C’était Mindl Eisenberg, une grande femme, forte et courageuse, surnommĂ©e « la Cosaque », qui avait vu l’escadron de police arriver depuis la gare et qui alertait la foule. Les gens, paniquĂ©s, se sont mis Ă  courir de toutes leurs forces. Les hommes couraient pour essayer de retrouver leur femme et leurs enfants. Tout le monde essayait de s’enfuir. Seules les balles pouvaient les arrĂȘter. Les gardes ont tirĂ© sur la foule et des dizaines de personnes ont Ă©tĂ© tuĂ©es sur-le-champ, baignant la place de sang. Dans cet enfer, mon frĂšre de 17 ans, Samuel, m’a trouvĂ©, m’a attrapĂ© par le bras et nous nous sommes mis Ă  courir


C’est la derniĂšre fois que nous avons vu notre mĂšre, notre pĂšre et notre petit frĂšre de 5 ans, MoĂŻshĂ©. Nous avons appris plus tard que notre pĂšre avait Ă©tĂ© capturĂ© avec d’autres qui avaient survĂ©cu au massacre de la place du marchĂ© et avait Ă©tĂ© emmenĂ© dans la rĂ©gion de Sarny, Ă  une quarantaine de kilomĂštres. À la pĂ©riphĂ©rie de Sarny, dans les ravins voisins de la briqueterie, il a Ă©tĂ© fusillĂ© avec environ 18 000 autres Juifs qui ont trouvĂ© une mort affreuse dans cet horrible endroit. Des tĂ©moins du massacre disent que le sol, couvert de centaines de corps, a remuĂ© pendant des jours parce que des gens avaient Ă©tĂ© enterrĂ©s vivants.

Nous n’avons jamais su exactement ce qui Ă©tait arrivĂ© Ă  notre mĂšre et Ă  notre frĂšre cadet.

Mon frĂšre et moi nous sommes enfuis de la place du marchĂ© et avons gagnĂ© la maison de l’officier allemand qui avait promis de sauver Samuel. Nous nous sommes introduits dans la maison par la fenĂȘtre de derriĂšre mais, malheureusement, nous nous sommes trouvĂ©s nez Ă  nez avec le chef cuisinier polonais. Sans hĂ©siter, mon frĂšre m’a pris par la main et nous sommes sortis en courant par la porte de derriĂšre qui donnait sur le jardin et, de lĂ , nous avons gagnĂ© la forĂȘt. Nous avons rampĂ© sous les wagons du train qui avait Ă©tĂ© affectĂ©, je le sais maintenant, au transport des Juifs vers Sarny et nous nous sommes Ă©chappĂ©s dans la forĂȘt. LĂ , nous avons continuĂ© Ă  courir Ă  toutes jambes.

La Fin du printemps, John Freund

Enfant, John Freund aimait Ă©crire et jouer au football. La Fin du printemps raconte comment son enfance joyeuse a basculĂ© aprĂšs l’invasion de son pays d’origine, la TchĂ©coslovaquie, par les nazis en 1939. EspĂ©rant au dĂ©but que le conflit et les persĂ©cutions prendraient rapidement fin, la famille de John Freund a endurĂ© l’érosion systĂ©matique de ses droits avant d’ĂȘtre dĂ©portĂ©e d’abord Ă  Theresienstadt, puis au camp de la mort d’Auschwitz-Birkenau. Le rĂ©cit des souffrances de John Freund et la perte de son innocence sont d’autant plus poignants que ses mĂ©moires tĂ©moignent d’une foi inĂ©branlable en la nature humaine, d’un optimisme constant et d’une dĂ©termination courageuse Ă  refaire sa vie au Canada.

Préface par Esther Goldberg

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Commander le livre

– +
En bref
Tchécoslovaquie
Ghetto / Camp de concentration de Theresienstadt
Camp de la mort d’Auschwitz-Birkenau
TchĂ©coslovaquie d’aprĂšs-guerre
Marche de la mort
Projet des orphelins de guerre
Immigration au Canada en 1948
Tranche d'ùge recommandée
14+
Langue
Français

144 pages

MĂ©daille d’or dĂ©cernĂ©e lors des Independent Publisher Book Awards en 2008

À propos de l'auteur

Photo of John Freund

John Freund est nĂ© en 1930 Ă  ČeskĂ© Budějovice (TchĂ©coslovaquie, aujourd'hui en RĂ©publique tchĂšque). Durant l'occupation nazie, il a contribuĂ© Ă  la rĂ©daction d'un magazine clandestin appelĂ© Klepy (Potins). Des exemplaires originaux du magazine sont aujourd’hui conservĂ©s au MusĂ©e juif de Prague. En 1948, John a pu immigrer au Canada du fait de son statut d’orphelin de guerre. Il rĂ©side Ă  Toronto avec sa femme Nora, une ville dont il apprĂ©cie la scĂšne culturelle, les galeries d’art et les musĂ©es.

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Too Many Goodbyes: The Diaries of Susan Garfield (Traduction française à venir), Susan Garfield

En 1944, alors que les Juifs de Budapest font face aux souffrances consĂ©cutives Ă  l’occupation allemande, la jeune Zsuzsi (Susie), 11 ans, se rĂ©fugie dans l’écriture de son journal oĂč elle dĂ©crit ses relations amicales ou familiales, ainsi que ses efforts pour composer avec la persĂ©cution ambiante. Enfant prĂ©coce, elle y consigne avec charme sa vie pendant la guerre et ses prĂ©occupations quotidiennes, tour Ă  tour banales et bouleversantes. Souffrant de solitude Ă  l’issue du conflit, Susie prend la dĂ©cision risquĂ©e de quitter son pays natal, la Hongrie, et ses proches pour Ă©migrer Ă  l’autre bout du monde. BientĂŽt, l'enfance de Susie est bouleversĂ©e par les adieux — Ă  son pĂšre quand celui-ci est enrĂŽlĂ© au service de travail obligatoire, puis Ă  sa mĂšre, arrĂȘtĂ©e par des collaborateurs. À l’issue du conflit, Susie prend la dĂ©cision risquĂ©e d’émigrer Ă  l’autre bout du monde. Souffrant de solitude et des difficultĂ©s d'adaptation Ă  la vie canadienne, la jeune fille consigne de nouveau ses angoisses dans son journal. À travers ses mĂ©moires Too Many Goodbyes, Susan Garfield reprend son rĂ©cit lĂ  oĂč elle l'avait laissĂ© – sur le point de trouver un endroit oĂč elle a rĂ©ellement sa place.

