Memory Quilt Project – Dates and Plans

To mark 2015, the 70th Year Anniversary of the Liberation of the Camps, the 2nd & 3rd Generation group is creating Memory Quilt in which every one of “The Boys” is commemorated.  The finished Memory Quilt will be displayed as a wall hanging. The London Jewish Museum is the first museum that has agreed to exhibit the Memory Quilt when finished.

We are asking each Survivor’s family to create something special to represent some aspect of the 45 Aid Survivor in your family.  The chosen theme might be: ‘Who am I?’ or include personal memories. It may be a significant object, a picture, a photo, or something that represents family or other achievements in the last 69 years, such as ‘My Journey’ or ‘My Legacy’.

We really hope each Survivor’s family, children and grandchildren, can join in on this creative journey.

Need Help?

Contact us to discuss your ideas and to get help from the creative team who are here to help.

Final Submission date is now 28 February 2015 

Please send us your finished square by the 28 February 2015 to give us time to put the Quilt together before the 70th AnniversaryReunion on 3 May 2015 in London.

Contact Julia Burton on or Rosalind Gelbart for further details” ”

65th Anniversary Reunion Dinner

Over 300 people attended the Reunion Dinner of the 45 Aid Society’s 65th anniversary.

The evening was attended by the survivors, 2nd generation and now many 3rd generation.

It was a wonderful heartfelt evening with survivors from this country and those who came from abroad.

Chief Rabbi made a memorable speech not only celebrating the lives of the survivors but all suggested incorporating an annual prayer within the shul service.

A biopic film was made by members of the 2nd generation giving a brief yet wonderful insight into the lives of the survivors who come to the UK.

[button href=”″] View film tribute to The Boys as shown at the Reunion[/button]

To see the photos click here.

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Dinner and Recital

Jewish Care Charity Registration Number 802559

One of the most exciting sopranos in the world

Natasha Marsh

In aid of the

Holocaust Survivors’ Centre

A unique therapeutic service for Holocaust Survivors

Wednesday 24 February 2010

Dinner and Recital

The Carlton Tower Hotel

Cadogan Place, London SW1X 9PY

Ticket price: £125.00

6.45pm Reception  7.30pm Dinner  10.30pm Carriages


To book tickets please contact Amanda Rose on

020 8203 9033 / 07770 314 960 or email

Book online at


Click Here to Download the Flyer (PDF)‘ ‘

Yom Hashoah From Grief to Hope

The Chief Rabbi invites the community to commemorate Yom Hashoah on Monday 12 April 2010 at Edgware United Synagogue.  Doors open at 6.45pm to be seated by 7.15 pm.

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Yom Hashoah Forum 11 April

A number of organisations have collaborated to form a Forum for Yom Hoshoah falls this year on Sunday 11 April 2010 and willl be commemorated at the Dell in Hyde Park London at 11am.’ ‘

45 Aid Reunion 2010

A major celebration involving 2nd and 3rd generation is being planned for this year’s 45 Aid Reunion, the 65th event in the association’s history. When: Monday, 3 May 2010 (UK Bank Holiday Monday) Time: Reception 4:30 p.m. followed by Dinner at 6:00 p.m. Where: Holiday Inn Hotel Regents Park, Carburton Street, London W1W 5EE (Map) Dress: Lounge Suit Cost: £50 per person Tickets: Ruby Friedman’ ‘

LJCC lectures

During March, there are 5 lectures being given at the London Jewish Cultural Centre (LJCC). These unique events will be of real interest to many of us and the details are as follows:

7th March: “Polish & Jewish Relations During World War II” – Professor Anthony Polonski 12th March: The annual Leonard G. Montefiore lecture entitled “1942, 70 years later” – William Tyler [NOTE: This lecture starts at 7:45 pm].

14th March: “Polish & Jewish Relations Since World War II” – Professor Anthony Polonski

21st March: “Polish & Jewish Relations A Personal Perspective” Ben Helfgott

28th March: “Polish & Jewish Relations Into The 21st Century” Kate Gerrard

Each of the above lectures is due to start at 7:30 pm and are likely to finish approximately around 9:00 pm to 9:30 pm, with the exception of the Montefiore lecture as noted above.

