LOCATION: Novotel North York (3 Park Home Avenue, North York)
Conference Fees (*Hotel separate):
$80 for January 26th - Dinner Only
$170 for January 27th - Day Conference Only
$250 for January 26th & 27th - Full Conference
Each attendee will receive a certificate of participation
*Hotel rooms are available at a special group rate of $169/night (plus applicable taxes).
To book a room: 416-733-2929 ext. 1 or 2
Use code: FSWCHS or ID#1254608
Rooms are subject to availability.
Deadline for the group rate booking is January 7th, 2019.
Saturday, January 26, 2019
7:00pm - Opening Remarks
7:10pm - Dinner
7:50pm - Holocaust Survivor Max Eisen
8:15pm - Margaret's Legacy
8:45pm - Concluding Remarks
Sunday, January 27, 2019
8:45am - Opening Remarks
9:15am - Educator Panel: Best Practices in Holocaust Education
10:15am - Break
10:40am - Dr. Regina Gruter: Matters of Life & Death: The Netherlands During WWII
12:00pm - Lunch
1:00pm - Jennifer Teege: "My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me"
2:10pm - Multi-Generational Panel: Impact of the Holocaust
3:10pm - Concluding Remarks
Director of Education, Thames Valley District School Board
We are thrilled to have Laura Elliott, Director of Education for the Thames Valley District School Board Co-chair the 2019 IHRD Conference.
Laura’s career, she has held numerous leadership
positions with the Durham District School Board, the Ontario College of
Teachers, the Ontario Ministry of Education and the Thames Valley District
School Board. She also spent three years
in Lahr Germany with the Department of National Defence Canadian Forces Base
Lahr, where she worked for both the Command Comptroller and the Adult and Continuing
Laura has a passion for challenging the status quo and seeking innovative learning opportunities for students. She is keenly interested in the areas of innovative leadership, student achievement and learning, and equity and inclusive education. Laura holds a Bachelor of Science from Western University, Bachelor and Master of Education degrees from the University of Toronto and a Master of Business Administration from Athabasca University. Most recently, Laura studied with the Rotman School of Management and the Ivey School of Business through The Learning Partnership. In July 2018, Laura travelled to Poland and Israel with the Compassion to Action group with the Simon Wiesenthal Centre for Holocaust Studies. This study tour afforded Laura new insights and perspectives on the importance of Holocaust Education programs in schools.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 26, 2019
Launch of new program:
SUNDAY, JANUARY 27, 2019
SPEAKER: Dr. Regina Gruter
Senior Researcher, NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies
Dr. Regina Grüter (1953) studied history and psychology at Leyden University, where she finished her PhD in history in 1997. She is a senior researcher at the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Previously she was head of the World War II Archives and Research Unit of the Netherlands Red Cross. In 2010 she was an expert witness in the Iwan Demjanjuk trial in München. In 2015 she published a monograph (in Dutch) on the looting and restitution of life insurances held by Dutch Jews and the Restitution Movement, and in 2017 a monograph on the Netherlands Red Cross during World War II, Kwesties van leven en dood [Matters of life and death. The Netherlands Red Cross during the Second World War]. Her ambition is to publish a revised English version of this book for an international audience.
Speaker: Jennifer Teege
New York Times best-selling author, “My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me” Jennifer Teege worked in advertising for 16 years before becoming an author. For four years in her twenties she lived in Israel, where she became fluent in Hebrew. She graduated from Tel Aviv University with a degree in Middle Eastern and African studies. Teege, a German-Nigerian woman, randomly picked up a library book from the shelf, her whole life—her whole sense of self—changed forever. Recognizing photos of her mother and grandmother in the book, she discovered a horrifying fact they had kept from her: Her grandfather was Amon Goeth, the vicious Nazi commandant so chillingly depicted by Ralph Fiennes in Schindler’s List—a man known and despised the world over.
Topic: The impact of the Holocaust
PANELIST: Max Eisen
Max Eisen is an author, public speaker and Holocaust survivor. He travels throughout Canada, and overseas, giving talks about his experiences as a survivor of multiple concentraion camps - including the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp - to students at all levels of education from elementary school to university, teachers, politicians, law enforcement personnel, and the community at large. In 2016, Max had his memoir published in a book titled By Chance Alone: A Remarkable True Story of Courage and Survival at Auschwitz. His memoir was one of 5 finalists in Canada’s prestigious Charles Taylor Prize, sponsored by RBC.
