Esther and Stan Brunstein


The starting point for me was the map of Poland, the country of birth for both my parents. A portion of that map serves as the backdrop of my

square featuring Warsaw and Lodz – the hometowns of my father and mother.

The Nazis forced my parents out of their homes onto journeys of horror with no knowledge of where they would end and the losses they have to face along the way. For both of them each of the stopping points could have been the final one, but miraculously, against the odds, they survived, and their journey’s end was the East End of London.

My square lists the stopping points of each of their journeys and features a photo of the Grand Palais Yiddish Theatre, where they first met.My father was the Scenic Designer and my mother, an actress, and they worked on several plays together. It was a very romantic story, and I have included a photo of them soon after they met, very much in love, in their early courting days.

They always marvelled at the miracle of finding each other and, from near death, arriving with absolutely nothing, managing to make a life and future together – listed are the names of their two daughters, myself and my sister, and their five grandchildren and my mother’s first great grandchild, Ava, born August 2014.

Lorna Brunstein

Peter Isaac Brandstein


Isaac was originally Hungarian. He was born in the Carpathian Mountains and passed away in London. During the war he was in Buchenwald together with his father, who was selected for transport to Auschwitz. Isaac risked death by stepping out of the line and asking permission to go with his father, but the camp commander pushed

him back into line. After the war he came to the UK with the ‘Hungarian Group’, arriving in Northern Ireland together with Victor Greenberg, and being lodged in a small village called Millisle, which is not far from Belfast. He stayed there for about 5 months before moving to London, where he stayed in a hostel in Golders Green. He trained as an accountant, working in the City for a time. He was a private man and was sadly never able to recover from the traumas of his war-time experiences. He lived for several years in Swiss Cottage, not venturing out, and lost contact with all but the most devoted of his old friends. He spent his final years in Nightingale Care Home. He never married and had no family of his own.

In the 1981 edition of the ’45 Journal, he wrote an extremely poignant article entitled ‘Returned From The Dead’ in which he described the painfully long depressive illness he had been enduring for several years and under the shadowof which he found it impossible to emerge.

He described it as being ‘caught up in the net between the living and the dead.’ He explained that, unlike when he was in the camps, surrounded by people suffering a similar fate, he now felt totally alone. ‘It was as if my crying was trying to make up for the tears that I should have shed in the Camps, but never did. Not even during the killing of my nearest and dearest.’

He submitted a poem entitled ‘Thirty Five Years’ for the same journal, celebrating the 35 years that had passed since Liberation. The penultimate stanza reads:

‘If the whole world’s trees were made into pens,
And the world’s rivers and seas were ink,
Not even then could we adequately describe hereunder,
The debt that we owe to those that died during the Holocaust thunder.’

Frances Kahan

Bulldogs Bank


This photo was taken in Bulldogs Bank in 1946. These six children were some of the youngest survivors

to be brought to England. From left to right: Judith Auerback, Bela Rosenthal, Jackie Spiegel, Berli Lazarus and Gadi Jacobsen.

They had been separated from their parents and ended up in Theresiendstadt and placed in a ‘ward for motherless children’ where different inmates cared for them. Two to three years later, in the spring of 1945, they were liberated by the Russians and taken to a Czech castle where they were well cared for. August 1945 and stayed at a reception camp in Windermere. From here these 6 youngest children were sent to Bulldogs Bank.

They were fortunate to make successful lives and have their own families.

Zdenka Husserl

Adash Bulwa


My father, Adash Bulwa, was born on 15th September 1926 in Poland in Piotrków-Trybunalski. In 1941 he was taken to Belżec Lubelski, which

first concentration camp, but was allowed to return to Piotrków-Trybunalski where he was forced to work in the Kara glass factory. In 1944 when the Germans had no further use of the glass factory he was sent to Czestochowa where he was put to work in the iron foundry. In 1945 he was sent to Buchenwald concentration camp and then Dora-Mittelbau and finally Bergen-Belsen where he was liberated on 15th April 1945.