Préface de Adara Goldberg

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En bref
Hongrie
Clandestinité
SiĂšge de Budapest
Journal intime rĂ©digĂ© durant l’Holocauste, accompagnĂ© des mĂ©moires d’aprĂšs-guerre
Projet des orphelins de guerre
Immigration au Canada en 1948
Adaptation Ă  la vie canadienne
Tranche d'ùge recommandée
14+
Langue
Anglais

256 pages

À propos de l'auteure

Photo of Susan Garfield

Susan Garfield (nĂ©e Zsuzanna Löffler) a vu le jour Ă  Budapest (Hongrie) en 1933. En 1948, elle a immigrĂ© au Canada dans le cadre du Projet des orphelins de guerre, vivant d’abord Ă  Vegreville (Alberta), avant de s’installer Ă  Winnipeg (Manitoba), oĂč elle vit encore aujourd’hui. Son journal intime, rĂ©digĂ© en hongrois durant la guerre, a Ă©tĂ© traduit en anglais et publiĂ© dans l’anthologie Voices of Winnipeg Holocaust Survivors en 2010. Le rĂ©cit de son immigration a Ă©tĂ© publiĂ© en 2015 dans l’ouvrage Holocaust Survivors in Canada: Exclusion, Inclusion, Transformation, 1947–1955.

Un combat singulier : Femmes dans la tourmente de l’Holocauste, Myrna Goldenberg

Dans la prĂ©sente anthologie, vingt femmes retracent le parcours de leur survie durant l’Holocauste – depuis la terreur de la vie en clandestinitĂ© jusqu’aux risques inouĂŻs d’endosser une identitĂ© non juive, en passant par l’horreur des camps nazis et la perfidie du rĂ©gime soviĂ©tique. Chacun des rĂ©cits est liĂ© aux autres par des thĂšmes et des fils conducteurs communs : la famille, la peur, les modalitĂ©s de rĂ©sistance et, finalement, le triomphe qui suit l’adversitĂ© extrĂȘme. Plusieurs auteures Ă©voquent en outre l’ampleur de ce qu’elles ont perdu et le processus de reconstruction aprĂšs la guerre. MĂȘlant prose, poĂ©sie et extraits de journaux intimes, ce recueil exceptionnel fait entendre de façon puissante les voix de survivantes canadiennes de l’Holocauste et tĂ©moigne de leur capacitĂ© Ă  survivre face Ă  une violence inhumaine. Il rend Ă©galement hommage aux parents et amis qui ont pĂ©ri aux mains des nazis.

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En bref
Anthologie rĂ©digĂ©e par 20 survivantes de l’Holocauste
RescapĂ©es originaires de pays europĂ©ens sous occupation et de l’Union soviĂ©tique
Quatre sections: Cachées; Fausses identités; Dans les camps; En Union soviétique
Chaque section est préfacée par Myrna Goldenberg
Tranche d'ùge recommandée
16+
Langue
Français

698 pages

MĂ©daille d’or dĂ©cernĂ©e lors des Independent Publisher Book Awards en 2018

Lauréat du Canadian Jewish Literary Award en 2017

À propos de l’éditrice

Photo of Myrna Goldenberg

Myrna Goldenberg est co-Ă©ditrice de Different Horrors, Same Hell: Gender and the Holocaust (2013) et de Experience and Expression: Women, the Nazis, and the Holocaust (2003), ainsi que de plusieurs autres publications. Professeure Ă©mĂ©rite au Montgomery College, dans le Maryland, les recherches de Myrna Goldenberg portent sur la question du genre et de l’Holocauste, et sur l’enseignement de l'histoire de l’Holocauste au niveau post-secondaire et Ă  l’universitĂ©.

Before All Memory Is Lost: Women's Voices from the Holocaust, Myrna Goldenberg

In this anthology, twenty women reflect on their experiences of survival during the Holocaust — from the heart-stopping fears of hiding to the extreme risks of “passing” as non-Jews, and from the terrors of the Nazi camps to the treacheries of the Soviet Union. Each woman’s unique account is connected to the others by common threads and themes: family, fear and the ways they resisted and, ultimately, triumphed over extreme adversity. Many also offer poignant insights into their experiences of loss and renewal after liberation. Featuring a wide variety of narrative styles, including prose, poetry and diary excerpts, this powerful and unique Canadian collection gives voice to the many women who endured in the face of horrifying brutality and memorializes the families and friends whose voices were silenced.

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En bref
Anthologie rĂ©digĂ©e par 20 survivantes de l’Holocauste
RescapĂ©es originaires de pays europĂ©ens sous occupation et de l’Union soviĂ©tique
Quatre sections: Cachées; Fausses identités; Dans les camps; En Union soviétique
Chaque section est préfacée par Myrna Goldenberg
Tranche d'ùge recommandée
16+
Langue
Anglais

606 pages

MĂ©daille d’or dĂ©cernĂ©e lors des Independent Publisher Book Awards en 2018

Lauréat du Canadian Jewish Literary Award en 2017

À propos de l’éditrice

Photo of Myrna Goldenberg

Myrna Goldenberg est co-Ă©ditrice de Different Horrors, Same Hell: Gender and the Holocaust (2013) et de Experience and Expression: Women, the Nazis, and the Holocaust (2003), ainsi que de plusieurs autres publications. Professeure Ă©mĂ©rite au Montgomery College, dans le Maryland, les recherches de Myrna Goldenberg portent sur la question du genre et de l’Holocauste, et sur l’enseignement de l'histoire de l’Holocauste au niveau post-secondaire et Ă  l’universitĂ©.

A Childhood Adrift, René Goldman

In the 1930s, RenĂ© Goldman grows up entranced with theatre, music, languages and geography. Enveloped by his parents’ love and protection, he wanders the streets and alleys of Luxembourg and Brussels, carefree and prone to mischief. Yet as he starts hearing adults speak the words “deportation” and “resettlement,” RenĂ© is forced to grapple with a strange, new reality. In 1942, when his family flees to France, eight-year-old RenĂ© is separated from his parents and shunted between children’s homes and convents, where he must hide both his identity and his mounting anxiety. As RenĂ© waits and waits for his parents to return, even liberation day does not feel like freedom. An eloquent personal narrative detailed with historical research and intuitive observations, A Childhood Adrift explores identity, closure, disillusionment and the anguish of silenced emotions.

Introduction by Helen Epstein

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Luxembourg; Belgique; France
RĂ©gime de Vichy
Enfant en clandestinité
Fausse identité
Pologne d’aprùs-guerre; Chine
Vie en pays communiste
Immigration aux États-Unis en 1960, puis au Canada en 1963
Matériel pédagogique disponible: Hidden Children
Tranche d'ùge recommandée
16+
Langue
Anglais

328 pages

À propos de l'auteur

Photo of René Goldman

RenĂ© Goldman est nĂ© en 1934 au Luxembourg. AprĂšs la guerre, il a vĂ©cu dans des maisons d’enfants en rĂ©gion parisienne, avant de partir Ă©tudier en Pologne. En 1953, RenĂ© s’est installĂ© Ă  PĂ©kin afin d’y apprendre la langue, la littĂ©rature et l’histoire chinoises. Il a obtenu son diplĂŽme de l’UniversitĂ© Columbia puis est devenu professeur Ă  l’UniversitĂ© de Colombie-Britannique oĂč il a enseignĂ© l’histoire de la Chine. RenĂ© vit Ă  Summerland, en Colombie-Britannique.