PANELIST: Michelle Glied-Goldstein
Michelle Glied-Goldstein is the youngest daughter of Holocaust survivors Bill and Marika Glied. In the early 1990s, Bill became actively involved in Holocaust Education, sharing his history with 1000s of students across the country as well as with high school students on nine March of the Living trips to Poland and Israel and with educators on two trips to Poland. After accompanying her father on many of his speaking engagements and two trips to Germany and Poland, Michelle began to pursue her interest in Holocaust Education. She has been a docent at the Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre since 2011, a member of the Holocaust Education Week Dialogue for Descendants Symposium committee for the past 3 years, a member of the Senate of Canadian Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center since 2016 and co-chair of its Speaker’s Idol Speech Contest for the past 4 years. In 2016, Michelle and her father embarked on a project to help ensure the stories of survivors would not be forgotten. Children of Survivors: Carrying Testimony from Generation to Generation is an initiative to have children of survivors carry-on telling their family’s history using filmed interview clips, artifacts and their personal testimony. Michelle was fortunate to have piloted the project for the first time, with her father present, in November 2017. Since his passing in February 2018, she carries on telling his story in his honour and memory. Michelle is also a member of the Toronto Board of Weizmann Canada. She is President/CEO of Summerhill Real Estate Group and holds an MBA from Schulich School of Business. Michelle is married to Allan Goldstein and they have two children, Brandon and Jennifer.
Tom Weisz has been actively involved with FSWC for many years. In 2015 he and his wife Sasha along with his daughter and son-in-law Danna and David Horwood joined FSWC’s Compassion to Action mission to Austria, Poland and Israel. Tom currently serves as President and CEO of the Effort Trust Company and President of the Weisz Family Foundation, as well as Chair of the Hamilton Future Fund. Tom supports and volunteers in many worthy charitable and education organizations throughout Hamilton, Canada and Internationally. His other community involvement includes the McMaster Board of Governors, Governor of the Art Gallery of Hamilton, as well as the Jewish National Fund Board. Being a Graduate of Harvard University; Osgoode Hall Law School and McMaster University; he is a member in good standing of the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Founding Partner of a law firm in Hamilton.
Margaret’s Legacy was founded by Danna in
2008, with a modest goal of keeping her grandparent’s Holocaust story
alive and relevant to her children and future generations. It quickly grew
beyond its intended purpose, and took on a life of its own. Danna has
been involved in many humanitarian, entrepreneurial and philanthropic projects
that either Margaret herself was involved in, or that she initiated in her
honor. In that spirit, she constantly reevaluates the direction of
Margaret's Legacy to more effectively fill needs in the community.
She is actively working with organizations and professionals who are committed to changing the narrative and impacting change for our collective future. She has built a team that is constantly researching and developing programs, resources, and ideas that will enhance the mission of Margaret's Legacy.
MODERATOR: Shael Rosenbaum
Shael Rosenbaum is President of Fremont Street Holdings (Great Gulf Group of Companies). Shael is the Immediate Past Chair of the Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre and Past Chair of the Young Adult March of the Living. Shael is a Council Member of the Shoah Foundation at the University of Southern California, Trustee of the Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto and Board Member at the United Jewish Appeal of Greater Toronto. Mr. Rosenbaum is a Founding Partner of the Next Venture Philanthropy Fund, Graduate of the Joshua Institute and recipient of several awards including the 2017 Leadership Development Award. Most recently, Shael was a Co-Producer of the critically acclaimed documentary, "The Accountant of Auschwitz." Shael holds a degree in Biological and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Western Ontario and a degree in Urban Planning with a focus on City Infrastructure. He is the grandson of four Polish Holocaust Survivors and Holocaust Education and Remembrance remains the cornerstone of his philanthropic work.
Topic: Best Practices in Holocaust Education
PANELIST: Larry Henry, DIPM, BBA, BEd, OCT
Larry Henry was born and raised in New Brunswick. He has taught in Manitoba and in Brockville, Ontario for a combined 30 years; 20 years in teaching Law and International Law. Larry has been at Thousand Islands Secondary School for most of his career. He is the past year’s recipient of the Arie van Mansum award from Carleton University in recognition of Holocaust Education. He incorporates Holocaust survivors and International Criminal Tribunal lawyers into the delivery of his lessons. Larry believes in the importance of keeping the message of the Holocaust alive and using the lessons learned in the Holocaust to help in addressing discrimination in today’s global society.