He was brought to England, arriving in Southampton in October 1945. He started a new life in Manchester where he became a tailor, met and married Zena Goldstone and had two daughters, Suzanne and Frances.I have chosen these photos as they depict happy events in Adash’s life. The photo (centre top) is of Adash a few years after arriving in England. To the left is a photo of him and his wife Zena at their wedding. To the right (centre top) are photos of his daughters’ weddings. Below these (centre) is a snapshot of the Bulwa family on holiday in the 1960s and to the right of this is a photo of his three grandchildren, Adam, Danielle and Zoë, taken in 2000. The last two photos are more recent (September and November 2014) and are of Adash with his great-grandson, Louis, and the most recent addition, his great-granddaughter, Chloe.

Suzanne Levy

Joseph Carver


The family chose Martin Gilbert’s book cover entitled ‘The Boys Triumph Over Adversity’ because Joseph himself, aged seventeen, was one of those surviving

orphans photographed in front of the Jan Hus monument in Prague just before their departure to a new life in England in August 1945.

Although it was many years before Joseph could begin to talk to his three daughters about his experiences in the concentration camps, he gave each of them a copy with a personal inscription so that they could read and understand the experiences of fellow survivors.

Top left is a photo of Joseph taken not long after he arrived in England and still in awe of his new surroundings, language and customs.

His yamulka along with the Israeli flag signify his enduring pride and love of
Judaism and Zionism, which for him were bound together.

The bottom left photo shows Joseph and his wife with their grandchildren, the third generation, celebrating his grand-daughter’s Bat-Chayil. Joseph adored his family which was the most important thing in his life and evidence that he had succeeded where the Nazis had failed.

Finally, the picture of a Challah depicts his love of bread and he used to say that a piece of bread in the Camps was the difference between life or death.

Gerry Jackson, Mikki Gordon and Shirlee Carver

Sam Cooper


Sam Cooper, originally Szmul Kuczer (Kutscher), was born on 9th August 1931 in Hrubieszov, near Lublin in Poland, to a well-to-do family. His father was a grain merchant and property owner. He was the youngest and only survivor of his family.

At the beginning of November 1939 he, his parents, younger brother and sister were taken to the newly-erected ghetto in Hrubieszov. In October 1942, there was an attempted escape action and only he and his mother survived, the others were shot. His two older brothers died in the Warsaw ghetto.

In April 1943 he and his mother were taken to Budzin concentration camp and in May 1944 they were sent to Wieliczka concentration camp. In August they were separated, his mother was sent to Auschwitz, where she died just 3 days before liberation. Sam was sent to Flossenbürg concentration camp in Bavaria. In all these camps he did slave labour.

As the war was ending he was in a group taken outside the camp to be shot but, with courageous daring, saved his life and that of many others by telling the SS he was not Jewish. They escaped and were rescued by the Americans.

Finally, after wandering Germany he was sent to Indersdorf, from where he was sent to England with the group now called the ‘Boys’. He was first at Southampton then Woodberry Down hostels. Aged only 16 ½ he went to fight in the Israeli War of Independence and joined the Palmach. He stayed for two years and returned to England. Before he was out of his 20’s he had married Valerie, had two children, Hania and Joel, and started his own menswear manufacturing business, which eventually became very successful.

He was immensely outgoing, loved playing golf and playing cards with his friends. He had a generous heart, gave much to charity and was the first to put his hand in his pocket socially. His lust for life and sense of fun lit up the lives of all who knew him.

Valerie Cooper

Jack Cygelman


My father, Jack Cygelman was born on July 25th 1928 near Rhadom in Poland. In 1939 he was taken with his parents and 4 brothers and sister to the ghetto. His parents and one

brother were brutally killed by the Germans and he and his surviving brothers and sister were all transported to Auschwitz. Sadly he was the only member of his family to survive Auschwitz. He was then transferred to Dachau. He was liberated by American soldiers whilst being taken to his death by cattle truck.