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Une enfance à la dérive, René Goldman

RenĂ© Goldman est un enfant fascinĂ© par le thĂ©Ăątre, la musique, la gĂ©ographie et les langues. ChoyĂ© par ses parents, il aime dĂ©ambuler dans les rues de Luxembourg puis de Bruxelles, insouciant et enclin aux bĂȘtises. Mais lorsque les adultes commencent Ă  parler de « dĂ©portations », RenĂ© est contraint de faire face Ă  une inquiĂ©tante rĂ©alitĂ©. En 1942, sa famille s’enfuit en France et RenĂ©, 8 ans, est sĂ©parĂ© de ses parents. Il est ensuite ballottĂ© entre plusieurs maisons d’accueil oĂč il doit cacher ses origines juives mais aussi son angoisse. La LibĂ©ration n’en sera pas une pour RenĂ© qui attend en vain le retour de ses parents. TĂ©moignage Ă©loquent et bien documentĂ©, Une enfance Ă  la dĂ©rive explore les questions liĂ©es Ă  l’identitĂ©, au deuil, Ă  la dĂ©sillusion et Ă  l’angoisse provoquĂ©e par des Ă©motions trop longtemps rĂ©primĂ©es.

Préface de Helen Epstein

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En bref
Luxembourg; Belgique; France
RĂ©gime de Vichy
Enfant en clandestinité
Fausse identité
Pologne d’aprùs-guerre; Chine
Vie en pays communiste
Immigration aux États-Unis en 1960, puis au Canada en 1963
Matériel pédagogique disponible: Enfants cachés
Tranche d'ùge recommandée
16+
Langue
Français

360 pages

À propos de l'auteur

Photo of René Goldman

RenĂ© Goldman est nĂ© en 1934 au Luxembourg. AprĂšs la guerre, il a vĂ©cu dans des maisons d’enfants en rĂ©gion parisienne, avant de partir Ă©tudier en Pologne. En 1953, RenĂ© s’est installĂ© Ă  PĂ©kin afin d’y apprendre la langue, la littĂ©rature et l’histoire chinoises. Il a obtenu son diplĂŽme de l’UniversitĂ© Columbia puis est devenu professeur Ă  l’UniversitĂ© de Colombie-Britannique oĂč il a enseignĂ© l’histoire de la Chine. RenĂ© vit Ă  Summerland, en Colombie-Britannique.

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Flights of Spirit (Traduction française à venir), Elly Gotz

Alors qu’il a 16 ans, Elly Gotz se cache avec sa famille dans un sous-sol du ghetto de Kovno (Lituanie). Ils sont dĂ©cidĂ©s Ă  mourir plutĂŽt que d’ĂȘtre capturĂ©s par les nazis. AprĂšs avoir survĂ©cu prĂšs de trois annĂ©es au Ghetto, oĂč ont pĂ©ri des milliers de leurs coreligionnaires, Elly et sa famille refusent d’ĂȘtre les prochaines victimes des nazis. Mais la liquidation du Ghetto durant l’étĂ© 1944 scelle leur sort : ils sont pris. Elly et son pĂšre sont dĂ©portĂ©s au camp de Kaufering, une annexe particuliĂšrement dure du camp de concentration de Dachau. AprĂšs la guerre, alors que sa famille cherche dĂ©sespĂ©rĂ©ment Ă  fuir l’Allemagne et son passĂ©, Elly est bien dĂ©cidĂ© Ă  retrouver sa jeunesse perdue et Ă  reprendre ses Ă©tudes interrompues par la guerre. Tout au long de son parcours, Elly fait preuve d’une motivation et d’un esprit d’entreprise qui lui apportent le succĂšs et lui permettent de prendre son envol.

Préface de Rami Neudorfer

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En bref
Lituanie
Ghetto de Kovno
Camp de concentration de Kaufering
Allemagne d’aprùs-guerre; Norvùge; Zimbabwe; Afrique du Sud
Immigration au Canada en 1964
Matériel pédagogique disponible: Activité Elly Gotz (anglais)
Tranche d'ùge recommandée
14+
Langue
Anglais

240 pages

À propos de l'auteur

Photo of Elly Gotz

Elly Gotz est nĂ© en 1928 Ă  Kovno (Kaunas) en Lituanie. Elly et ses parents ont Ă©migrĂ© en NorvĂšge en 1947, puis au Zimbabwe. Il s’est installĂ© Ă  Toronto en 1964, oĂč il a fondĂ© plusieurs entreprises et concrĂ©tisĂ© son rĂȘve de devenir pilote. En 2017, alors ĂągĂ© de 89 ans, il a rĂ©alisĂ© une autre ambition: effectuer un saut en parachute.

Photo par Hasnain Dattu.

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Stronger Together (Traduction française à venir), Ibolya Grossman, Andy Réti

« Ne pleure pas, ma chérie. Nous avons besoin de ce bébé. Tu verras. »

Par ces mots, ZoltĂĄn tente d'apaiser la peur de son Ă©pouse, Ibolya, de mettre un enfant au monde durant cette Ă©poque incertaine. Mais en novembre 1942, quatre mois aprĂšs la naissance de leur fils Andy, ZoltĂĄn est enrĂŽlĂ© dans le service du travail obligatoire et Ibolya est livrĂ©e Ă  elle-mĂȘme pour prendre soin de leur enfant malgrĂ© les persĂ©cutions antisĂ©mites. Ibolya protĂšge farouchement son fils, sa raison de vivre, pendant et aprĂšs la guerre, notamment quand elle doit prendre une dĂ©cision cruciale qui changera leurs vies pour toujours. Alors qu'Andy grandit dans l'ombre de l’Holocauste et les souvenirs de sa mĂšre, il trouve plus tard le courage de raconter sa propre histoire tout en perpĂ©tuant la mĂ©moire d'Ibolya. Deux rĂ©cits en un seul livre, Stronger Together fait entendre les voix d'une mĂšre et de son fils, alors qu'ils tĂ©moignent de leur passĂ©, de leurs pertes et surtout de leur optimisme.

Préface de Marlene Kadar

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En bref
Hongrie
Ghetto de Budapest
Travaux forcés
Régime des Croix fléchées
SiĂšge de Budapest
Vie en pays communiste
RĂ©volution hongroise de 1956
Immigration au Canada en 1957
Adaptation Ă  la vie canadienne
Tranche d'ùge recommandée
14+
Langue
Anglais

288 pages

À propos de l'auteure

Photo of Ibolya Grossman

Ibolya Grossman est nĂ©e en 1916 Ă  PĂ©cs (Hongrie). AprĂšs la guerre, elle a Ă©tĂ© arrĂȘtĂ©e et emprisonnĂ©e par le rĂ©gime communiste hongrois pour avoir tentĂ© de fuir le pays. Elle est parvenue Ă  s’échapper avec son fils Andy lors de sa deuxiĂšme tentative et a immigrĂ© au Canada en 1957. Ibolya a Ă©crit et publiĂ© ses mĂ©moires en 1990. Elle est dĂ©cĂ©dĂ©e Ă  Toronto en 2005.