PANELIST: Melanie Carina Schmoll, PhD
Melanie Carina Schmoll, PhD is a Political Scientist and Historian from the University of Hamburg, Germany. Her main research focusses on Israel, specifically security issues and Holocaust education. Melanies book "The Cooperation between Israel and Jordan – a security regime to solve a security conflict?" (German), deals with the peace treaty between Israel and Jordan and the missed opportunities for a peaceful Middle East. Besides her academic work she is also an approved upper secondary teacher. The combination of extensive academic work as a reseacher and lecturer and pratical experience as a high school teacher gives her unique insights. She recently finished a comparative study on Holocaust education in Canada and Germany as well as on Holocaust education in German Jewish schools. Her forthcoming publication is called: "Holocaust Education Curriculum - An interdisciplinary teachers guide for all age groups" (in German, 2019).
PANELIST: Dennis Nash, B.A., M.Sc., OCT
Dennis Nash has been a dedicated teacher for the past 46 years,
working with students at all levels of education from elementary school through
to university. He holds his B.A. in History with a minor in English from
McMaster University and a M.Sc. in Deaf Education from Canisius College in
Buffalo, New York. Dennis’ dedication to Holocaust education is evident
in the many programs and committees that he has been – and continues to be – a
part of, including: the Hamilton Holocaust Education Committee; Undergraduate
and Graduate of Holocaust Studies from Yad Vashem; a presenter at Yad Vashem in
the educator program; March of the Living for Holocaust Educators; and an
educator for Margaret’s Legacy. Dennis was also the first to
teach Holocaust education in Sign Language to the Provincial School for the
Deaf in Milton, Ontario.
PANELIST: Mara Reich, PhD
Mara Reich holds a PhD in Education from York University and is currently a Course Director at the Faculty of Education at York University, School of Translation at Glendon College, and at George Brown College. She has previously taught at the Tanenbaum Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto (CHAT), where she was involved in the organization of several Holocaust Education programs, including moderating a Zikaron BaSalon session. In 2016, Mara was a chaperone for the high school program of the Toronto March of the Living. She is currently a Board member at the Leo Baeck Day School and she volunteers with multiple Toronto Jewish organizations.
MODERATOR: Elena Kingsbury
Elena Kingsbury has been an FSWC Education Associate for the past three years, working with thousands of students through the Tour for Humanity and FSWC’s in-centre workshops. She has an M.A. in History from McGill University and has done graduate research on topics including antisemitism in early 20th century Europe, slavery in the British and Ottoman empires, and the Jewish resistance to Nazism during the Second World War. Elena has also done in-depth research into Indigenous histories in Canada and believes that all Canadians should learn about historical dynamics of power and prejudice that continue to shape our country today.
In recognition of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27th, 2018, Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies hosted the 3rd Annual National Policy Conference on Holocaust Education in Toronto at Novotel North York.
Saturday, January 27, 2018
6:30pm – registration
7:00pm – dinner
7:45pm – school board recognition
8:00pm – Chief Kai Liu, Cobourg Police Service
8:15pm – Holocaust Survivor Max Eisen
9:15pm – closing remarks
Sunday, January 28, 2018
8:00am – registration & breakfast
8:30am – opening remarks from conference co-chairs & honorary chair
9:00am – Holocaust survivor panel Topic: the future of Holocaust education
10:00am – break
10:15am – Liebe Geft – Director, Museum of Tolerance
Topic: the future of Holocaust education from a museum perspective
11:15am – Wendy Lower – Acting Director, Jack, Joseph & Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the USHMM
Topic: Hitler’s Furies and the future of Holocaust education from a research perspective
12:15pm – lunch
1:00pm – Educator panel
Topic: best practices in Holocaust education
2:00pm – The Hon. Irwin Cotler
Topic: the importance of Holocaust education – past, present & future
2:30pm – closing remarks
KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Max Eisen - Author, Public Speaker & Holocaust Survivor
SATURDAY, JANUARY 27TH, 2018
Max Eisen is an author, public speaker and Holocaust survivor. He travels throughout Canada, and overseas, giving talks about his experiences as a concentration camp survivor, to students at all levels of education from elementary school to university, teachers, politicians, law enforcement personnel, and the community at large. In 2016, Eisen had his memoir published in a book titled By Chance Alone: A Remarkable True Story of Courage and Survival at Auschwitz. His memoir was one of 5 finalists in Canada’s prestigious Charles Taylor Prize, sponsored by RBC.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 28TH, 2018
SPEAKER: The Honourable Irwin Cotler, P.C., O.C.