The address of the LJCC is as follows: London Jewish Cultural Centre 94-96 North End Road London, NW11 7SX Tel: 020 8457 5000 The normal entrance fee for these lectures is £15 BUT for members of the ’45 Aid Society will only have to pay £5.” ”


The ’45 Aid Society in conjunction with London Jewish Cultural Centre invite you to: The 34th Annual Leonard G.Montefiore Memorial Lecture

On: Tuesday 23 February 2010 at
Title: “Evaluation of the Year 1940, 70 Years Later”
Speaker: William Tyler

1940 Was a crucial year in the history of Europe and of the wider world.  Here in England it was the year in which we stood alone against Nazi tyranny. Continental Europe saw the advance of Nazi troops across the continent, with the Fall of France proving particularly significant. 1940 also saw the infamous Nazi Pact with Russia in full operation. Just 70 years ago this year, in the living memory of some but distant history to the young, it is important for us all to remember the horrors and the dangers of Europe 70 years ago.

In the Chair:  Trudy Gold

Venue: London Jewish Cultural Centre

Ivy House, 94-96 North End Road

London. NW11 7SX

Refreshments will be served following the lecture.

To confirm your attendance

Please reply to London Jewish Cultural Centre on 020 8457 5000 telling them that you are a member of the 45 Aid Society for whom there will be no charge for admittance. If you are attending please take this invitation with you.’ ‘

“Stitch In Time” – Jewish News Features Memory Quilt Project

in December 2014 the London Jewish News featured the 45 Aid Society and Second Generation and the Memory Quilt project

SPECIAL REPORT: Stitches in time – ‘Memory quilt’ marks 70 years since Shoah liberation

December 26, 2014

The families of Shoah survivors are creating a ‘memory quilt’ to mark next year’s 70th anniversary of liberation.

Of the 1.5 million children who suffered the horrors of the Holocaust, only a tiny number survived.

Of that tiny number, Britain took in only a fraction after the war.

Mainly based up in the Lake District, this group of 732 children, who became known as “The Boys”, were resettled from orphanages in Eastern Europe.

About 80 of them were girls, and they formed a tight-knit group of friends, bonded by a terrible shared experience almost beyond imagination.

They formed the ‘45 Aid Society to provide support for each other and to campaign for other charitable causes.

Their harrowing story – of ghettos, concentration camps, death marches and hiding – has since been retold, by historian Sir Martin Gilbert, among others, in his book The Boys.

Now, to mark next year’s 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps, the survivors’ descendants have launched an ambitious project to create a memory quilt, for every one of the 732 children, as an act of commemoration.

“Our parents have deputed to us the responsibility of guarding their testimony, bearing vicarious witness to their life stories and of remembering the lives that were destroyed,” said the Second Generation Group in a statement.

“To keep alive the memories of events from the Holocaust, people must be reminded of the facts.”

square 1 harry fox


Harry Fox” created by his wife, Annie. “My beloved husband never changed his name in any official sense, and still used Chaim Fuks. The words L’Chaim, ‘To life’ are there because he never ceased to choose life. No matter what setbacks he encountered, he never gave up.”


he team, including a newly-formed group of volunteers, are reaching out to the survivors and their descendants around the world, gathering together contributions and planning the display of the finished piece.

The memory quilt group has held workshops at Jewish Care’s Holocaust Survivors’ Centre in Hendon, where they meet to discuss ideas and the creative process with members of the second and third generation, who are making squares for their parents and grandparents.. “This is an important project to commemorate the lives of the survivors,” said Second Generation member Julia Burton.

“We are delighted to have recruited a team of volunteers, though Jewish Care, who have a passion for needlework and are able to help with some of the quilt squares.”

Derek Taylor,

‘Esther and Stan’, made by their daughter, Lorna Brunstein. “My square lists the stopping points of each of their journeys and features a photo of the Grand Palais Yiddish Theatre, a place of great significance to both of them, as it was where they first met”.

‘Abraham (ALF) Kirszberg’, made by his daughter, Elaine Blatt. The words and accompanying photos tell a lovely story.

‘Abraham (ALF) Kirszberg’, made by his daughter, Elaine Blatt. The words and accompanying photos tell a lovely story.

Since the project launch and a series of creative workshops, untold stories have been coming in from survivors and their families.

Organisers say these are “stories of miraculous survival through one of the darkest periods of human history, stories of bravery in overcoming hardships to rebuild lives and create strong families anew”.

square 7 Jan Goldberger

Left: Jan Goldberger made by his daughter, Cilla. Family members are represented as leaves on a tree, “illustrating how the family has grown and blossomed with our parents at the centre.” Right: Made by Holocaust survivor Hanka Ziegler Smith and her daughter, Thea Giardina. Center: Charles Shane made by his wife, Anita, who he married in 1950.

The survivors’ children hope that, by recounting their parents’ testimonies, lessons will be learned to benefit future generations.

“The memory quilt is going to be a powerful legacy for generations to come,” adds Julia.