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À propos de l'auteur

Photo of Andy RĂ©ti

Andy RĂ©ti est nĂ© en 1942 Ă  Budapest (Hongrie). Il a Ă©tĂ© libĂ©rĂ© du ghetto de Budapest en janvier 1945. Andy travaille comme bĂ©nĂ©vole au Centre d’éducation de l’Holocauste de Toronto depuis 1998. Il a rejoint sa mĂšre lors de plusieurs de ses interventions en tant que survivante. Depuis la disparition de sa mĂšre, il lui a emboĂźtĂ© le pas et raconte leur histoire Ă  un vaste public.

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Memories in Focus (Traduction française à venir), Pinchas Gutter

Pinchas, 10 ans, est sĂ©parĂ© de ses parents et de sa sƓur jumelle durant leur dĂ©portation depuis le ghetto de Varsovie jusqu’au centre de mise Ă  mort de Majdanek. Pinchas passe ensuite par une sĂ©rie de camps de concentration auxquels il survit grĂące Ă  sa facultĂ© de se couper de la terreur environnante et de passer inaperçu, devenant pratiquement invisible. Mais aprĂšs la LibĂ©ration, sa mĂ©moire photographique ne lui laisse aucun rĂ©pit et Pinchas souffre de cauchemars et de flashbacks tandis qu’il se consacre Ă  sa famille et tente de se libĂ©rer des sĂ©quelles de son passĂ©. Au cours de ses sĂ©jours en Angleterre, en France, en IsraĂ«l, au BrĂ©sil et en Afrique du Sud, Pinchas cherche Ă  trouver sa place et choisira de faire du Canada son pays d’adoption. RĂ©cit poignant qui traite de la souffrance, de l’injustice et du traumatisme, Memories in Focus suscite Ă©galement de l’espoir et de la confiance en l’avenir.

Préface de Stephen Smith

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En bref
Pologne
SoulĂšvement du ghetto de Varsovie
Complexe concentrationnaire de Majdanek
Camp de concentration et de travaux forcés
Marche de la mort
Angleterre d’aprĂšs-guerre; France; IsraĂ«l; BrĂ©sil; Afrique du Sud
ProblÚmes de santé mentale
Immigration au Canada en 1985
Matériel pédagogique disponible: Activité Pinchas Gutter
Tranche d'ùge recommandée
14+
Langue
Anglais

192 pages

À propos de l'auteur

Photo of Pinchas Gutter

NĂ© le 21 juillet 1932 Ă  Lodz (Pologne), Pinchas Gutter est le seul survivant de sa famille proche. Suite Ă  sa libĂ©ration en 1945, il a vĂ©cu en Grande-Bretagne puis en France, en IsraĂ«l, au BrĂ©sil et en Afrique du Sud avant d’immigrer au Canada en 1985. Il est le premier survivant de l’Holocauste dont le tĂ©moignage a Ă©tĂ© immortalisĂ© de maniĂšre interactive, en trois dimensions, dans le cadre du projet Dimensions in Testimony de la Shoah Foundation Ă  USC (UniversitĂ© de Californie du Sud). Pinchas vit aujourd’hui Ă  Toronto.

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As the Lilacs Bloomed, Anna Molnår HegedƱs

In the spring of 1944, as Germany occupies her native Hungary, Anna Molnår HegedƱs barely has time to notice the flowers blooming around her. One year later, as the lilacs blossom once again, she returns to her hometown of Szatmår, Hungary, and sets her memories to paper, the experiences still raw and vivid. Her unflinching words convey the bitter details of the Szatmår ghetto, Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Schlesiersee forced labour camp and a perilous death march. At forty-eight years old, Anna has survived a lifetime of trauma, and as she writes, she waits, desperately hoping her family will return.

Introduction by Na’ama Shik

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En bref
Hongrie
Ghetto
Camp de la mort d’Auschwitz-Birkenau
Camps de concentration et de travaux forcés
Rédigé en 1945 et publié en hongrois en 1946
Immigration au Canada en 1952
Tranche d'ùge recommandée
16+
Langue
Anglais

256 pages

MĂ©daille d’or dĂ©cernĂ©e lors des Independent Publisher Book Awards en 2015

Prix de la traduction John-Glassco dĂ©cernĂ© par l’Association des traducteurs et traductrices littĂ©raires du Canada en 2015

À propos de l'auteure

Photo of Anna Molnår HegedƱs

Anna MolnĂĄr HegedƱs est nĂ©e en 1897 Ă  SzatmĂĄr (Hongrie, aujourd'hui Satu Mare en Roumanie). En 1921, elle a Ă©pousĂ© ZoltĂĄn HegedƱs, avec qui elle a eu deux enfants, JĂĄnos et Ágnes. Anna et sa fille ont Ă©tĂ© dĂ©tenues ensemble Ă  Auschwitz-Birkenau, fait peu frĂ©quent Ă©tant donnĂ© l'Ăąge d'Anna et le processus de sĂ©lection. AprĂšs s’ĂȘtre installĂ©e en IsraĂ«l en 1950, Anna a immigrĂ© Ă  MontrĂ©al en 1952 oĂč elle est devenue infirmiĂšre puĂ©ricultrice. PassionnĂ©e par son mĂ©tier, Anna prenait soin des mĂšres et de leurs nouveau-nĂ©s pendant une semaine, voire parfois plusieurs mois, et maintenait des liens forts avec les familles. Anna HegedƱs est dĂ©cĂ©dĂ©e en 1979.

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Pendant la saison des lilas, Anna Molnår HegedƱs

Au printemps 1944, alors que l’Allemagne occupait sa Hongrie natale, Anna HegedƱs a Ă  peine le temps de remarquer les fleurs qui s’épanouissent autour d’elle. Un an plus tard, Ă  l’époque oĂč les lilas refleurissent, elle rentre chez elle, Ă  SzatmĂĄr, et commence Ă  consigner ses souvenirs, encore vifs et intenses. Ses mots nous transmettent sans dĂ©tour le quotidien dans le ghetto de SzatmĂĄr, Ă  Auschwitz-Birkenau, au camp de travaux forcĂ©s de Schlesiersee et lors d’une marche de la mort meurtriĂšre. À 48 ans, Anna a survĂ©cu Ă  d’immenses traumatismes dont elle a fait le rĂ©cit alors qu’elle attendait dĂ©sespĂ©rĂ©ment le retour des siens.

PrĂ©face de Na’ama Shik

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Hongrie
Ghetto
Camp de la mort d’Auschwitz-Birkenau
Camps de concentration et de travaux forcés
Rédigé en 1945 et publié en hongrois en 1946
Immigration au Canada en 1952
Tranche d'ùge recommandée
16+
Langue
Français

280 pages

MĂ©daille d’or dĂ©cernĂ©e lors des Independent Publisher Book Awards en 2015

À propos de l'auteure

Photo of Anna Molnår HegedƱs

Anna MolnĂĄr HegedƱs est nĂ©e en 1897 Ă  SzatmĂĄr (Hongrie, aujourd'hui Satu Mare en Roumanie). En 1921, elle a Ă©pousĂ© ZoltĂĄn HegedƱs, avec qui elle a eu deux enfants, JĂĄnos et Ágnes. Anna et sa fille ont Ă©tĂ© dĂ©tenues ensemble Ă  Auschwitz-Birkenau, fait peu frĂ©quent Ă©tant donnĂ© l'Ăąge d'Anna et le processus de sĂ©lection. AprĂšs s’ĂȘtre installĂ©e en IsraĂ«l en 1950, Anna a immigrĂ© Ă  MontrĂ©al en 1952 oĂč elle est devenue infirmiĂšre puĂ©ricultrice. PassionnĂ©e par son mĂ©tier, Anna prenait soin des mĂšres et de leurs nouveau-nĂ©s pendant une semaine, voire parfois plusieurs mois, et maintenait des liens forts avec les familles. Anna HegedƱs est dĂ©cĂ©dĂ©e en 1979.