Irwin Cotler is the Chairman of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, an Emeritus Professor of Law at McGill University, former Member of Parliament, former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and an international human rights lawyer. In 2014 he was elected Canadian Parliamentarian of the Year by his colleagues, and recently received the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Inaugural Human Rights Award. In its citation, the Law Society recognized “The Honourable Irwin Cotler’s tireless efforts to ensure peace and justice for all. In his varied roles as law professor, constitutional and comparative law scholar, international human rights lawyer, counsel to prisoners of conscience, public intellectual, peace activist, Member of Parliament, and Minster of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Mr. Cotler has been a leader and role model. Through his advocacy work both in Canada and internationally, he has transformed the lives of many”.
SPEAKER: Liebe Geft - Director, Museum of Tolerance (Los Angeles)
Liebe Geft is the Director of the Museum of Tolerance, which is the educational arm of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an internationally renowned human rights organization dedicated to educating about the Holocaust, confronting antisemitism and bigotry, and promoting tolerance and human dignity for all. Since 1998 she has successfully integrated the Museum’s educational and outreach divisions, including Youth Education, Professional Training, Public Programming, Exhibitions and Special Events. She also contributes to the ongoing development of new exhibits, films and programs that have established the Los Angeles Museum of Tolerance as the preeminent Holocaust educational institution in the Western United States of America and placed it in the vanguard of the changing role of museums as agents of social change.
SPEAKER: Wendy Lower - Acting Director of the Jack, Joseph & Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Wendy Lower has been associated with the USHMM in various roles since 1994 as a historical consultant for special exhibits and a member of the Museum Council’s Academic Committee. For her research on the Holocaust, she has received numerous fellowships and awards. From 2004-2007, Lower held a tenure track professorship at Towson University, MD in the history department. From there, she moved to Munich Germany as a German Research Foundation Fellow at the Ludwig Maximilians Universität in Munich (2007-2012). In Munich, she introduced several courses on the Holocaust, directed an oral history program collecting testimonies of perpetrators and bystanders and successfully co-led an initiative to establish a federally funded German Center for Holocaust studies at the Institute for Contemporary History. She returned to the USA in 2012 to take up the John K. Roth Chair, Professor of History at Claremont McKenna College, and was also named the Director of the Mgrublian Center for Human Rights. Lower is the author of Nazi Empire- Building and the Holocaust in Ukraine (2005), The Diary of Samuel Golfard and the Holocaust in Galicia (2011); and co- editor (with Ray Brandon) of Shoah in Ukraine: History, Testimony, Memorialization (2008). Her book, Hitler's Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields (2013) was a finalist for the National Book Award and has been translated into 23 languages.
PANEL DISCUSSION: BEST PRACTICES IN EDUCATION
MODERATOR: Ian Jones - Retired Principal, Milton District High School
Ian Jones, retired principal of Milton District High School, has been an educator for over 43 years. During this time, the concepts of diversity and tolerance were a constant theme in his career. Ian has led students to numerous Holocaust sites, and has encouraged the study of the Shoah in every discipline in his high school. Through his leadership, the school has written new courses, performed original dramas, and hosted a major conference on Holocaust education. Ian has been the recipient of the Ontario Government’s Newcomers Champion Award, and has received the Halton District School Board Award of Excellence. He was chosen as the town of Milton’s Citizen of the Year, and was named one of 30 educators selected as Canada’s Outstanding Principals. Ian has been nominated by Yad Vashem Canada for the Ontario Government’s Lifetime Achievement Award and is a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. Ian is regularly invited to speak about “One School, One Voice, One World”…the story of Milton District High School. He lives with his wife, Anne, in Campbellville, Ontario.
