About Ida Goldis

2019-01-14T10:23:55+08:00Tags: , , |

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Ida Goldiş wrote her last letter to her older sister Clara, on the eve of her deportation from the Kishinev ghetto to Transnistria.

In October 1941, Ida Goldiş née Bidus was deported from the Kishinev ghetto to Transnistria, together with her little son Vili and her younger sister Doba. Her husband, Yosef, was in a Romanian army labor battalion.

Ida, Vili and Doba were forced to make the arduous journey on foot together with the rest of the deportees from the ghetto.  Ida and Doba took turns carrying Vili on their backs, using a special harness that they had sewn for him.  In early 1942, the young child froze to death in the bitter cold, and his mother, who had lost the will to live, perished a few days later after drinking contaminated water.  Ida was 24 when she perished, and Vili was just three years old.

Ida had managed to smuggle the letter out of the ghetto via a non-Jewish messenger who worked with Doba in the bakery. The letter was given to Clara, who had remained in Romania. Clara and Doba (later Schwarz) survived.  They immigrated to Israel, and kept the letter. In 1979, Doba Schwarz submitted Pages of Testimony in memory of her sister Ida and her nephew Vili. Yosef also survived and immigrated to Israel.

The letter, written in Romanian, was donated to Yad Vashem by Doba’s daughter, Yehudit Shelly, who worked in the Yad Vashem Archives.

* Photo above of Ida Goldis from the Yad Vashem Archive

HKHTC-Logo Yad Vashem-logo

About Fanya Barbakow

2019-01-14T10:13:48+08:00Tags: , , |

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Fanya Barbakow wrote her letter from a bunker in Druja, to her sister Chaya and her brother Manos.Fanya Barbakow was born in 1923 in Druja, Poland (today Belarus).  Her parents Ze’ev-Velvel and Zisale had two boys and five girls: Chaim, Manos, Sonia, Bluma, Chaya, Fanya and Sima.  Ze’ev owned a flour mill, providing a good living for his family.

Fanya attended the local Polish schools, and in the 1940/41 academic year, while under Soviet rule, she was scheduled to complete her studies at the Russian high school.

The Barbakow family was incarcerated in the Druja ghetto together with all the town’s Jews.  Fanya’s sister Chaya Kagan (Barbakow) recalls:

“In the ghetto, Fanya walked with her head held high, filled with an inner confidence.  She encouraged the family and her contemporaries to present a proud Jewish front to the Germans. Fanya would often sing a song in Russian, expressing opposition to the Germans”.

In the Barbakows’ garden was a cellar used to store ice in the summer. The bunker where the family hid was dug out under the cellar. The hiding place was discovered during the liquidation of the ghetto in the summer of 1942, and all the people hiding inside were murdered.

The letter was written by Fanya over several days on a piece of paper in the bunker. On the reverse side, she added a few words in Yiddish, which were presumably written shortly before their hiding place was discovered.  Miron Vassiliav, a Christian friend of the family, found the letter and gave it to Fanya’s nephew, Zusia Berkman, after the war.  Zusia survived hiding in the home of a Christian farmer and later living with his father in the forests with the partisans. Fanya’s sister Chaya, who had been studying in Vilna, escaped to the Soviet Union when the Germans occupied Vilna, and survived.  Her brother Manos was evacuated to Siberia by the Soviets together with his wife, survived, and lived in the Soviet Union until his death in the 1970s.  Her brother Chaim managed to leave Druja and immigrate to Argentina before the war.

In 1979, Zusia Berkman submitted Pages of Testimony in memory of his family members murdered in the Holocaust: His mother Sonia Berkman (Barbakow), his sisters Rasia and Zeldaleh, his grandfather Ze’ev, his grandmother Zisale, and his aunts, Bluma Kruman (Barbakow), Fanya and Sima. After Chaya’s death, her children found a bundle of letters, including Fanya’s last letter, wrapped in cloth inside her wardrobe.  In 2007, Chaya’s children, Etta Feldman and Ze’ev Kagan, donated Fanya’s letter to Yad Vashem to be preserved for perpetuity.

* Photo above Young Jewish girls in Druja from the Yad Vashem Archive
HKHTC-Logo Yad Vashem-logo

Translating The Holocaust – A Planned Symposium

2017-10-21T09:31:38+08:00Tags: , , |

We are planning an important symposium alongside Macau University on how to translate the word ‘Holocaust’, and other relevant terms, into Chinese.

There is to date no uniform and official translation of this word and it is essential to have a unified translation that adequately reflects the meaning behind the word.

As Holocaust education expands into China, it is important that Holocaust and Jewish educators have a fitting translation that can be promoted amongst scholars, educators and officials in China so that this relatively new translation can be absorbed into mainstream Putonghua / Mandarin.

March Of The Living – Adult Trip To Poland

2019-10-24T12:26:19+08:00Tags: , , |

The March of the Living is an international, educational program that brings people from all over the world to Poland on Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, to march from Auschwitz to Birkenau, the largest concentration camp complex built during World War II.

