Zigi Shipper

tbmq-157Zigi was born on 18th January 1930 in Lodz, Poland. When he was five years old his parents divorced but because they were Orthodox Jews and divorce was frowned upon, he was told that his mother had died. In 1939, when war broke out, Zigi’s father escaped to Russia, believing that it was only young men that were at risk. This was the last time Zigi saw his father. In 1940, Zigi and his grandparents were forced into the cramped conditions of Lodz ghetto, where his grandfather soon died. When the ghetto was liquidated in 1944 he was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau with his grandmother. On arrival, he was sent to the showers where they were stripped, shaved and showered. A few weeks after arriving at Auschwitz-Birkenau, all of the surviving workers were sent to a concentration camp near Danzig. He was liberated in May 1945 by British troops. Three days after liberation, Zigi ended up in hospital for three months due to the effects of overeating after a long period of malnutrition. Once he left hospital, he and his friends were sent to a Displaced Persons’ Camp.
Zigi finally arrived in the UK in 1947, where he married and had a family; he is now a father, grandfather and a great grandfather. For a boy whose childhood and education were cut short at the age of 9, Zigi now works tirelessly to educate adults and children about the Holocaust. He travels up and down the UK sharing his testimony to schools and colleges on a weekly basis.
The square was made in honour of Zigi, when we asked him what he would like to portray, he said ‘his family’. Family is everything for Zigi, as he lost most members of his family during the holocaust. We are all so fortunate to be able to call Zigi our grandfather/father, and we are so proud of all the hard work he puts into holocaust education.

Holly Simons

Emil Stein

Emil Stein

Our square represents the life & family of our father, Emil (Judah) Stein (nee Shtajnbrecher), who was born on 10th March, 1930 in Bedzin, Poland. After the Shoah, he was brought to Windermere, England with “The Boys” in 1945. In 1947 he travelled through Europe to join the Machal and fight for the State of Israel. On leaving the Army, he joined the Israeli Police Force (main photo). Later, on his return to England, he joined his older brother Icky (Yitzchak) Stein, also a survivor, and they worked together in London as electricians.Emil leaves his legacy of four children as you can see – Esther was born in 1953 and the youngest, Leslie, was born in 1976.
Emil loved to read, hence the newspaper print background – a reproduction of an actual article published about him in a local newspaper. And he loved music and dancing – cutting a fine figure on the dance floor whenever he could.

Rosalind Raphael

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David Sommer

David Sommer

David was born in Tuerk, Poland in May 1928. He came from an orthodox family. He was taken along with his older brother Mendel to Auschwitz labour camp. He was liberated from Theresienstadt and was brought to England in 1945. His only surviving sibling was liberated to Italy for a short while and made his home in America.

He started a new life with two other survivors, Pinkus Kerned and Yankel (Jack) Aizenberg, as handbag and luggage manufacturers. David passed away at the age of 57 in 1985. His wife Hynda and children Stephanie and Anthony were his life, he gave us what he couldn’t have. He thanked Hashem every day for being one of the lucky ones who survived. It was a lottery, he told me.

The square represents David’s happier times: his business, his hobbies, his children. We still all miss him today.

Anthony Sommer

Jona Spiegel

tbmq-052I was born in Vienna, Austria, on the 18th December 1941. My mother’s name was Elsa and at 32 years old she went and had me, not at a very good time. She had all the pain of my birth and none of the pleasure.
In the summer of 1942 she put me into an orphanage and she was then transported to her death at a camp called Maly Trostenets near Minsk. In September 1942 at just 9 months old I was discovered by the Gestapo and sent to Terezin where I stayed until liberation by the Russians in May 1945. After a little recuperation I was sent to England with about 700 other survivor children in a Sterling bomber plane. I ended up in a place called Bulldogs Bank with five other children and we were looked after by two German sisters called Sophie and Gertrude Dann. We six children were the youngest of the Boys. They looked after us 24/7 and did a fantastic job at making us feel ‘normal’. After a year I was sent to a place called Weir Courtney where some of the older children from the camps where housed.
A year later I was eventually fostered by a Jewish couple, Ralph and Anne, who officially adopted me when I was 9 years old and became my parents and family. I had a normal up bringing in north London until the full past of what I had gone through was revealed to me and it has taken me over 50 years of searching to find out the full horror.
Today I have two daughters and three grandchildren which is a wonderful part of my life.