PANELIST: Jennifer Gerwlivch, English Department Head, York Catholic District School Board
Jennifer Gerwlivch’s journey in Holocaust education began in 2001 through the “Learning from the Past, Teaching for the Future” initiative at York University. This innovative program, which brought teacher candidates from Canada, Germany, and Poland together to explore Holocaust and anti-racism education during a field study in Europe and a symposium in Toronto, inspired Jennifer to bring Holocaust education into her work as a classroom English teacher. Through the York Catholic District School Board’s “The Holocaust in History and Living Memory” summer program, Jennifer has continued her work by developing intermediate and senior English courses based on literature about the Holocaust. In these courses, students read a variety of texts including novels, graphic novels, memoirs, and short works that relate to the places and stories that they encounter during a two week field study in Germany and Poland. Through individual and collaborative learning opportunities, the students contextualize their understanding of the Holocaust through their reading and field study experiences, and bear witness to the stories they have read and heard, and the lessons they have learned.
PANELIST: Bożena Karwowska - Associate Professor, Department of Central, Eastern & Northern European Studies, University of British Columbia
Bożena Karwowska's academic interests include reader response and reception theories, feminist theories and representations of the Holocaust. Among her four monographs and five edited volumes is Body, Sexuality, Concentration Camps (2009), a book devoted to underrepresented aspects of the Holocaust in memoirs and literary accounts. She directed UBC Witnessing Auschwitz (2014-17), an undergraduate intensive research seminar run in cooperation with the Auschwitz Birkenau State Museum and the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw. Essays by students who participated in the seminar are included in The More I Know, The Less I Understand, a book recently published by the Auschwitz Birkenau State Museum. She contributes articles to “Teksty Drugie”, “Canadian Slavonic Papers”, “Ruch Literacki” and “Zagłada Żydów”. She is currently working on various aspects of spatial theories and issues of gender and national memories and their pedagogical values for the Holocaust education.
PANELIST: Michelle Phair - Teacher, Regina Catholic School Division
Throughout her twenty years of teaching, Michelle Phair has been interested in human rights issues, social justice and the role history plays in shaping our identity, particularly concerning the genocides of the 20th century. In order to actively infuse these themes into her curricula, Michelle’s professional development includes the Educator Certificate Programme at the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies, the Moose Jaw Holocaust Education Sharing Day, the National Holodomor Education Conference in Winnipeg, and Treaty Ed Camp at the University of Regina. Her students recently participated in the Holodomor National Awareness Tour bus experience. Primary sources and witness testimony have been essential in creating engaging and relatable learning experiences for her students. Michelle was one of four Saskatchewan teachers from Regina Catholic Schools selected to accompany a group of Ontario students and teachers to Germany and Poland in July 2017 as part of their course: The Holocaust in History and Living Memory. She is part of a team of educators working to develop a Saskatchewan course of study that would offer students a similar opportunity to become witnesses through the integration of Holocaust Education and Social Justice.
PANELIST: Ayesha Shaikh -Learning Leader for High School Success & Social Studies, Dr. E.P. Scarlett High School, Calgary Board of Education
Ayesha Shaikh has been teaching Social Studies for 31 years and was part of the Social Studies curriculum redesign from 2002 – 2006 with Alberta Education. As a member of the high school writing group she worked extensively with key stakeholders to create an issue based curriculum which challenges students to critically think about atrocities of the past and present. As a participant of the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies' Compassion2Action Holocaust Education Tour, she continues to share the message of tolerance and anti-Semitism with students and adults alike.
PANEL DISCUSSION: FUTURE OF HOLOCAUST EDUCATION
MODERATOR: Shael Rosenbaum - Chairman, Sarah & Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre (Toronto)
Shael Rosenbaum is Principal and President of Fremont Street Holdings, a private commercial and residential real estate holdings company. Shael is Chairman of the Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre in Toronto, a member of the Next Generation Council of the Shoah Foundation at the University of Southern California, Past Chair of the Canadian Young Adult March of the Living and Founding Partner of the Next Venture Philanthropy Fund. He is the recipient of various awards including the 2016 UJA Leadership Development Award. Recently, Shael Graduated from The Joshua Institute and is a Producer of Several Documentary Films. He obtained a degree in Biological and Cultural Anthropology from Western University. Shael also earned a degree on Urban Planning with a specialization in City Infrastructure. Shael is the grandson of four Polish Holocaust Survivors and both his parents were born in Displaced Persons centres in Europe following the Shoah. Holocaust Education and Remembrance plays a significant role in his life and continues to be the cornerstone of his philanthropic work.
