Michael Stern


Moszek and Fajga Szternfeld lived in Zgierz and had four sons: Bolek (b1924), Mietek, my dad (b1927), Jakob (b1930) and Falk (b1934). Mietek’s childhood memories revolved around his grandmother Sarah and horse riding with his father, wearing his treasured riding boots.The whole family was registered in the Lodz ghetto in 1941. His parents died in 1942. His two younger brothers may also have perished then but no record has yet been found.
Bolek and Mietek were sent to different slave labour camps, not meeting again until 1944, when they were on the same train to Auschwitz. They agreed to jump: Mietek succeeded, Bolek didn’t and dad believed his older brother died that year. Surviving this train escape he was eventually recaptured, taken to Buchenwald and then Theresienstadt where he was liberated in May 1945. Overcoming typhoid, Mietek was lucky enough to be on the first RAF plane of survivors allowed into the UK.

Life began again in Windermere and subsequently Montford Hall, where he met his future wife, Marion Maxfield. Before that happened, the Red Cross arranged for Mietek to join an uncle, that he didn’t know, in the USA, but they did not gel and he left to join the US Army.

Now a US citizen, Michael Stern travelled back to the UK and married Marion in 1951. They lived first in the USA, returning to England in 1956, and lived close to Montford Hall.

In 1958, Michael discovered that Bolek had actually survived. He lived near Tel Aviv with his wife Itka (another survivor) and their three children.
A massive heart attack killed my dad on Yom Kippur 1995. Never overtly religious, he prayed for his family and gave thanks for his life every single day. He left behind a loving wife, an eternally grateful son, a caring daughter-in-law and two beautiful granddaughters.

Kim Stern

Weir Courtney

tbmq-108I chose to make this square for everyone at Weir Courtney, Lingfield, Surrey, as a token of my gratitude for all their loving care and support they gave all the youngest children who were brought over with The Boys.

Weir Courtney was one of many hostels which were opened to receive the youngest camp survivors. The emphasis at first, not surprisingly, was on food and medicine. Meals were large and very regular. The emotional needs of the children were harder to satisfy. The Matron of Weir Courtney, Miss Alice Goldberger, and her staff devotedly cared for the children from the day they arrived in 1945 until their departure for a new home in London in December 1948.The six women in this square were so special because they became our surrogate mothers. In particular, Alice Goldberger was a truly unique individual who dedicated herself to the wellbeing of all us children from the concentration camps. Alice herself had fled Germany when Hitler came to power and had studied under Anna Freud. She was devoted to all the children under her care at Weir Courtney. When the children arrived, they were full of hostility, fear and distrust. They were all wild: they were scared of dogs, particularly the Alsatian dogs, they had to be taught how to eat and to understand that their food would not be taken from them.

Despite the circumstances of getting there, for many these were the happiest years – certainly for me this is true.

Zdenka Husserl

Ernest Sunog


Ernest Sunog was born in Munkacs on August 15, 1928. He was taken to the concentration camp at Auschwitz probably in 1944. Prior to liberation, he was fortunate to survive one of the death marches. He was liberated by the American army and then narrowly escaped being trapped in Eastern Europe by the Russians. Of his immediate family, his sister also survived, but his parents and older brother did not.He arrived in the UK sometime in 1945, where he became one of The Boys and was fortunate and thrilled to be reunited with two childhood friends from Munkacs, David Herman and Alex “Sanyi” Abramovic. He talked often of playing football with the boys and, believing that the level of football in Australia was not very competitive, he contemplated moving there to play professionally. Instead, he moved to New York City and was introduced to my Mother, Olga (also a survivor), by Gabe Kallos, who is Olga’s first cousin and is also one of the boys.

He lived with his wife and three sons in Queens, New York, until he retired, after which he divided his time between New Jersey and Florida. He passed away on March 10, 2008 and is survived by his wife, his children and their wives, and two grandchildren. His quilt square depicts his professional life, most of which was spent as the proprietor of several children’s shoe stores; the joy he had playing tennis; his love for the State of Israel; and his only true passion, his family.

Ron Sunog

Ivor Wieder


Our father Ivor Wieder was born on April 6th 1931 in Barsna, Romania. In 1944 he was taken to Auschwitz and went on to Belsen until he was finally liberated in 1945, probably one of the youngest inmates to survive. He was brought to England in 1946 and started a new life, firstly in Gateshead Yeshiva for 2 years and then becoming a sewing machine mechanic before entering the luggage industry in 1952.

The square represents his love of learning, Klezmer music and his over 50 years working in the luggage industry.

Simon Wieder

David Wiernik


David was 15 and living in the town of Lodz in Poland when the war started. Hearing the Germans were rounding people up for deportation, he secreted his family in a high loft while he himself hid in a sewer. He saved seven people from certain death. Some of the relatives are still alive today.

David had many narrow escapes; at one point he was caught by Germans who put him on a horse and cart. He jumped off; they fired at him but missed and he got away. He survived work making bullets in a munitions factory at Buchenwald concentration camp where many of the workers turned yellow from the explosives.

David was liberated by the Russians and brought to Britain after the war by the Central British Fund. The CBF wanted to bring only children under the age of 16 but although my father was older, he had no papers and was painfully thin through starvation, so he was accepted as were many of the other Boys. He was sent to Windermere to recuperate and learn English. He was very lucky to be alive.

Belinda Wiernik Cohen

Bela Szwaicer-Kirzner


I was born March 15, 1929 in Lodz, Poland. I was interned in 4 concentration camps. The first one was ghetto Lodz for 4 and one half years. In August 1944 the ghetto was liquidated and my family and I were taken to Auschwitz where I lost my whole family. After 10 horrible weeks, I was selected to go to Germany to work in an ammunition factory. In March 1945, they put us in open coal railroad cars and shipped us to Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia. We were liberated by the Russian Army on May 8, 1945.