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The Vale of Tears (Traduction française à venir), Pinchas Hirschprung

Voyage Ă©pique au-delĂ  des frontiĂšres, The Vale of Tears relate deux annĂ©es de la vie du rabbin Pinchas Hirschprung, alors qu'il tente d'Ă©chapper aux persĂ©cutions en Europe sous occupation nazie. Ce rare tĂ©moignage met en lumiĂšre le quotidien du rabbin orthodoxe durant son Ă©vasion, mais aussi l'inspiration et l'espoir qu'il puise dans les Écritures et la lithurgie juive alors qu'il parvient Ă  fuir les tĂ©nĂšbres pour trouver refuge Ă  Kobe (Japon). La traduction de ce rĂ©cit Ă©crit en yiddish en 1944 offre une perspective unique sur l'homme qui a Ă©tĂ© durant prĂšs de trente annĂ©es le Grand Rabbin de MontrĂ©al, Ă  la renommĂ©e mondiale.

Préface de Zale Newman et Arielle Berger

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En bref
Pologne; Union soviétique; Lituanie; Japon
Travaux forcés
Fuite
RĂ©digĂ© en 1943–1944; PremiĂšre publication en yiddish en 1944
Extraits des Écritures et de la liturgie juives
Immigration au Canada en 1941
Grand-rabbin de Montréal de 1969 à 1998
Tranche d'ùge recommandée
16+
Langue
Anglais

368 pages

MĂ©daille d’or dĂ©cernĂ©e lors des Independent Publisher Book Awards en 2018

Prix de traduction J.I. Segal décerné en 2018

À propos de l'auteur

Photo of Pinchas Hirschprung

Le rabbin Pinchas Hirschprung est nĂ© en 1912 Ă  Dukla (Pologne). En 1941, il a rĂ©ussi Ă  fuir l’Europe pour le Japon, avant d’immigrer Ă  MontrĂ©al neuf mois plus tard. SpĂ©cialiste mondialement reconnu de la Torah et du Talmud, le rabbin Hirschprung est devenu en 1969 le Grand rabbin de MontrĂ©al dont il a dirigĂ© la communautĂ© juive jusqu’à sa mort en 1998. Ses mĂ©moires rĂ©digĂ©s en yiddish ont Ă©tĂ© publiĂ©s en 1944, avant d’ĂȘtre traduits en hĂ©breu en 1948. The Vale of Tears est la premiĂšre traduction anglaise de l’ouvrage.

A Part of Me (Traduction française à venir), Bronia Jablon

Bronia Jablon est sĂ©parĂ©e de sa famille, y compris de son mari qui s’est enfui sans elle dans la forĂȘt. En 1942, au faĂźte de la persĂ©cution nazie, Bronia et sa petite fille de 3 ans, Lucy, tentent de survivre au jour le jour. Leurs chances seront-elles meilleures si elles retournent dans leur village d’origine ou bien si elles essaient de retrouver leurs proches, enfermĂ©s dans le ghetto voisin ? ExtĂ©nuĂ©e, mourant de faim, Bronia ne sait en qui elle peut faire confiance car tous ses anciens amis et connaissances sont soit complices des nazis, soit trop terrifiĂ©s pour leur venir en aide. Elles trouvent enfin une Ăąme charitable mais l’abri qu’elles obtiennent est un sous-sol sombre et froid comme une prison. A Part of Me dĂ©crit l’importance du dĂ©vouement, de la persĂ©vĂ©rance et de l’amour qui lie une mĂšre Ă  sa fille et les pousse Ă  surmonter toutes les Ă©preuves pour survivre Ă  l’Holocauste.

Préface de Sara Horowitz

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Pologne; Ukraine
Ghetto
Clandestinité
Survie d’une mùre et de sa fille
Union soviĂ©tique d’aprĂšs-guerre; Pologne; IsraĂ«l
Immigration au Canada en 1967
Tranche d'ùge recommandée
16+
Langue
Anglais

160 pages

À propos de l'auteure

Photo of Bronia Jablon

NĂ©e le 15 avril 1918 Ă  Dubno en Pologne (aujourd’hui en Ukraine), Bronia Jablon a survĂ©cu Ă  l’Holocauste avec sa fille Lucy. AprĂšs la guerre, elle a obtenu son diplĂŽme d’infirmiĂšre en Union soviĂ©tique et a d’abord vĂ©cu en Pologne, puis en IsraĂ«l, avant d’immigrer au Canada en 1967 pour y rejoindre sa fille et ses petits-enfants. Bronia est dĂ©cĂ©dĂ©e Ă  Toronto en 1994.

We Sang in Hushed Voices, Helena Jockel

When the Nazis invade Hungary on March 19, 1944, all elementary school teacher Helena Jockel can think about is how to save “her” children. She accompanies them to Auschwitz-Birkenau only to see them taken to the gas chamber. In her clear-eyed and heartbreaking account of living and surviving in the camp and on a death march, she records both the too-brief moments of beauty and kindness and the unremitting cruelty. After the war, as she renews her passion for teaching under a Communist regime that will not allow her to speak about the Holocaust, Helena refuses to hide the fact that she is Jewish.

Introduction by Dorota Glowacka

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En bref
Tchécoslovaquie; Hongrie
Ghetto
Camp de la mort d’Auschwitz-Birkenau
Marche de la mort
TchĂ©coslovaquie d’aprĂšs-guerre
Vie en pays communiste
Immigration au Canada en 1988
Tranche d'ùge recommandée
14+
Langue
Anglais

128 pages

MĂ©daille d’argent dĂ©cernĂ©e lors des Living Now Book Awards en 2015

À propos de l'auteure

Photo of Helena Jockel

Helena Jockel (nĂ©e Kahan) est nĂ©e le 23 octobre 1919 Ă  Mukačevo (TchĂ©coslovaquie, aujourd’hui en Ukraine). AprĂšs la guerre, elle est retournĂ©e dans son pays, et a Ă©pousĂ© son beau-frĂšre, Emil Jockel, veuf de sa sƓur. Helena et Emil ont vĂ©cu en TchĂ©coslovaquie jusqu’à la retraite d’Helena. En 1988, ils sont venus rejoindre leur fille, Jana, au Canada. Helena Jockel est dĂ©cĂ©dĂ©e Ă  Halifax en 2016.