PANELIST: Max Eisen - Holocaust Survivor
Max was born in Moldava, Czechoslovakia in 1929 to a large Orthodox Jewish family. After the Nazi occupation of Hungary in 1944, Max was deported alongside his immediate family to Auschwitz-Birkenau. His mother, two younger brothers and sister were murdered almost immediately upon their arrival at Auschwitz-Birkenau Death Camp in May of 1944. Max, with his father and uncle were selected out for work detail and sent to Auschwitz I. Max survived life as a slave labourer in Auschwitz alone, as his father and uncle were selected out for medical experimentation shortly after their arrival. In January of 1945 Max was forced to participate in the infamous death march across Europe where thousands died from exposure to severe weather conditions and malnutrition. Max passed through Mauthausen, Melk and was eventually liberated in Ebensee on May 6, 1945. In 1949, Max was allowed entry into Canada as a displaced person. He arrived in Toronto in October 1949 and had a successful career in business. After a court case in Toronto in 1985 involving a Holocaust denier Max felt compelled to get involved with the Holocaust Education Centre in Toronto as a speaker/educator. Max has been a witness at two war crimes trials and he speaks to thousands of individuals each year about his survival during the Holocaust and the importance of being vigilant in the face of hate.
PANELIST: Bill Glied - Holocaust Survivor
Bill Glied was born in Subotica, in the former Yugoslavia, now Serbia. The entire Glied family had been involved in the flour mill business since the 1700s; Bill's father, Alexander, ran the local flour mill in Subotica. In 1941, when Germany invaded and ceded the territory to Fascist Hungary, the mill was confiscated, and all Jews were forced to wear the yellow star; but the young boy was more interested in soccer than war. All that changed in 1944 when Germany occupied Hungary. In March of 1944, Bill, his parents and sister, along with the rest of the town’s 4000 Jews were deported in cattle cars to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Separated immediately upon arrival, he was never to see his mother and sister again. His father died a day before their liberation from Dachau Concentration Camp where they were sent 20 days after their arrival in Auschwitz. Bill became a successful businessman in Canada and cherishes his new home country. He has been a witness in two war crimes trials. Bill was among the founders of the Holocaust Centre in Toronto and has been actively sharing his testimony with Canadian groups of all ages since 1998, and participating on March of the Living since 2006; he conveys an important message of hope and personal responsibility.
PANELIST: Susan Pasternak - Holocaust Survivor
Susan Pasternak was 7 months old when the war broke out in Poland in September of 1939. Her parent’s names were Mordechai and Sarah Friedman and Susan was their first and only child. Susan was fortunate enough to never see an extermination camp as her birth mother arranged for a Polish woman to hide the family, though not before her father was killed in the ghetto. Susan and her mother managed to sneak out of the ghetto and arrive at a Polish woman’s apartment where they lived for three and a half years, under a table. The table was covered with a black cloth that covered the entire table and went all the way to the floor so that they could not be seen by anybody. After those three and a half years, Susan’s mother wrote to her sister, Rosa Weinstein, who lived in Canada. Rosa arranged for passage to come to Canada. However, before departing, Susan's mother had a heart attack and died. Susan was sent to an orphanage in France, and from there to Germany, where she stayed for two years. Meanwhile, Rosa had enlisted help from the international Red Cross to find out what happened. In May 1947, two years after the war had ended, Rosa and Susan were re-connected; Susan then went from England to Halifax. Susan was one of the first children to cross the Atlantic after the war ended.
PANELIST: Stefania Sitbon - Holocaust Survivor
Stefania Sitbon was born in Warsaw, Poland in February 1939. Stefania and her family were confined to the Warsaw Ghetto where her father joined the resistance. Stefania's mother took whatever measures necessary to find food for Stefania and her brother, including smuggling out of the ghetto at night - which was at tremendous risk to her life. Before the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, Stefania, her brother and mother were moved to the Warsaw Zoo and were hidden by zoo owners, Jan and Antonia Zabinsky for two months. The story of the Zabinskys was recently told in the major motion picture, The Zookeeper's Wife. Stefania and her family were separated into different hiding places upon departure from the Warsaw Zoo; they were re-united after the war. While life was not easy following the war - Stefania's father died in 1948, all of her extended family was murdered in the Holocaust, everything was gone - Stefania looks back on the strength of her mother fondly: "She is the most incredible person I have ever known and she is the angel of my life."