At Temple Israel, survivor Ina Soep Polak describes the unique circumstances that kept her alive during the Holocaust.
Special To The Jewish Week
Ina Soep Polak couldn’t believe it when she arrived at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in May 1944 and an acquaintance told her about the horrid conditions there. Although she had heard of the infamous camp during her time at the Dutch deportation camp Westerbork, this was the first she and her family heard a firsthand account about conditions so horrible that the average inmate’s life expectancy was said to be nine months.
Polak, now 89, recalled her extraordinary survival story during a recent program at Temple Israel of Great Neck, L.I.
Posing as a member of the Gestapo, Kew Gardens resident Fred Friedman rescued several dozen Jews in wartime and post-war Hungary.
Slovakian-born Holocaust survivor Fred Friedman, who has lived in the same corner house in the Kew Gardens neighborhood of Queens for 46 years, will turn 90 on Monday, a few days before Yom HaShoah. And if this landmark birthday is like past ones, the mazel tov calls Friedman receives will include a special group of well-wishers: fellow survivors who were saved by Friedman from the Nazi genocide.
Holocaust survivor and author Marion Blumenthal Lazan spent a few hours in her Long Island home sitting for a portrait by New York photographer Gary Rabenko one recent morning. The author of a 1999 memoir, “Four Perfect Pebbles” (Greenwillow Books) and the subject of a 2001 documentary, “Marion’s Triumph,” Lazan is often in front of a camera.
But the purpose of her latest photo session was unusual: her portrait is to be mounted this month in the front lobby of a high school named for her last year in her German hometown.
Samuel Feldman, a Holocaust survivor who became a leader in several remembrance and Zionist causes in the New York area, died of congestive heart failure on Feb. 27 at his home in Hallendale, Fla. He was 91.
Mr. Feldman was founder and longtime president of Radomer Mutual Cultural Society, an organization of Polish natives, which under his leadership raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the United Jewish Appeal and donated four ambulances to Israel through Magen David Adom.
Despite doubling of home care money from Germany, needs going unmet in Broward, other counties.
Margate, Fla. — At the age of 87, Molly Gruda spends much of her day sitting in a reclining chair in her den and using a wheelchair to get around. Her primary caregiver is her husband, Sam. He’s 96.
Because she is a Holocaust survivor, Gruda is eligible for German government money, administered through the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, to provide her with a home attendant during the day for 25 hours each week. Her husband is not a survivor and thus not entitled to such help.
Faye Lazebnik Schulman lived a quiet life with her family in the small town of Lenin on the border of Russia and Poland until 1941, when the Nazi invasion changed her life forever. Her experience in the family photography business served her well when, at 16, she joined a group of Russian partisans and became a chronicler of history. A display of her work is at Columbia-Barnard Hillel through Tuesday, April 28, and she will lead a personal tour to benefit the Jewish Partisans Educational Foundation on Thursday, April 30 at Astor Center Gallery in Manhattan (email@example.com).
When Shalom Yoran, his brother and three other Jewish youths spent two weeks carving a hidden shelter into the frozen ground in 1942 Poland, they never could have imagined "re-creating" it more than 60 years later in cyberspace.
"I couldn't even imagine that I would survive," says Yoran, now 80 and living in Great Neck, L.I.
Anger, disbelief and astonishment are among the reactions of a group of Holocaust survivors who recently screened “Forgiving Dr. Mengele,” the documentary about Eva Kor’s decision to forgive the Nazis.
“I can’t forgive and forget,” says Celia Feldman, who was sent to Auschwitz in 1944. “And I thank God I’m not a twin.”