He was brought to England by the UNRA and started a new life in Manchester, firstly as a butcher and then he started his own successful retail menswear business. He met and married my beautiful mother in 1952 and loved her and his two daughters and was the most wonderful husband father and lastly grandfather to his three granddaughters. He lived for his grandchildren. He retired at 62 due to ill health.

The square represents our family tree as it begins with my wonderful mother and father’s marriage in 1952 and continues until the present day, starting with Jack Cygelman and now his wonderful great grandson named Jack after him. Unfortunately my daddy didn’t live to see his first great grandchild born. But Jack will grow up knowing all about the truly gorgeous brave and sweet man he is named after. I have no doubt that our little Jack will be as loved by everyone who knows him as was his great grandfather.

Heather Sternberg

Mayer Cornell


Mayer Cornell (Majer Kochen) was born in March 1927 to Yehaskial and Chaja Rivka in Kielce Poland. Mayer was the middle of 3 children sandwiched between Rosa and Yisroel Bear born to this Chassidic couple. At the start of WW2 the

family were herded into the Kielce ghetto. The ghetto was liquidated in 1942 leaving Mayer aged 15 alone in the world. He endured transportation to Hassag Kielce, Czenstchowa, Buchenwald, Reimsdorf, a ‘Death March’ and was finally liberated from Theresienstadt on 8th May 1945. He chose to join the transit to the UK of the 700+ displaced Jewish youth who became immortalised as ‘The Boys’ in the book published by Sir Martin Gilbert. Mayer flew from Prague aboard a Lancaster bomber to Crosby in the Lake District in August 1945 and made a new and successful life for himself in London.

Family was what was most important to Mayer and forms the theme of his memory square. He mourned his birth family but loved and cherished the one he(Tauba Tenenbaum), a fellow survivor from Lask, Poland.

When Tauba moved to Quare Mead in 1949 Mayer met her from the train and there began a love story that led to marriage in 1953 and an enduring bond lasting over 60 years. The square depicts the love and devotion they had for each other and the family they created: their daughters Marilyn and Cherry, their sons-in-law Martin Gilbert and Sheldon Reback and their adored, precious grandchildren Paul, Victoria, Talia, Tanya (Gilbert), Gilad, Liat and Shani (Reback).

The recent marriage of Victoria to Dov Staszlewski, blessed by Mayer as a Cohen heralded a new exciting chapter; the promise of another generation to add to the family that was so nearly extinguished in the flames of the Shoah.

Marilyn Cornell

Arieh Czeret

Arieh was born on 7th September 1929 to Yuda and Klara in Bodzanów, which is in the east of Poland and is today part of Ukraine. His father was a shopkeeper. As a child, Arieh enjoyed fishing and sport.

After the war, Arieh came to England with the Southampton group and studied electronics in the London ORT School. He eventually moved to Israel. He married Klara and has two children, Neta and Gil and six grandchildren Omer, Gila, Noah, Eldad, Itai and Asaf. He worked in electronics and has many interests: gardening, history, classical music, archaeology, many of which are represented on his square.

The left of the border includes his place of birth and the names of his parents, Yuda and Klara, who died in the Holocaust. The right-hand border shows the names of the new family he created.

Zvi Dagan


My father Zvi Dagan was born on 15th August 1930, in Piotrokov, Poland. He was taken to Buchenwald, Germany,

and went through three camps until he was finally liberated in Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia, on the 9th May 1945.

He was brought to England on the 14th August 1945 and started a new life learning how to change from a human animal to a human being. He studied and became an engineer.

He left for Israel in September 1949 where he married Shoshana on 2nd June 1953. He is living in Ashkelon, has 2 daughters, 6 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.He is a very optimistic person and always has lots of plans for the future and his cup is always half full! He is full of hope and surrounds himself with young people and says he always feels wonderful. He has two lines that he likes to repeat: ‘always have a dream’ and ‘tomorrow is another day.’

Zehavit Talmi