In August 1945, 300 of us boys and girls were sponsored by the Jewish Committee to go to England. We arrived in Windermere and I lived in Manchester until July 1947. Then I left for the U.S. and lived in Boston with my relatives. I went to High School and Hebrew College. I met my future husband Rubin, and we were married on November 5, 1950. We have 2 daughters, a son and 2 grandsons.

I have chosen the square because it represents the past of myself as a teenager, and the present and future of my family. It symbolizes my interest in books, baking and keeping up my Jewish Heritage.


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Krulik Wilder


Israel (Krulik) Wilder was born on 3rd December 1928, in the small town of Piotrokow in Poland. His mother Chaja and sister Basia were murdered in the death camp of Treblinka. Israel and his father Lajb were taken to the death camp of Buchenwald which Lajb did not survive. Israel was then transported to Theresienstadt, but was liberated by Russian soldiers before the train arrived. Later that year he was taken to England, to a hostel for young refugees in the Lake District, in Windermere.

In 1948 he clandestinely travelled to Israel to fight in the War of Independence. He returned to England after the cease fire where he trained to be a watch mender. He met and married Gloria. They had three children, Simon, Martin and Paul. His business thrived. His family expanded with grandchildren, Marc, Max and Melody. He died in 2011 at the age of 82 surrounded by his family.

He was the Treasurer of the ’45 Aid Society for many years and Master of Ceremonies at most of their events. Yellow was his favourite colour – whenever he bought flowers, they were always yellow! The life and soul of every party, he loved playing cards and taking photos and had a wonderful sense of humour.

Simon Wilder

Lipa Tepper


My father was Lipa Tepper. He was born on Nov 30 1926 in Dukla in the south of Poland. He was taken aged 13 from his family and spent numerous years in multiple camps including: Buchenwald, Schlieben, Czestochowa, Jeruzolimska, Skarżysko-Kamienna Theresienstadt. He was finally liberated from hell in 1945 and taken to England as one of The Boys.

He started a new and unimaginable life and prospered in haberdashery, married and had children. The square represents all he loved and flourished alongside. He died peacefully on July 2 2006 surrounded by his family. Two weeks before that, his final words to his eldest son were: Live the life you’ve got.

Justin Tepper

Note from embroiderer:

As the name ‘Lipa’ is Polish for lime tree, the names of Lipa’s loved ones have been embroidered onto fabric limes. Lipa was a Freemason. The Freemason symbol, Compass and Square, has several interpretations, one being that it spells out the word LAO (LEO) meaning lion. Lipa’s English name was Leopold, a name often abbreviated to Leo. The square features a lion as well as three other creatures because a young Lipa was taught a saying by his father in Poland. “Be as strong as a leopard, as light as an eagle, run like the deer and be as mighty as the lion to do the bidding of your Father in heaven.” The square also represents Lipa’s journey from Poland to England. Marking this journey are buttons to pay homage to Lipa’s career as a haberdasher. Chains are used in place of the written names of the camps. The first chain contains ten links for the letters in Buchenwald, below this twelve for Jeruzolimska and fourteen for Theresienstadt.

Salomon Rafael Winogrodzki


Salomon Rafael Winogrodzki was known as Schlamek, Gary and Ray to friends and family, but I knew him as ‘Zidda’. I have countless cherished memories; I remember Zidda saying ‘Hello Moto’ as a greeting whenever he would see me. The Motorola mobile phone advert played repeatedly when we had been watching television.

Once when I was staying over at Booba and Zidda’s, Booba was a bit under the weather and not up to making spaghetti Bolognese (something that was religiously made every time I visited). Zidda, who did not have a great deal of experience in the kitchen, agreed to cook under Booba’s supervision. Booba sat on a chair in the corner giving strict instructions, telling him to add another ‘splash’ of Worcester sauce. The dinner turned out just as it always did. I could smell the rich tangy Bolognese as it was placed on the table. The recipe is one I still use to this day; the smell of the sauce is as distinctive as ever. Food in Booba and Zidda’s home was never at a shortage. Lunchtimes would consist of Zidda making smoked salmon and cholla sandwiches cut into little rectangular pieces. I remember Zidda sitting beside me at the dinner table playfully chanting ‘why are we waiting?’

I vividly remember the countless times that Zidda and I played board games, such as draughts. He would ask if I wanted to play the ‘Polish version’ which allowed certain pieces to move in different directions; we played it this way every time. I also distinctly recall the times that Zidda would pick me up from school. He always waited in the playground and greeted me with a big smile.

While staying over at Booba and Zidda’s, I was always tucked into bed by Zidda who would say ‘goodnight’ and then walk out of my room into the hallway. A few seconds later, through the gap between the door and frame, Zidda would appear and peep through smiling at me. I would always smile back.

Ben Permutt

Alf Wohlreich

My mum and dad, Gertie and Alf Wohlreich, were both victims of the Nazi camps, and the slave labour regime. My mum was liberated to Sweden by the Swedish Red Cross, then went to London where she worked in her uncle’s East End Bakery. My dad was liberated by the Russians and came to England as one of “The Boys” by the British National Fund.

They met and married in London. My dad was in the “rag” trade and later had a successful market trader business with my mum. The way they survived and flourished in England is an example of the triumph of the human spirit against all odds, and that is their enduring legacy.

They passed away in 2014 but their legacy can never be forgotten.

Michael Wohlreich