Jackie Young

Harry Spiro


Harry Spiro was born in Piotrkow Trybunalski Poland on 21st November 1929. Before the war he lived with his parents and younger sister Gita.

Harry worked in a glass factory in the ghetto and, due to his mother’s premonition, he evaded being sent with his family to Treblinka gas chambers as she pushed him out of the house against his will saying: “Let one of us survive!”

In August 1945 Harry had the opportunity to come to England with The Boys. He was looked after in Windermere and then started a new life in London where he worked in menswear creating a successful career. In 1957 he married a lovely red head called Pauline and together they had three children.

The square was designed by his nine grandchildren – Justin, Genna, Declan, Stephen, Jonny, Daniel, Rachel, Ben and Hannah – to show what truly means the most to Harry and the lessons he has learnt and passed on to them – the importance of family. From his tragic loss he has created a loving, close Jewish family unit that would make his mother proud.

Gary Spiro

Icky Stein

tbmq-061 Icky was born on 2 December 1924 in Bedzin, Poland. He was sent to Auschwitz, Monowitz, Buchenwald and Theresienstadt. He was liberated in May 1945 and went to Prague. From there he was brought to England in late 1945, first to Windermere and eventually moving to London where he made a new life. He became an electrical contractor, married Patricia Abrahams and together they had two children, Aron and Avril. I chose these photographs as they portray a brief history of the time my late father spent in the UK from the mid 1940s to the time of his death in 1995. Some show him as a young man. In one photograph he is admiring his first commercial vehicle and in another he is with his son Aron, at the Wailing Wall in 1968 at his Barmitzvah. He is also pictured with his adored granddaughters Natalie and Zoe and with my late mother Pat.

Aron Stein-Hearn

Roman Halter


Roman Halter was born in 1927 in the little town of Chodecz, Poland, the youngest of seven children. When the Second World War broke out he was 12. From 1940 until the spring of 1945 he was in the Lodz ghetto, Auschwitz-Birkenau and Stutthof concentration camps and then was in a slave labour in a factory in Dresden. Early in 1945 he escaped a death march and was hidden by a German couple on the outskirts of Dresden till the Liberation.Along with other young survivors, “The Boys,” he was brought to England in 1945. Roman went on to study architecture and always painted incredible pictures. This painting for the quilt was from his memory of his grandparents and shows the haunting eyes amidst the beautiful vibrant colours that the Impressionists loved to use.

Roman is well known for his stained glass windows that can be seen at Alyth Gardens Synagogue, Central Synagogue, Sternberg Synagogue, Beth Shalom, and Yad Vashem, Jerusalem. His 10 Holocaust paintings are now in the collection of the Imperial War Museum.

Aviva Halter-Hearn

Alec Ward


Alec was born (Abram Warszaw) in Parysow near Lublin, Poland, and lived mainly in the village of Magnuszew. He survived two ghettos, three slave labour camps and two concentration camps and was liberated from Mauthausen by the Americans on 5th May 1945. Alec’s entire family perished during the war but the shooting of his younger brother Laib (aged just 9), who he protected for three months in the forest following their escape from the ghetto, had a particularly profound impact on him.
Alec came to England in October 1945 and became a tailor and then a quality controller for Windsmoor. He fell in love with Hettie Cohen in 1952 and married in 1953. They had two children, Lyla and Mark, who died in 1981 aged 23 of melanoma. Alec adores his grandson Liron, named after Laib and welcomed his son in law Barend and his children into the family.