Join us: April 17 – April 22 2020

Some insight into the journey by two participants:

  • 2017 March: click here to view a PDF of this participant’s beautiful images and written thoughts from his journey. (written in Chinese)
  • 2016 March:  click here to visit a participant’s blog and share her images and unforgettable experience on this momentous trip. (written in Chinese)

HKHTC’s Fellowship Trip to Poland

2017-11-07T21:55:38+08:00Tags: , , |

We are delighted to announce the launch of the Fellowship; a series of five emotionally and intellectually challenging workshops which will culminate in participating students from Hong Kong travelling to Poland to visit sites related to the Holocaust. Amongst other places they will visit the Ghettos of Lodz, Warsaw & Krakow and three death camps; Chelmno, Treblinka, Auschwtiz & Auschwitz-Birekenau.

The Fellowship is a once in a life time opportunity to learn about the Holocaust on a much deeper level. It will begin in January each year and the trip to Poland is usually scheduled to take place between March and October.

For more information on The Fellowship, please do not hesitate to contact our office at info@hkhtc.org.

HKHTC Teacher Training Workshops

2018-04-19T18:24:54+08:00Tags: , , |

HKHTC is pleased to offer teacher training workshops on how to teach the Holocaust.

  • How do we teach and incorporate the stories of the victims, perpetrators and bystanders?
  • Where do we begin?
  • How do we teach the Holocaust in an age-appropriate manner
  • What is the importance of inter-disciplinary materials?

During these sessions, we will be going over the pedagogical approach and lesson plans. The workshops are offered in English, Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese to teachers in Hong Kong’s local and international schools.

If you are interested in taking part in these teacher training sessions, please do not hesitate to contact our office at info@hkhtc.org

Holocaust Workshops at Nord Anglia International School

2017-06-29T22:33:01+08:00Tags: , |

On June 22, Director of Education Simon Li was invited by Nord Anglia International School to deliver two workshops on the Holocaust towards all Year 9 students. The workshops examined the Holocaust through its victims, perpetrators and bystanders. The sessions also shed light on the rescuers in the Holocaust, while sharing with students how one person can make a difference and have a substantive impact on the lives of many.

Director of Education Simon Li to Serve as Anne Frank House’s Visiting Educator

2017-06-29T15:37:02+08:00Tags: , , |

HKHTC continues to broaden its reach. HKHTC Director of Education Simon Li has served as a visiting educator at the Anne Frank House in
Amsterdam this spring. During his academic visit, Mr Li and the in-house educators at the Anne Frank House have been exchanging
scholarly ideas related to approaches to teaching Anne Frank’s diary in Asia and the pedagogy of Holocaust education.

“Since the days when I was a senior lecturer in academia, I’ve strived to teach tolerance and mutual respect through the inspiring story of
Anne Frank,” Mr Li said. “I find this opportunity to share ideas about an important topic I’ve taught in East Asia for my entire academic
life truly exciting.” An award-winning former journalist from Toronto, Mr Li served as the Head of General Education at a tertiary institute
in Hong Kong before being appointed by HKHTC as its Director of Education in 2016. Anne Frank House is a writer’s house and
biographical museum dedicated to Jewish wartime diarist Anne Frank.

Holocaust Survivor Henry Friedman Spoke at Local Schools in Hong Kong

2017-06-26T12:27:32+08:00Tags: , , , |

In May 2017, the HKHTC arranged for Holocaust survivor Mr Henry Friedman to address the local schools in Hong Kong. Accompanied by HKHTC Director of Education Simon Li, the 89-year-old Polish survivor spoke about how he lived through an incredible journey that saw his early life nearly destroyed by the Holocaust. Surviving with the help of two Ukrainian families in Poland, his family hid in a tiny space the size of a queen-size bed for 18 months. The courage of Henry’s saviours– and so many others like them– offers many of our local Hong Kong students critical lessons and stories that should inspire us to live better and treat all people with dignity. Mr Friedman’s message was “One person CAN make a difference.”

Holocaust Survivor Micha Gelber Met with Director of Education Simon Li at Rotterdam’s Memorial for Jewish Children

2017-06-28T10:44:19+08:00Tags: , , |

The Joods Kindermonument is a children memorial site in Rotterdam which commemorates the deaths of 686 Jewish children who were killed by the Nazis. In Spring 2017, Director of Education Simon Li (Visiting Educator, Anne Frank House) visited the Joods Kindermonument and paid tribute to the children victims who ranged from only a few months to 12 years old. Most of them did not survive the war.

Holocaust survivor Micha Gelber, who was HKHTC’s in-house guest this January, was one of the key leaders behind this project to build a monument to commemorate these children. This monument also includes an artwork with the names of the 686 Jewish children who perished and indicates which concentration camp they were sent to.