Our father, Ephraim (Frank) Farkas, was born in Czechoslovakia in a village called Horincova on 1st October 1929. He was born into a large family of 5 brothers and 3 sisters who lived a religious Jewish life. We were told many stories of how his parents always had a full table of guests on a Friday night, many times inviting people less fortunate than themselves to come and enjoy a Shabbat meal, even though they themselves were not so privileged.
When the Second World War broke out, the family was set to work by the German invaders building new roads. Some of Ephraim’s siblings escaped to fight with the partisans, but in 1943 Ephraim and his father were taken away to Theresienstadt and subsequently to Auschwitz. Unfortunately, by the time the Russians liberated Auschwitz, only Ephraim and three other siblings had survived the horrors of the camps. When he was liberated he was very ill with TB and was sent to Budapest, to UNWRA, for treatment. There, he met up with his surviving siblings. From there he was sent to England and joined the group known as “The Boys”. He learnt English and a trade making spectacles and polishing diamonds. He married Carol Miller and had two children. Eventually, Frank formed a partnership with Benny Newton, another of “The Boys” and together they opened the first Jewish Nursing Homes in London. Coincidentally, when he returned years later to visit Horincova, he discovered that his former house had been turned into a Nursing Home!
Our father was a very sociable and likeable individual, who loved life with his family and was passionate about meeting “The Boys” for their weekly game of cards. As children we knew nothing of what he had endured, as he was never able to talk freely about it. He was always content and never bitter or resentful of his horrific past. He lived a fruitful life and unfortunately passed away too early, in 1996. Our patchwork tree is a simple, colourful representation of the birth and growth of our family. The tree trunk represents our parents intertwined, while the leaves symbolize their children, Hellen and Alan, and their six grandchildren, Shai, Ben, Emily, Katya, Violet and Jack.