Sidney Baker


Sidney Baker was born Shaul Bekierman on 20th October 1927 in Chmielnik, Poland. The son of

Yekesil, a mill owner, and Bluma Morowicz, Sidney had three siblings Shlomo, Haskiel and Shmuel. The family was religious, although Sidney did not like going to cheder, instead preferring to run away to work at his father’s mill.

After going through a number of camps, Sidney came to England with The Boys and then settled in Winnipeg, Canada. He married Adele Garfinkel and had three children, Barbara, Jeff and Roseanne, and six grandchildren, Elan, Noam, Tal, Adina, Tamar and Jenna. He enjoyed his work as an importer and loved life, especially being with family and friends. He lived life to the fullest!The photo on the square shows him as a young man, surrounded by stars containing the names of family members he lost.

Barbara Baker Eisenstadt

Harry Balsam


Harry was born in 1929 in Gorlice, Poland. He was separated from his mother, sister and little brother

the age of 12 as they boarded a train to Belsen and was held back, ‘selected’ to fill in the mass graves in Gorlice.

His mother, sister Gitel and brother Joseph were murdered in Bergen Belsen whilst his brother Sanie was shot through the head by an SS Officer whilst he and Harry were searching for food for the family outside the ghetto in Gorlice.

These pictures are original copies of the registration documents issued by the German authorities showing which camps he was in, the dates, his religion, where he was from and his prisoner number for all of the concentration camps he was sent to before being liberated from Theresienstadt in May of 1945. There’s also a picture with his father Moses and brother Danek taken in 1947 at a DP camp in Germany where he was reunited with them when they returned from Russia, where they had been during the war. He is also pictured with my mother, Pauline, grandchildren Jack & Emily and his ‘brothers,’ The Boys, Ziggy Shipper, Harry Spiro and Krulik Wilder.

Colin Lester

Michael Bandel


This square was made for my husband, Michael Bandel (Yechiel Mechel Tvi). He is shown together with his elder sister (who is still alive and lives in Israel, as at December 2014) and his late mother. His father

and two younger sisters were murdered during the Holocaust.

He arrived in England in summer 1946 as a child survivor of the concentration camps and eventually learnt English, established himself as a furrier, married and raised two children and had four grandchildren.

He was born in a small border village in Czechoslovakia called Jasina – pronounced Yasina – in the shadow of the Carpathian Mountains. His family were followers of the Vishnitzer Rebbe and his lifestyle was very much in that way, a lot like “Fiddler on the Roof” – freezing in the winter, snow-capped mountains all year round, the river Tiza nearby. They would go to the peasants his late father eventually had his own small workshop and was very skilled in his craft and also extremely well-respected, both as a furrier and as an honest and upright businessman and gentleman.

In 1958 Michael and I got married. We had two children, Martin and Gaynor who later married Amanda and Daniel. We then became very proud grandparents to Lauren, Alana, Sabrina and Marc.

This square was painted by his grand-daughter Sabrina Bandel.

Jasmine Bandel

Roman Becher


Roman was born in Lwow, Eastern Poland on 23 November 1929. Only his mother Sabina, aunts Lucy and Anka and uncle Kuba Becher survived. They left for the US when the war was over. None of them had any children. Roman’s maternal grandparents Jacoub and Regina Marcus died in Russia of malnutrition. His paternal grandparents were shot by the Nazis in the basement of their house.

The rest of the family were shot in Lwow en masse by a Nazi firing squad which aunt Lucy witnessed and said that they had all died with great dignity, resigned and proud.

At the outbreak of World War 2, David was mobilised in the rank of major, in charge of the eye department of a military hospital. He eventually ended up in England via Romania and France. He spent the rest of the war not knowing what had happened to Sabina or Roman.

Roman and Ina survived the Holocaust miraculously owing to luck, resilience, the kindness of the Polish people and command of perfect Polish. Both were issued with false papers by the Polish Resistance, who helped them escape from Podhajce to Warsaw by train.