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Nous chantions en sourdine, Helena Jockel

Quand les nazis envahissent la Hongrie en mars 1944, l’institutrice Helena Jockel ne pense qu’à une chose : sauver « ses » enfants. Elle les accompagne Ă  Auschwitz-Birkenau et les voit emmenĂ©s dans les chambres Ă  gaz. Son rĂ©cit lucide et dĂ©chirant de la vie au camp enregistre Ă  la fois les moments de cruautĂ© insondable et les Ă©clairs trop brefs de beautĂ© et de gentillesse. AprĂšs la guerre, Helena redevient enseignante sous un rĂ©gime communiste qui lui interdit d’évoquer l’Holocauste. Mais elle refuse de cacher sa judĂ©itĂ©.

Préface de Dorota Glowacka

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En bref
Tchécoslovaquie; Hongrie
Ghetto
Camp de la mort d’Auschwitz-Birkenau
Marche de la mort
TchĂ©coslovaquie d’aprĂšs-guerre
Vie en pays communiste
Immigration au Canada en 1988
Tranche d'ùge recommandée
14+
Langue
Français

142 pages

MĂ©daille d’argent dĂ©cernĂ©e lors des Living Now Book Awards en 2015

À propos de l'auteure

Photo of Helena Jockel

Helena Jockel (nĂ©e Kahan) est nĂ©e le 23 octobre 1919 Ă  Mukačevo (TchĂ©coslovaquie, aujourd’hui en Ukraine). AprĂšs la guerre, elle est retournĂ©e dans son pays, et a Ă©pousĂ© son beau-frĂšre, Emil Jockel, veuf de sa sƓur. Helena et Emil ont vĂ©cu en TchĂ©coslovaquie jusqu’à la retraite d’Helena. En 1988, ils sont venus rejoindre leur fille, Jana, au Canada. Helena Jockel est dĂ©cĂ©dĂ©e Ă  Halifax en 2016.

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Inside the Walls (Traduction française à venir), Eddie Klein

IdĂ©aliste et rĂȘveur, le jeune Eddie Klein rĂ©cite des poĂšmes dans le ghetto de Lodz, quand son talent est remarquĂ© par un membre de l’administration juive. Devenu orphelin, la vie d'Eddie prend un tournant dĂ©cisif quand il est placĂ© sous la protection des dirigeants du Ghetto, dont le puissant et contestĂ© Mordechai Rumkowski, et qu'il devient le tĂ©moin direct des privilĂšges qui leur sont accordĂ©s. En aoĂ»t 1944, Eddie est finalement dĂ©portĂ© Ă  Auschwitz-Birkenau oĂč, livrĂ© Ă  lui-mĂȘme, il doit affronter des conditions de dĂ©tention effroyables. À sa libĂ©ration, alors que personne ne semble s'intĂ©resser Ă  son rĂ©cit, Eddie se mue dans le silence et tait les horreurs de l'Holocauste durant plus de 50 ans. Inside the Walls, son retour sur le passĂ©, tĂ©moigne de sa chance, de son combat pour survivre et du courage d’en parler.

Préface de Helene Sinnreich

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Pologne
Ghetto de Lodz
Camp de la mort d’Auschwitz-Birkenau
Camp de travaux forcés et de concentration
Marche de la mort
IsraĂ«l d’aprĂšs-guerre
Immigration au Canada en 1956
Tranche d'ùge recommandée
14+
Langue
Anglais

120 pages

À propos de l'auteur

Photo of Eddie Klein

Eddie Klein est nĂ© en 1927 Ă  Sieradz (Pologne). En 1945, il s’est installĂ© en Palestine sous mandat britannique oĂč il a travaillĂ© pour le Palmach et l’armĂ©e de l’air israĂ©lienne. Eddy a Ă©pousĂ© Miriam Ă  Tel Aviv en 1955, ils ont immigrĂ© au Canada l’annĂ©e suivante. Eddie a vĂ©cu Ă  MontrĂ©al durant plus de 60 ans, il aimait particuliĂšrement faire de la planche Ă  voile. Eddy Klein est dĂ©cĂ©dĂ© en IsraĂ«l en 2020.

If, By Miracle, Michael Kutz

Nearly buried alive, ten-year-old Michael Kutz narrowly escapes the Nazi death squad that has killed four thousand Jews, including his own family, in his hometown of NieƛwieĆŒ. Guided by his mother’s last words and determined to survive, he becomes the youngest member of a partisan resistance group in the dense Belorussian forest, taking part in daring operations against the Nazis and their collaborators. After the war, Michael embarks on an odyssey through Czechoslovakia, Austria, Italy, and, finally, Canada, as he tries to find a home where he can leave the horrors of his past behind. Translated from the original Yiddish, If, By Miracle is the gripping and compelling story of a courageous and resilient young boy searching for freedom.

Introduction by Anika Walke

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Pologne
RescapĂ© d’une fosse d’exĂ©cution
RĂ©sistance
Camps de personnes dĂ©placĂ©es (Italie d’aprĂšs-guerre)
Projet des orphelins de guerre
Immigration au Canada en 1948
Adaptation Ă  la vie canadienne
Tranche d'ùge recommandée
16+
Langue
Anglais

184 pages

MĂ©daille d’argent dĂ©cernĂ©e lors des Living Now Book Awards en 2015

À propos de l'auteur

Photo of Michael Kutz

Michael Kutz est nĂ© le 21 novembre 1930 Ă  NieƛwieĆŒ (Pologne, aujourd’hui en BiĂ©lorussie). Il est arrivĂ© au Canada comme orphelin de guerre en 1948 et a vĂ©cu Ă  Winnipeg avant de s’installer Ă  MontrĂ©al au dĂ©but des annĂ©es 1950. Il s’est engagĂ© auprĂšs de divers organismes de bienfaisance venant en aide aux jeunes dĂ©favorisĂ©s, aux aĂźnĂ©s et aux anciens combattants. Michael Kutz est dĂ©cĂ©dĂ© en 2020.

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Si, par miracle, Michael Kutz

Presque enterrĂ© vivant, Michael Kutz, ĂągĂ© de 10 ans, rĂ©chappe de justesse Ă  l’escadron de la mort nazi responsable de l’exĂ©cution de 4 000 Juifs dans sa ville natale. GuidĂ© par les derniĂšres paroles de sa mĂšre et dĂ©terminĂ© Ă  survivre, il devient le plus jeune membre d’un groupe de rĂ©sistants dans la forĂȘt biĂ©lorusse. AprĂšs la guerre, Michael entame un pĂ©riple qui aboutit au Canada, oĂč il pourra enfin oublier les horreurs de son passĂ©. Si, par miracle raconte l’histoire fascinante d’un garçon courageux en quĂȘte de libertĂ©.

