Kopel Dessau


My Dad’s square is made from one of the cowboy shirts he would wear daily until he passed away, aged 76. It echoes his colourful character and his love of bling, roulette and cards.

A survivor of many concentration camps (Buchenwald, Germany; Mauthausen, Austria; Mittelbau-Dora, Germany; Auschwitz, Poland; Tschenstochau, Poland; Bergen-Belsen, Germany), he and his contemporaries refer to themselves individually as ‘Survivors’ and as a group, they refer to themselves as ‘The Boys’.

He would rarely talk to me about the brutality and harshness he encountered but two examples he recalled were being hit in the head with a soldier’s rifle butt and losing the sight of one eye. More shockingly he also encountered kindness from a German soldier who helped him evade the gas chamber.

Dad said: “You can forgive – but you cannot forget.” He could not forget. In his last few years he kept his car even though he could no longer drive. It gave him comfort to know, if necessary, he had a means of escaping. In the late 80s we visited the ghetto where he lived in Piotrokov, Poland.

Dad told me about his ‘adventures’ going out after curfew and dodging German guards; for a bag of sugar. We visited Auschwitz and while standing in the courtyard he pointed to a brick wall and told how he saw Jews lined up and shot.

In 1945, Dad’s story moves to England, where he arrived at Windermere in a military plane with no seats. He changed his name from Kopel to Max on the suggestion from his cousin who thought there would be a better chance with the ladies with a British name. Dad took British citizenship in 1956. He started his own business in manufacturing clothing for retailers like Marks and Spencer.

This year, 2015, marks 70 years since these atrocities came to an end – or did they? Read the news: are there any references to one group trying to dominate others? How tolerant are you of people from different religions or culture? How tolerant are you of people not like you?

Gary Dessau

Dovid Denderowicz

tbmq-098This square was made by the family of the late Dovid Denderowicz, a young boy from Leopoldow, Poland. He was separated from his family and suffered the war years in various labour and death camps, but miraculously survived and was brought to England where he married and settled in Gateshead. None of his parents or 12 siblings survived.

The two flames contain the names of his father Aron, and his father’s brother Michoel, and is in memory of these 2 families who all perished, except the young Dovid who built up a family of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, who are the lasting legacy of these 2 families.

Miriam Denderowicz

Abe Dichter


My father Abraham Dichter, known as Abe, was born on March 27th 1930 in the small Polish village of Hrubieszów, close to Lublin. He was the sole survivor of his whole family. He spoke very little of his camp experiences,

he once referred to the camps where he had been imprisoned as “all the five star” camps: Budzin, Majdanek, Auschwitz, Mauthausen and Theresienstadt. Liberation came on May 8th 1945. My father never removed the number that was tattooed on his arm in Auschwitz: A-18446. It served as a testimony of human barbarity in a world that began to question the authenticity of such horror. At the age of 15, my father came to Britain to begin his life. He received an education, a profession in engineering, forged life-long friendships and began to collect some good memories. He never asked “why was I chosen to suffer?” only, “why was I chosen to survive?” Abe is buried in Tel Regev near Haifa, Israel, close to where his wife, children and grandchildren live. His gravestone includes a memorial plaque for his parents, Sheindal and Moshe Bear and brothers Dovid and Baruch whose fates were unknown.The flags, made from ribbons and lace, represent the United Kingdom and the State of Israel, both of which were his home. The ribbons, lace and threads are leftover materials from the wholesale haberdashery shop H. Suskin Textiles Ltd. in London’s East End which he jointly owned together with two other Boys, Harry Suskin and Lipa Tepper, in a partnership that lasted 40 years. The red button flowers represent my father’s favourite flowers, red geraniums and stand for his nine Israeli grandchildren, all born in his lifetime. The square buttons represent his children, Mark and Ruth and the central patterned flower is Floris, wife, friend and support for 46 years of marriage. The words are the lasting legacies that Abe has left his family: honest, fair and charitable.

Ruth Berman

Samuel Dresner


My father Samuel Dresner was probably born on January 2nd 1928. As all of his papers were destroyed, his birth date is one that he thinks is accurate, but he is not 100% sure of either the day or even the year.

He was born in Warsaw, Poland. During the war he lived in the Warsaw ghetto and was then taken to various camps, including Buchenwald and Theresienstadt – from which he was liberated by the Russians in 1945.

