Tag: Poland

Holocaust survivor sees photo of family for first time

From the Canadian Jewish News, October 2013 Some 70 years after he last saw his father, mother, brothers and sisters alive, a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto and Bergen Belsen concentration camp was recently given a photograph of his family for the first time. “When I received this photo, I said, ‘This is better than…

The sculptor Glicenstein and other Glicenstein ‘cousins’

Born as Tsvi Hirsh Glicenstein in Konin Poland about 1872, my great-grandfather came to London as a youth, married, then brought his family to New York in 1909, and to Toronto in 1913. His tombstone (1955) memorializes Harris Glickstein, the anglicized name he used most of his life. My late grandfather Ralph Gladstone further altered…

Rokitno Reunion: five who survived hidden in forest

Five people who survived the Holocaust in a makeshift shelter in a Ukrainian forest were reunited recently in Toronto for the first time since their liberation by the Russians in April 1944. The five are the only remaining survivors of an original group of ten women and children from Rokitno, a town in the Volhynian…

Lawyer’s roots are a real pickle

Longtime friends of commercial and real estate lawyer Sam Moskowitz refer to him affectionately as “the son of the pickle man.” If you ask him what pickles and law have in common, he will tell you “everything.” His fond memories of his parents’ store at 186 Baldwin St., filled with barrels of pickles, herring, tomatoes,…

Canadian Parliament Hears of Polish Atrocities (1919)

From the Canadian Jewish Chronicle, September 19, 1919 ◊ Note: “In 1919, Russian Jews were caught in the middle of a civil war, and became the victims of warring Red and White Russian, Ukrainian and Polish forces, among others. Thousands of pogroms resulted in the loss of an estimated 100,000 Jewish lives. Polish troops, Petlura’s soldiers,…

Toronto shul exhibits photos of Polish shtetl

From the Canadian Jewish News, October 3, 2012 TORONTO — A series of old historic photographs from the Polish shtetl of Staszow has been quietly wowing visitors since being installed in the Stashover-Slipia Synagogue on Sultana Avenue in Toronto. The photographs are to remain on permanent display in the shul’s lobby. “Everyone notices them when they…

Book review: The Dentist of Auschwitz

From The Canadian Jewish News, 2001 SS commander Otto Moll had a tooth-ache, and so visited the dentist of Auschwitz, a Jewish inmate from Dobra, Poland named Berek Jakubowicz. Settling into the chair, the pulled out his revolver and pointed it at the emaciated attendant. “Don’t try anything stupid, dentist,” he warned. “Herr Hauptscharfuhrer,” the…

Medical condition leads to genealogy breakthrough

Stanley Diamond, a semi-retired Montreal businessman who ran a company that manufactured decorated ceilings, has become a medical-genealogical detective in a bid to defuse what he calls a “ticking time bomb” and prevent potential suffering and death caused by thalassemia, a genetic disease. Common among Sephardic Jews, Greeks, Italians and other Mediterranean peoples, the gene…

On the Warsaw Ghetto

In the decades before the Holocaust, the Jews of Warsaw believed that they were on the eve of a great positive transformation, according to an Israeli professor of Jewish history who took part in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. The Jews of Warsaw were poor, often living in one-room flats where lively discussions of religion, politics…

Restoring Jewish heritage sites with Sam Gruber

The first time Sam Gruber stepped inside the Tempel Synagogue in Krakow, Poland, he was “incredibly moved” by what he saw. Considered the lone surviving example of the great 19th-century synagogues of Poland, the sumptuously decorated Moorish-Gothic structure had been built as a Reform synagogue in 1862. It had been enlarged in 1892 and again…