Roman and Ina successfully pretended to be “Aryans” in Warsaw from 1942 to 1945.

David arranged for Roman to travel to England in 1946 and then they moved to Scotland. Roman won a scholarship to the Edinburgh Academy and David was given a post at the Edinburgh Infirmary as an Eye Specialist. Sabina arrived in 1948 having remained behind in Poland to help look after survivors.

Roman thrived in Scotland with his family and eventually moved to England where he married Carla and had one daughter Daniela. I am the only remaining survivor of my family and this square is a photographic testimonial to my much loved family.

My father wrote the poem when I survived a life threatening illness. He made a pact with God that he would gladly die for me to live a healthy life. When I read the poem I think of the parents who lost their children in the camps. I watched my father’s dignified despair and am haunted by the deep despair that parents experienced knowing that their children had been murdered.

Daniela Becher

Mendel Beale


My grandpa, Mendel Beale, was born in December 1921 in a small village outside of Lodz, Poland. He was 18 years old when German troops marched into Lodz and his family was locked up in the Lodz ghetto and forced to work in the labour factories. It was there that his sister Fayga died from typhoid.

Then, in the summer of 1944, as the Russian forces closed on Lodz, thousands of Jews including my grandpa, his father Zelig, mother Tauba and sister Rachel were herded onto cattle trucks and taken to Auschwitz.

Incredibly my grandpa survived but tragically his family all died. He was finally liberated by Russian troops in the final stages of the war and then travelled across Eastern Europe desperately searching for family members. In September 1946 he finally made it to England

where he started a new life in Manchester. He dedicated much of the rest of his life to helping others who had survived the Holocaust and in educating people in the story and lessons of the Holocaust.

The idea behind the tree on the square had many reasons to it but mainly to just that of Mendel and his wife Marie, but also their legacy – children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The aim was also to represent the solid and deep roots that Mendel laid in Manchester after surviving the atrocities of the Holocaust. He became a successful family man and his history, morals and values still play an intrinsic part in his family’s upbringing. Mendel was by all accounts also a philosophical man who often asked himself existential questions, both when telling his tale or writing it down in prose and poetry. One question was most prominent on his mind: “Why did I survive, when so many others died?” We think that one look at this square shows the answer.

Jamie and Sofia Beale and the entire Beale family

Salek and Sarolta Benedikt


My idea for a quilt square was to have a fan of coloured pencils with a picture of an apple pie or pavlova either

pencils or adjacent to them if the fan does not cover the whole square. Alternatively the cake could be overlaid on a sheet of Letraset or other type fonts.

My mother is called Sarolta, which is the Hungarian version of Charlotte. She was born in Györ, Hungary, on 18th August 1926. She came to England in 1945 after being liberated from a concentration camp. My father was Salek Benedikt, born in Lodz, Poland, on 17th October 1922. He died on 16th December 2013 from pneumonia following major surgery for stomach cancer. He too came to England in 1945 following liberation from a concentration camp.

My father was a graphic artist who worked in advertising. My mother was a housewife who enjoyed baking. She was especially known for her apple pies and pavlovas.

Nicholas Benedikt

Wlodka Blit Robertson


Our mother Wlodka Blit Robertson was in the Warsaw ghetto until 1943, just before the ghetto uprising, living with her twin sister, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins.

homelessness, people dying from hunger in the streets. Her mother Fela ran a soup kitchen for starving children as part of secret self-help committees. Her uncles and grandfather built bunkers for the family to hide in.

Michal Klepfisz, who was a Bundist courier on the Aryan side, found a Polish Catholic family who for payment agreed to shelter my mother and her sister Nelly in their home. At night they were smuggled out of the ghetto, climbing a ladder over the ghetto wall. My mother was then moved on to another family because the first family felt it was too dangerous to hide two Jewish girls.Her mother was caught by the Germans escaping through the sewers to find her daughters and was murdered in the concentration camp at Majdanek.