He arrived in England in August 1945, and initially stayed in a sanatorium in Windermere. It was in Windermere that he painted his first picture, which won him a prize and sparked his interest in art. He went on to study art at the Byam Shaw School in London and at the Andre Lhote academy in Paris. Today he lives in North London and is still working as an artist.

The square that I have made includes some of his etchings, which I have collaged and burnt – this is a reference to some of my father’s artwork.I have also included a photograph – with the faces erased, this is because one of the things that upsets my father is that he has no photographs of his family – all of whom were murdered in the Holocaust. There is a map of Warsaw, representing his home town and in the bottom right corner, I have made a monoprint portrait of my father, emerging out of a doorway and holding an empty frame.

Johanna Dresner

Bernard Dreihorn


Berek (Bernard) was born in Poland and passed away in Middlesex in February 1994. During WW2, he spent time incarcerated in the Lodz ghetto and came to England after the war, enabled by the fact that he had an aunt who was already living here.

He received his naturalisation papers in 1955, and was known as Bernard. Initially living in Manchester, he then moved down to London, where he stayed in accommodation in Finsbury Park together with a group of around nine ‘Boys,’ including Harry Spiro and Jack Kagan. During this period, he set up a handbag manufacturing business. He married Ruby, although they did not have any children. After Bernard’s death, Ruby married another survivor, Moric Friedman.

Bernard, like many survivors, accompanied groups back to Poland, and the Memory Quilt depicts a poignant moment when a young man was in conversation with him while they were walking in Auschwitz.He asked to see the tattoo and Bernard rolled up his sleeve so that this young man could take a photograph of the number on his arm. This was such an intense moment, captured in the very death camp where the number had first been seared into his skin. Bernard passed away the year following this emotional trip to native homeland.

Frances Kahan

Menek & Gela Drucker


Our father Menek Drucker was born on 13th February 1916 in Rzeszow, Poland. In September 1940 he was taken to Pustkow, originally a German Labour camp which became a concentration camp. In June 1944 he was taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Our mother Gela Rajchman was born on 30th September 1916 Pacanow, Poland. In 1939 She was taken to the Tarnow ghetto. In 1942 she was sent to Plaszow concentration camp, then in 1944 to Czestocova.

On being liberated at the end of the war, Gela and Menek met en route whilst making their way back to their home town of Tarnow – they had known each other before the war. They married in June 1945 in Tarnow, having to borrow clothes for the occasion.

Having both lost nearly all their families, they clung to the hope that they would find Gela’s brother who had come to England in 1938. After two long years of bureaucracy and heartache they were successful and arrived in London one cold day in February 1948,together with their 20 month old daughter.

Our square which shows their smiling faces is evidence that, in spite of the horrors they had undergone, they succeeded in creating a happy, secure and loving home for their daughter Rosalind and son Henry. Menek lived to the age of 93 and Gela to the age of 98, that says it all… true survivors!

Rosalind Wilton

Frank Farkas


Ephraim Farkas was born in Czechoslovakia in a small village called Horincova on 1st October 1929. His family consisted of his parents, Eliahu and Chana and three other children, Faiga, Aaron, and Josko.

In 1943 they were all taken to work, building new roads until Frank and his father were taken to Theresienstadt and after that to Auschwitz where they met the rest of his brothers who had fled to join the underground. He lost his parents and 2 siblings during that time and when he was finally liberated he chose to come to England under British auspices with The Boys. He was eventually taught the language and a trade. He married Carol and together they built a wonderful family with two children, Helen and Alan and had a lovely life together, until unfortunately passing away at an early age in 1986.

Our patchwork tree is a very simple representation of the birth and growth of our families. The tree trunk represents the growth of each of our parents intertwined.
The leaves represent each member of our family: me and my three children Shai, Ben and Emily and my brother Alan and his three children, Katya, Violet and Jack.

It is simple and colourful and I think it’s a good representation of our lives.