The whole family met to develop the concept for a square to celebrate  the life of Josef Perl and Mandy, his daughter- in-law, then brought the concept of ‘a survivor’s story’ to life in words  and symbols.

The whole family met to develop the concept for a square to celebrate
the life of Josef Perl and Mandy, his daughter-
in-law, then brought the concept of ‘a survivor’s story’ to life in words
and symbols.


For details, or to help with the quilt creation, email second or visit


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Survivors’ Memory Quilt in London News

In January 2015 the Camden New Journal in London highlighted the work of the Second Generation of the 45 Aid Society and the Memory Quilt project. The article is reproduced below with a link to the original online version

FORUM: The memory quilt keeping Holocaust survivors’ stories alive

Published: 29 January, 2015

Hannah Gelbart’s mother and aunt, Rosalind Gelbart (left) and Julia Burton

Hannah Gelbart’s mother and aunt, Rosalind Gelbart (left) and Julia Burton, with the memory quilt

AS the world marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps, a group of Holocaust survivors and their families are weaving their memories into a gigantic memory quilt.

The quilt is inspired by textile artist Sheree Charalampous and each survivor’s family is contributing a fabric square to the patchwork commemoration.

The survivors, many of whom are now in their 80s, along with their children and grandchildren, have attended workshops where they turn their stories and their memories into cloth quilt squares. The designs are beautiful: abstract paintings, charcoal drawings, photos stitched into the fabric and family trees made of felt, to name but a few. The squares are a celebration of survival in the face of adversity and of lives rebuilt in the UK.

Yet behind each of them linger memories of one of the most horrific massacres of mankind.

One of the survivors was my grandfather, David Herman, who lived in Hampstead Garden Suburb. He died in 2008, but was determined to leave his testimony. He wanted the world to have no doubt about what he had been through.

David was 12 when the war started. A year later, his hometown of Munkacs came under the rule of Nazi Germany. David and his family moved to the Jewish ghetto, sharing their apartment with 24 other people. Three years later, on a chilly spring day, an SS officer appeared at their door, giving them minutes to pack their bags before herding them to the station. Their destination: Auschwitz.

They didn’t know that yet. Instead, they believed what they were told, that they were headed east, to be resettled on new land. On arrival at the infamous death camp, they were met by SS officers who beat them brutally with sticks. David was separated from his family as his mother was led to one side. He never saw her again.

Hannah Gelbart, a West Hampstead freelance journalist and Cambridge modern languages graduate, and her grandfather David Herman

My grandfather lied about his age so many times during his lifetime that, when he died seven years ago, not even he could remember how old he was. It was one of those lies that saved his life.

In Auschwitz, women, the young, the elderly and the infirm were sent straight to the gas chambers. At the age of 16  David would have been too young to work. By saying he was 18, and that he had a trade, he was judged useful enough to live.

From Auschwitz, David was transferred to five more concentration camps. In Rhemsdorf, where he was brutally exploited as slave labour to produce petroleum for the German war effort, he was miraculously reunited with his younger brother, Abe, who had also survived Auschwitz. They managed to keep each other alive during their imprisonment, and on the bitter and painfully long death march to Theresienstadt. Here they were eventually liberated by the Russians in 1945. At the time David was suffering from typhus and weighed four-and-a-half stone.

After the war the British government agreed to receive up to 1,000 orphaned Jewish child survivors. But of the 1.5million children who suffered at the hands of the Nazis only 732 could be found to move to the UK as part of this initiative.

Another lie about his age was enough to reserve David’s place for a new future in England. All of the child survivors that came to the UK carried experiences of several death camps and some had survived the infamous death marches. They travelled from Prague and Munich to residential hostels in Britain to begin new lives.

Being mostly male, they came to be known as “The Boys”, even though about 80 of them were girls. Bonded by terrible shared experiences, and having lost their families in the Holocaust, they formed a tight-knit group.

Their stories have been told by historian Sir Martin Gilbert in his 1996 book The Boys.

Despite the hands they were dealt, The Boys thrived in the UK. Many went on to have large families and build successful businesses. My grandfather made fur coats and it was as a fashion designer that he met my grandmother, Olive, who modelled his designs.

The Boys were determined to support each other and give back to the community that received them after the war. They created their own charitable organisation called the ’45 Aid Society, raising money for refugee causes and Holocaust education.

Every year they hold an annual reunion in London to celebrate their survival and their friendship. It is here that the memory quilt will be unveiled in May, before starting its journey to many museums around the country and the world.

My grandfather’s story is one of many, but nowadays the number of survivors who can tell those stories first-hand is dwindling.

The memory quilt will keep those stories alive and gives us, the children and grandchildren of The Boys, another great story to tell.” ”