Préface de Anika Walke

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Pologne
RescapĂ© d’une fosse d’exĂ©cution
RĂ©sistance
Camps de personnes dĂ©placĂ©es (Italie d’aprĂšs-guerre)
Projet des orphelins de guerre
Immigration au Canada en 1948
Adaptation Ă  la vie canadienne
Tranche d'ùge recommandée
16+
Langue
Français

208 pages

MĂ©daille d’argent dĂ©cernĂ©e lors des Living Now Book Awards en 2015

À propos de l'auteur

Photo of Michael Kutz

Michael Kutz est nĂ© le 21 novembre 1930 Ă  NieƛwieĆŒ (Pologne, aujourd’hui en BiĂ©lorussie). Il est arrivĂ© au Canada comme orphelin de guerre en 1948 et a vĂ©cu Ă  Winnipeg avant de s’installer Ă  MontrĂ©al au dĂ©but des annĂ©es 1950. Il s’est engagĂ© auprĂšs de divers organismes de bienfaisance venant en aide aux jeunes dĂ©favorisĂ©s, aux aĂźnĂ©s et aux anciens combattants. Michael Kutz est dĂ©cĂ©dĂ© en 2020.

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Confronting Devastation: Memoirs of Holocaust Survivors from Hungary (Traduction française à venir), Ferenc Laczó

Dans l'anthologie Confronting Devastation, des survivants canadiens reviennent sur les expĂ©riences qu'ils ont vĂ©cues en Hongrie durant l'Holocauste, Ă  l'occasion de la 75ᔉ commĂ©moration de l'occupation de leur pays d'origine par l'Allemagne nazie. De l’aggravation des exclusions qui ont marquĂ© la vie quotidienne des Juifs avant 1944 aux bataillons de travail forcĂ©, aux ghettos et aux camps, en passant par la persĂ©cution et la clandestinitĂ© Ă  Budapest, les auteurs tĂ©moignent des vies brisĂ©es, de la pĂ©nible rĂ©alitĂ© qui Ă©merge Ă  la LibĂ©ration et, enfin, de leur volontĂ© de persĂ©vĂ©rer malgrĂ© tout. DirigĂ©e par Ferenc LaczĂł, cette anthologie compile les extraits de vingt-deux mĂ©moires selon leurs contextes historique et politique, et prĂ©sente une analyse des faits qui ont conduit Ă  l’horreur de ce « dernier chapitre » de l’Holocauste – le gĂ©nocide d’environ 550 000 Juifs en Hongrie entre 1944 et 1945.

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Anthologie rédigée par 22 survivant-es originaires de Hongrie
Cinq sections : La vie d’avant-guerre ; Les bataillons de travaux forcĂ©s ; Les ghettos et les camps ; Budapest ; La libĂ©ration
Chaque section est préfacée par Ferenc Laczó
Tranche d'ùge recommandée
16+
Langue
Anglais

488 pages

À propos de l’éditeur

Photo of Ferenc LaczĂł

Ferenc LaczĂł est professeur adjoint d’histoire Ă  l’UniversitĂ© de Maastricht. Il est l’auteur de Hungarian Jews in the Age of Genocide: An Intellectual History, 1929–1948 publiĂ© en 2016. Ferenc LaczĂł et Joachim von Puttkamer ont co-dirigĂ© la publication de Catastrophe and Utopia: Jewish Intellectuals in Central and Eastern Europe in the 1930s and 1940s, paru en 2017.

At Great Risk: Memoirs of Rescue during the Holocaust (Traduction française à venir), Eva Lang, David Korn, Fishel Philip Goldig

En France, Eva Lang, onze ans, et ses jeunes sƓurs parviennent Ă  trouver refuge grĂące Ă  l’aide de rĂ©seaux clandestins, Ă©vitant ainsi l’horreur des camps. Recueillis par un pasteur, le jeune David Korn et son frĂšre aĂźnĂ© se cachent dans un orphelinat de Slovaquie et Ă©chappent ainsi Ă  la dĂ©portation. Dans un village polonais, un fermier protĂšge un garçon de neuf ans, Fishel Philip Goldig, et ses parents qui, condamnĂ©s Ă  une mort certaine, se sont enfuis d’un ghetto. Si tant de gens sont restĂ©s indiffĂ©rents face aux horreurs dont les Juifs ont Ă©tĂ© la cible durant l’Holocauste, certains n’ont pas hĂ©sitĂ© Ă  mettre leur vie en pĂ©ril pour sauver des amis, des voisins et parfois mĂȘme des inconnus. Les trois mĂ©moires prĂ©sentĂ©s dans l’anthologie At Great Risk sont accompagnĂ©s d’extraits issus de 13 tĂ©moignages publiĂ©s par le Programme Azrieli des mĂ©moires de survivants de l’Holocauste. Ils mettent en lumiĂšre les expĂ©riences relatives Ă  leur sauvetage durant l’Holocauste. Ce recueil de tĂ©moignages souligne Ă  la fois le courage, la rĂ©silience des sauveurs et la reconnaissance des survivants Ă  leur Ă©gard aprĂšs la guerre.

Introduction de Carol Rittner et de Mary Johnson

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Recueil de mémoires de trois survivants accompagnés des récits de sauvetage de treize auteurs de la Collection Azrieli
Pologne ; TchĂ©coslovaquie ; Slovaquie ; France
RĂ©gime de Vichy
Ghetto
Enfants en clandestinité
Fausses identités
RĂ©sistance et sauvetage
Justes parmi les nations
Immigration au Canada en 1948 (Fishel) ; 1965 (David) ; 1974 (Eva)
Tranche d'ùge recommandée
14+
Langue
Anglais

416 pages

À propos de l'auteure

Photo of Eva Lang

NĂ©e Ă  Bruxelles (Belgique) en 1930, Eva Lang a immigrĂ© en Palestine sous mandat britannique en 1945, puis au Canada en 1974, oĂč elle a travaillĂ© en tant qu’éducatrice de la petite enfance et comme esthĂ©ticienne. Eva vit aujourd’hui Ă  Netanya (IsraĂ«l), oĂč elle consacre son temps Ă  la peinture et intervient rĂ©guliĂšrement dans le cadre de l’enseignement de l’histoire de l’Holocauste.

À propos de l'auteur

Photo of David Korn

David Korn a vu le jour en 1937 Ă  Brno (TchĂ©coslovaquie, aujourd’hui en RĂ©publique tchĂšque). En 1949, il a immigrĂ© en IsraĂ«l, oĂč il a obtenu un diplĂŽme en ingĂ©nierie. ArrivĂ© au Canada en 1965, il a travaillĂ© dans le domaine de la restauration de bĂątiments Ă  MontrĂ©al, Ă  Ottawa et Ă  Halifax, ville oĂč il a Ă©lu domicile et oĂč il tĂ©moigne frĂ©quemment des expĂ©riences endurĂ©es durant l’Holocauste.

À propos de l'auteur

Photo of Fishel Philip Goldig

Fishel Philip Goldig est nĂ© en 1933 Ă  Mielnica, en Pologne (aujourd’hui Melnytsia-Podilska, en Ukraine). En 1948, il a immigrĂ© Ă  MontrĂ©al, oĂč il a fondĂ© plusieurs entreprises tout en Ă©tant chanteur professionnel, chantre et acteur de thĂ©Ăątre. Vivant aujourd’hui Ă  MontrĂ©al, Fishel se consacre Ă  l’enseignement de l’histoire de l’Holocauste.