Helen Agami and Alan Farkas

Benek Englard

tbmq-096 I was born on 7th of August 1928 in Krakow, Poland. After the Germans invaded Poland, we continued to live in Krakow and later I was sent by my mother to a friend in Czestochowa. There, in mid 1943, we were confined to Hasag Pelcery a working camp where I worked until the Russians approached in Jan 1945. I was then taken to Buchenwald and as the Americans approached in April 1945, I was taken to Theresienstadt. The Russian army liberated Theresienstadt on 9th May 1945. Three months after liberation I was brought to England. We were a group of 300, and stayed in Windermere for 3 months. Then 30 of us were transferred to Ascot for about one year. From Ascot I travelled to London to attend the ORT School. At the end of a year in Ascot we were dispersed, myself with Hesiek Mlynarski (Zvi Dagan) and Herman Rosenblat went to live with a family in London. I continued my studies at the Ort School. After four years in England, Hesiek Mlynarski and I emigrated to Israel where I had family: a grandmother and an uncle. My immediate family: mother, father and my younger sister, all perished. The square shows me six months after liberation and also my present family: myself with my wife Yaffa (also a survivor), two daughters Anat and Nina, their husbands Shlomo and Gil and five grand children: Inbal with her husband Kfir and Ofir, Barak, Noy and May. This is to show that ‘Am Israel’ is still alive and kicking.

Benek Englard

Stanley Faull


Stanley (Salek Falinower) was born in Warsaw, Poland on 29th October 1929, to a loving, middle class family who owned a metal foundry. He was not quite ten when war broke out and the family were crowded into the Warsaw ghetto, living in squalid conditions until the Warsaw uprising in 1943. His sister Henia left to join the Resistance and was never heard from again. His father Naftali was killed in a bunker in the ghetto. After the uprising was brutally suppressed, he and his mother Rachel were taken to Majdanek concentration camp, where his mother was murdered in the gas chambers and he worked as a slave labourer.

The top part of the panel is evocative of the Holocaust. The dark and foreboding sky epitomises the dreadful times of his early life, first in the Warsaw ghetto and then in various concentration camps, before his liberation from Theresienstadt on May 5th 1945. The clouds represent his parents and sister who were murdered in the Holocaust. The spare cloud symbolically represents the 6 million, including 1.5 million children, who also perished in the Holocaust.

The bottom half of the panel shows the other half of Stanley’s life. Like him, it is colourful and full of joy, with the rainbow colouring showing renewal, hope and in Noah’s time, a sign of God’s covenant to never destroy all life on earth.

The tree is a sign of Stanley starting his own family with three sons and four grandchildren, all of whom he was immensely proud. The Faull name, which he and his brother Gerald started, lives on as a permanent reminder of “Triumph over Adversity.” Stanley died in Hove, England on 11th May 2014.

Steven Faull

Chaim Ferster


Dad was born on July 18th 1922 in Sosnowiec, Poland. He was the only son; he had 3 sisters, 2 of whom were married with children. His younger sister Manya and Dad are the only survivors of a large extended family.From March 1943, he went through 7 concentration camps, where he experienced hell on earth. In Graditz he contracted typhus and by some miracle survived. In September 1944 he arrived in Auschwitz, which was a terrifying experience. After 6 weeks, they were selecting engineers. He immediately volunteered and after various tests, he was fortunate enough to be selected along with a few hundred others. They were loaded onto cattle trucks and after a horrendous journey on which many people died, they arrived at Niederorschel in Germany. This camp was comparatively like a holiday camp. He worked in a factory assembling the wings for Junker planes. At the beginning of April 1945, they closed the camp and all the inmates were ordered onto a Death March. Many people died and on the evening of the 10th April 1945 they arrived at Buchenwald. During roll call on the 11th April, American planes flew overhead, the German guards scattered and American tanks entered the camp shouting, “You are free, you are free!”

Some weeks later Manya, who was liberated from Belsen found our Dad and they were re-united. Thanks to their uncle, Bernard Forster, who had moved to England prior to the 1st World War, they arrived in the UK on February 7th 1946 to start a new life. In 1947 he met Nan at the Ritz ballroom in Manchester and in 1948 they married. Our parents were married for 65 happy years and had 3 sons, 6 grandchildren and 2 great granddaughters. Sadly, our dear mother passed away in January 2014. Family has and always will be our Father’s number 1 priority. Four months ago, dad retired from full time employment and to keep himself occupied, speaks to schools all over the country, educating children about the horrors of the holocaust. He has also taken up his love of playing the violin.
The square represents 65 wonderful years of married life with his soul mate Nan, his dear family which is so important to him and his new found love of playing the violin.

This project is particularly important to dad, as his greatest fear is that the holocaust will be forgotten in a few generations. Projects like this help keep the memory alive.

Stuart Ferster