Music is a thread running through Alec’s life. As a child he enjoyed singing at home and in the synagogue and remembers being embarrassed when his mother called in the neighbours to hear him singing when collecting potatoes from their cellar. He has fond memories of klezmer music at weddings and classical music at skating rinks. He also remembers a soldier who came to a Friday night service singing “Lecha Dodi” beautifully and perpetuates the memory by singing this melody when he is called up to the Torah. In the ghetto he smuggled in cigarettes to sell, attracting customers by singing songs like “Papierosen.” “If you buy my cigarettes you will rescue me from certain death.”

In the camps he formed a friendship with a boy with a wonderful voice and they would sing together to soothe themselves. Alec made this friend a hat from scraps of blanket and twisted yarn that he collected from the handles of boxes he carried for work. In Buchenwald, when lining up for roll call dressed in a thin striped uniform, he would hear the inmates’ orchestra. Alec has always been perplexed by the psychology behind the cruel disconnect of music with inhumane conditions. But following retirement, listening to music and gardening has given Alec pleasure and comfort.

Alec has given talks to synagogues, schools, and many other settings, to speak about his experiences and to create witnesses to his testimony. He always tried to include some songs including “Papierosen” and would end with the words “I implore you not to hate as it was hatred that caused the Holocaust in the first place. Had I lived with hatred in my heart for the last 60 odd years I would not be here today.” This has inspired generations of all ethnicities and faiths.

Layla Ward

Jerry Wegier


Jerry’s journey is represented by four playing cards. Follow the cord to see the order of the journey. Jerry and his parents had to leave their home in Radom, when he was 8 years old, hence the Polish flag and photo on playing card, showing No. 8.

The cord then snakes right to the Russian flag, where he survived, with his mother, until the age of 15. As there were no photos from this time, we used a Tea Bag to represent the tea bushes where he and the other children had to pick tea leaves. The cord then veers left to the British flag, where he lived from after the war until the age of 63. The photos are of his wedding to Mildred (Helen) Solomon and his three children, Suzanne, Michael and Ruth. The cord then goes to the right to the Israeli flag. His three children had previously settled in Israel and he and Mil joined them in Jerusalem, where they were blessed with eleven grand-children. The upper photo shows all of the grandchildren. We used playing cards to show his age at the various stages of the journey, as he was a champion Bridge player and Bridge was his greatest hobby. He greatly enjoyed his time in Israel but sadly passed away at the age of 67.

Regretfully, he did not live to meet his great grandson, and namesake, Eitan Yisrael. The second photo, below that of all of the grandchildren, is of his eldest grandson Eliyahu, with his wife Hodaya, who designed the square, despite coming into our lives several years after his passing, together with great grandson Eitan Yisrael.

Mildred Helen Wegier, Suzanne Farber,

Michael Wegier and Ruth Nachinson

Avram Weinstock

img_167Avram or as he is known to all his friends – Romek was born on 5th October 1927 in the village of Okocim in Poland to Marcus and Betsha. He and his brother Zvi were sole survivors of the family of eight. After liberation, in April ’45, the two brothers arrived at a DP children’s centre at Kloster Indersdorf where their new life began. Later, they joined the group of orphans going to Northampton, England, better known as “The Boys”.

When the state of Israel was founded, Avram felt he needed to get to the Jewish state and make a free life in a new homeland. He arrived in 1949 to join the air force, based on his background of slave working for the German war industry. After he left the air force he joined a company, which, at the time, was new: EL AL Israel airlines and he stayed working there most of his working life. While working for the airliner, he travelled the world visiting all The Boys who had been his close friends.In 1954 Avram married Elka and had three children and later ten grandchildren and one great grandchild. He continued to work for EL AL while being relocated to different sites across the globe. One of the sites was the UK where he kept up close connections with good friends.

Avram passed away in his sleep at the age of 86.
Today, some of the children of The Boys, the second generation and even the third generation keep close ties.
The shape of the grapes in the quilt resembles two items. First it is from the name: Weinstock but mostly it is to show that even if the Germans, at the time, tried to destroy the Jewish nation, they were unsuccessful. The Weinstock family continues and flourishes.

Motty Weinstock