The Weight of Freedom, Nate Leipciger

Nate Leipciger, a thoughtful, shy eleven-year-old boy, is plunged into an incomprehensible web of ghettos, concentration and death camps during the German occupation of Poland. Demonstrating incredible strength of character as he struggles to survive, he forges a new, unbreakable bond with his father and yearns for a free future. With memories that remain etched in tragedy and pain even as he looks optimistically to the future, Nate builds a new life in Canada. Introspective and raw, yet ever hopeful, The Weight of Freedom is Nate’s vivid journey through a past that can never be left behind.

Introduction by Debórah Dwork ©

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Pologne
Ghettos et camps de concentration
Camp de la mort d’Auschwitz-Birkenau
Allemagne d’aprùs-guerre
Immigration au Canada en 1948
Adaptation Ă  la vie canadienne
Matériel pédagogique disponible: Activité Nate Leipciger (anglais)
Tranche d'ùge recommandée
16+
Langue
Anglais

360 pages

À propos de l'auteur

Photo of Nate Leipciger

Nate Leipciger est nĂ© en 1928 Ă  ChorzĂłw (Pologne). Il a immigrĂ© Ă  Toronto en 1948, oĂč il a obtenu un diplĂŽme en ingĂ©nierie. Nate a Ă©tĂ© membre du Conseil International du MusĂ©e d’Auschwitz-Birkenau pendant quinze ans et officie depuis dix-neuf ans en tant qu’éducateur Ă  l’occasion de la Marche des vivants. Il vit Ă  Toronto.

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Le Poids de la liberté, Nate Leipciger

Nate Leipciger, garçon timide et rĂ©flĂ©chi, est ballotĂ© de ghettos en camps durant l’occupation allemande de la Pologne. Dans son dĂ©sir de survivre et de retrouver la libertĂ©, il dĂ©montre une force de caractĂšre incroyable, aidĂ© par son pĂšre qu’il apprend Ă  connaĂźtre. La guerre finie, il s’installe au Canada, plein d’optimisme mais marquĂ© Ă  jamais par la souffrance. RĂ©cit introspectif, sans fard, mais empreint d’espoir, Le Poids de la libertĂ© retrace le parcours saisissant de Nate Leipciger durant ces annĂ©es de guerre impossibles Ă  oublier.

Préface de Debórah Dwork ©

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Pologne
Ghettos et camps de concentration
Camp de la mort d’Auschwitz-Birkenau
Allemagne d’aprùs-guerre
Immigration au Canada en 1948
Adaptation Ă  la vie canadienne
Matériel pédagogique disponible: Activité Nate Leipciger
Tranche d'ùge recommandée
16+
Langue
Français

384 pages

À propos de l'auteur

Photo of Nate Leipciger

Nate Leipciger est nĂ© en 1928 Ă  ChorzĂłw (Pologne). Il a immigrĂ© Ă  Toronto en 1948, oĂč il a obtenu un diplĂŽme en ingĂ©nierie. Nate a Ă©tĂ© membre du Conseil International du MusĂ©e d’Auschwitz-Birkenau pendant quinze ans et officie depuis dix-neuf ans en tant qu’éducateur Ă  l’occasion de la Marche des vivants. Il vit Ă  Toronto.

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Under the Yellow & Red Stars, Alex Levin

Under the Yellow & Red Stars is a remarkable story of survival, coming of age and homecoming after years as a stranger in a strange land. Alex Levin was only ten years old when he ran deep into the forest after the Germans invaded his hometown of Rokitno. He emerged from hiding eighteen months later to find that he had neither parents nor a community to return to. A harrowing tale of escape, endurance and exceptional emotional resilience, Levin’s story also draws us into his later life as an officer and eventual outcast in the USSR and as an immigrant who successfully builds a new life in Canada. This poetically written memoir is imbued with loss and pain, but also with the optimistic spirit of a boy determined to survive against all odds.

Introduction by Naomi Azrieli and Sara Horowitz

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Pologne
Ghetto
RescapĂ© d’une exĂ©cution de masse
Clandestinité
RĂ©sistance
Union soviĂ©tique d’aprĂšs-guerre
Vie en pays communiste
Immigration au Canada en 1974
Tranche d'ùge recommandée
14+
Langue
Anglais

208 pages

Lauréat du Pearson Prize Teen Choice Award en 2010

À propos de l'auteur

Photo of Alex Levin

Alex Levin est nĂ© en 1932 Ă  Rokitno (Pologne, aujourd’hui en Ukraine). AprĂšs la guerre, il s’est engagĂ© dans l’armĂ©e soviĂ©tique mais sa carriĂšre a Ă©tĂ© bloquĂ©e du fait de sa judĂ©itĂ©. En 1975, Alex a immigrĂ© au Canada oĂč il a tĂ©moignĂ© de son expĂ©rience durant l’Holocauste. Alex Levin est dĂ©cĂ©dĂ© en 2016.

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Étoile jaune, Ă©toile rouge, Alex Levin

Étoile jaune, Ă©toile rouge est l’histoire remarquable de la survie d’un garçon, de son passage Ă  l’ñge adulte et d’un nouveau dĂ©part aprĂšs des annĂ©es passĂ©es Ă  combattre l’oppression et l’arbitraire d’une sociĂ©tĂ© totalitaire. Alex Levin n’avait que dix ans lorsqu’il s’est enfui au fond de la forĂȘt aprĂšs l’invasion par les Allemands de Rokitno, sa ville natale. Il est sorti de sa cachette dix-huit mois plus tard et a dĂ©couvert Ă  son retour qu’il n’avait plus ni parents ni communautĂ© pour l’accueillir. Ce rĂ©cit poignant tĂ©moigne de l’endurance et de la capacitĂ© d’adaptation exceptionnelle de l’auteur. L’histoire de Levin se poursuit au-delĂ  de la guerre : il devient officier en URSS, oĂč il est victime d’antisĂ©mitisme, puis immigre au Canada, oĂč il parvient Ă  refaire sa vie. Ces mĂ©moires Ă  l’écriture poĂ©tique sont marquĂ©s par la perte d’ĂȘtres chers et par une profonde douleur, mais sont aussi rĂ©vĂ©lateurs de l’optimisme d’un garçon dĂ©terminĂ© Ă  survivre envers et contre tout.

Préface de Naomi Azrieli et Sara Horowitz

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Pologne
Ghetto
RescapĂ© d’une exĂ©cution de masse
Clandestinité
RĂ©sistance
Union soviĂ©tique d’aprĂšs-guerre
Vie en pays communiste
Immigration au Canada en 1974
Tranche d'ùge recommandée
14+
Langue
Français

224 pages

Lauréat du Pearson Prize Teen Choice Award en 2010

À propos de l'auteur

Photo of Alex Levin

Alex Levin est nĂ© en 1932 Ă  Rokitno (Pologne, aujourd’hui en Ukraine). AprĂšs la guerre, il s’est engagĂ© dans l’armĂ©e soviĂ©tique mais sa carriĂšre a Ă©tĂ© bloquĂ©e du fait de sa judĂ©itĂ©. En 1975, Alex a immigrĂ© au Canada oĂč il a tĂ©moignĂ© de son expĂ©rience durant l’Holocauste. Alex Levin est dĂ©cĂ©dĂ© en 2016.

Consulter sur Re:Collection

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