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.”
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.”
‘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.
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”.
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
• For details, or to help with the quilt creation, email second firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.45aidsociety.co.uk
The 2014 Annual Reunion was held on Sunday 4th May at the Holiday Inn, Carburton Street, London
It was a hugely successful evening.’ ‘
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’ ‘
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=”http://vimeo.com/11489415″] View film tribute to The Boys as shown at the Reunion[/button]
To see the photos click here.
The ’45 Aid Society Annual Dinner will be held on Sunday 6th May 2012 at the same venue as last year, the Holiday Inn, Carburton Street (near Regent’s Park), London W1W 5EE. There will be entertainment and a guest speaker. The ticket price for the event is at the same level of £50 per head. For those wishing to obtain tickets email Ros Gelbart.’ ‘
The 67th Annual Reunion of the 45 Aid Society took place on Sunday 6th May 2012. Over 230 people attended the event which included Lord Greville Janner among the guests.
Following the Reception, guests were treated to the showing of a new short film charting the story of the Boys. The film, a tribute to The Boys by the Second Generaton, has recently been updated by Maurice Helfgott and further developed with new material from new sources and with information from recent projects.
[button href=”http://vimeo.com/42193290″] View film tribute to The Boys as shown at 2012 Reunion[/button]
Ben Helfgott MBE, Chair of the 45 Aid Society, who has recently been awarded an honorary doctorate, opened the speeches. Ben presented Lord Janner with a leatherbound copy of Martin Gilbert’s ‘The Boys’, signed by many of the Boys present and their families.
Following on from Lord Janner, Mark Perl spoke on behalf of the Second Generation. Mark has recently worked with the Holocaust Education Trust to develop his father’s story to tell in schools. He spoke movingly about schoolchildren’s responses to his story and highlighted the importance of personalising the events of the Holocaust to bring it home to future generations as numbers of survivors diminish.
The evening’s speeches were concluded by Mr Vivian Wineman, Chair of the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
The evening was a tremendous success and an opportunity for friends and families to meet.
This year’s 45 Aid Journal will be available do download from the website shortly, along with photos of the evening.” ”
Jewish Care Charity Registration Number 802559
One of the most exciting sopranos in the world
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 email@example.com
Book online at www.jewishcare.org/hsc/dinner
The ITS (International Tracing Service) has recently allowed access to over 50m documents from the war which were previously unavailable. The HSVRC is currently catalogueing and documenting them with the hope that eventually they will be available to be searched on the internet. ntil this service is fully available, they are providing specific assistance in searching for holocaust victims by surviving relatives. You can fill in a form on line as follows:
To submit research requests of the type you describe below, please visit the Research Request page at http://itsrequest.ushmm.org/its/getting_started.php. There is no fee for this service.
This is a fantastic new service available to all 2nd Gen as a direct descendant of a holocaust survivor.’ ‘
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 7.30.pm
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.’ ‘