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

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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
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Dr. Ephraim Kaye of Yad Vashem Visited Hong Kong

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We were honoured that Dr. Ephraim Kaye, of the International School of Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, visited Hong Kong on Friday 20th of May.

Accompanied by HKHTC Director of Education, Dr. Kaye visited Discovery College and Discovery Bay International Schools to discuss Holocaust history and Holocaust denial.

Summer Workshop with Dr David Silberklang – June 1 at HKU

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On June 1st, HKHTC hosted Dr David Silberklang (Senior Historian, Yad Vashem’s International Institute for Holocaust Research) at Hong Kong University for its last teachers’ workshop of the 2014-2015 academic year.

Dr Silberklang’s talk was entitled: “When Did They Decide? Understanding and Teaching the Development of the Final Solution”. In addressing this question, Dr Silberklang referred to German documents and Jewish reports and suggested approaches to broaching the subject with students.

Jackie Metzger, Instructor at Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies, Returns to Hong Kong

2017-01-18T14:58:48+08:00Tags: , , |

On his second visit to Hong Kong, Holocaust educator Jackie Metzger, of Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies, addressed both secondary school students and teachers on themes relevant to Holocaust poetry.

Jackie Metzger made aliyah from South Africa in 1965 and has been living on a communal moshav, Neve-Ilan, since 1978. For 24 years, he worked as a History and English teacher in the kibbutz school sector and for the past several years he has been working at Yad Vashem in two departments. He works with adult and youth groups who visit the site and writes materials to help teachers with Holocaust studies in their schools.

Here’s Jackie discussing Primo Lev’s poem, “Shema”.

School Holocaust Exhibition

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During January we were delighted to lend Po Ling College, a Band 1 English Medium local school, a copy of an excellent Holocaust exhibition created by the Cape Town Holocaust Centre.

It is an excellent example of collaboration and project work that we undertake with local schools in order to widen our reach in Holocaust education.

The school were also fortunate to host Olga Horak during her visit to Hong Kong.

December 2nd and 3rd 2013

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School speaker tour – Jackie Metzger

For two days we had the pleasure to host Jackie Metzger from Yad Vashem.

Jackie has 25 years of teaching experience and currently works at Yad Vashem, teaching visiting groups, guiding them through Yad Vashem as well as writing educational material on the website  –  teaching about the Holocaust through literature. 

Jackie visited 5 different schools and taught 8 classes totalling over 400 students who heard him over the two day period.