Our mother was reunited with her sister, and later – miraculously – with her two young cousins at the end of the war. She did not know that they had escaped from the ghetto through the sewers just a few days before the liquidation of the ghetto. In 1946, aged 14, she and her sister came to London to join their father who had spent time in Russian camps and then joined the Polish army until the end of the war. All the rest of her family had been killed.

Susie, Isabel and Mark Robertson

Felix Berger


My father Yechiel Ophriam Fishel Berger (known later as Felix) was born on 10th October 1927 in Wloszczowa, a small town near Lodz in Poland.

He was deported from the Lodz ghetto in 1944 during the final stages of the liquidation of the ghetto with his mother Chaja Sarah Urbach and his Aunt Karola, Chaja’s younger sister. All remained together during the transportation but were separated on arrival at Auschwitz.

Felix was taken on to Flossenbürg and then to Dresden on the death marches. Finally he ended up in Theresienstadt where he contracted typhus and was saved by the Russian liberation of the camp – Russian doctors treating him after he had slipped into a coma.start, later studying at Glasgow University Veterinary Sciences. He worked as a country Vet in various parts of the South of England, finally running two successful small animal practices in West London.

The square represents Felix swimming in the warm Mediterranean sea at Netanya beach where he had a flat. I have chosen this image because Felix would get up early in the morning, before the heat of the day, and swim on his back. He loved Israel, spoke fluent Hebrew, and spent many holidays – with his wife Lorna and children Simon, Jeremy, Daniel and Saul there – catching up with his Israeli cousins.

Saul Berger

Mayer Bomsztyk


Mayer Bomsztyk was born on 28th December 1928 in Staszow, Poland. He was the youngest of 3 children and had an older brother and sister. His father had died before the war and his mother ran a leather shop which was her family business. Mayer was part of a large extended family with many cousins, aunts and uncles.

In 1941 Mayer went into hiding in the basement of a neighbour’s home. The neighbours gave the family up to the Germans and the family was separated. Mayer’s mother Yenta Bayla, together with his sister Hela were sent to a series of camps and ended up in Bergen Belsen. Yenta Bayla died in Belsen but Hela survived the war. His brother Joshua was sent into the Polish army, in the belief that he would be saved. Joshua was never heard of again. Mayer aged 12 was taken with a work unit to Kielce and he worked in a munitions factory and following forced marches and work camps he ended up in Buchenwald in 1945, from where he was liberated.

Mayer was taken to Theresienstadt where he became one of the first group of three hundred plus children who were to become “The Boys”.

He was taken to Windermere in August 1945 where the recuperation began. This square represents the life which Mayer built after he was sent to a hostel in Manchester. He began working life as an apprentice to a furrier and then went into business as a handbag manufacturer. He joined a golf club and became Captain in 1980 and he also enjoyed playing bridge. In 1956 Mayer married Lily Rosenberg and they went on to have 3 children.

Mayer passed away on Thursday 22nd January 2009, leaving behind the family of which he was so proud, a wife, 3 children and 10 grandchildren. The final picture is of Jake Louis Saltman (Yaakov Meir) who was born on 7th August 2013. Lily died on 18th September 2008 and Mayer died a few weeks later on 22nd January 2009. They are both sorely missed.

Jackie Field

Zvi Brand

tbmq-049My father Zvi Brand was born in Ulutz, Poland, on 5th of August 1929.

He was taken to Plaszow concentration camp in 1941/1942, Skarzysko-Kamienna in 1943, Częstochowa raków in 1944 and that same year to Buchenwald. In April 1945, he was one of those who survived the death march to Theresienstadt where he was liberated on 8th May 1945.

He was transferred from Prague to Windermere in England by Dr Graham in August 1945. The family photo of him with his wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren represent the continuation and the ultimate victory over cruelty.

Ofer Brand