Join us at the Sydney Jewish Museum for a unique opportunity to hear, in-person, from five survivors of the Holocaust. Each survivor will read an extract from their incredible memoir as well as share memories of the suffering they endured, and how they were able to rebuild their lives in Australia.
All the autographed memoirs will be on sale at the event.
Olga Horak (Australian)
Olga was born in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia in 1926. She and her family went into hiding, but were betrayed and herded into cattle cars to Auschwitz. Olga’s father and grandmother were sent to the gas chambers to die. Olga, 17 and her mother were stripped, shaven and tattooed, beginning many years of suffering. They were on the death march to Dresden, and then Bergen-Belsen. Suffering from typhus and diphtheria, they miraculously survived and were liberated on 15 April 1945. The day after liberation, Olga’s mother collapsed and died, leaving Olga alone in the world. Olga’s book is entitled From Auschwitz to Australia.
Francine Lazarus (Australian)
Francine was born in 1938 in Ixelles, Belgium. She survived the Holocaust as a young child by being hidden with complete strangers, isolated from her family, moving from one stranger’s home to the next. She witnessed many horrific incidents and suffered abuse herself. Her father was murdered in Auschwitz and post-war she was placed in foster care and was forcibly sent to work at the age of 13. She suffered much trauma which has haunted her throughout her life. Her memoir is entitled A Hidden Jewish Child form Belgium.
Paul Drexler (Australian)
Paul was born in 1938 in Slovakia and was a young child when World War II began. He was in hiding in various places with his mother and father from the age of 5. He witnessed his mother and father both brutally beaten by police. Thereafter, they were transported to Sered, a labor and transit camp in the Slovak Republic, where his father was separated from them. In December 1944, he and his mother were transported to Theresienstadt where they spent many months in terrible conditions. They were liberated by the Soviet Army in May 1945. He never saw his father again and spent many years trying to find out what had become of him. His memoir is In Search of My Father.
Richard Haber (Australian)
Richard Haber was born in Poland in 1933, the year Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany As a child in the Krakow ghetto, he narrowly avoided death before escaping with his parents and beginning a perilous life on the run. The family was eventually captured, placed in a forced march to Auschwitz. They again managed to escape and were hidden for nine months by a Polish couple until the war ended. His is an inspirational story of resilience. His memoir is entitled Still Here.
Johnny Weiss (Australian)
Johnny Weiss will speak on behalf of his mother Lotte Weiss who passed away in 2021. Hers is a miraculous story of survival of the Holocaust. Her memoir is entitled My Two Lives.