Love, Marriage, and a Baby Carriage

In 1956, my father met my mother, Esther Langner (who sadly passed away six years ago), the daughter of Rabbi Avraham Langner and the granddaughter of the illustrious Rav Moshe Langner, the Strettiner Rebbe.  The Strettiner Rebbe of Toronto was the son of Grand Rabbi Yehudah Zvi Langner of Strettin, Poland, a widely known Chassidic… Continue reading Love, Marriage, and a Baby Carriage

The Years of Backbreaking Struggle

In 1954, my father opened a small kosher butcher shop in rented premises on the north side of Bloor, between Euclid and Manning Avenues. There was only one other kosher butcher at the time, but according to my father, they had terrible customer service. “I knew if I treated the customers well, they would come.”… Continue reading The Years of Backbreaking Struggle

Finding a Place to Call Home

After a year living in Nagyszalonta and following his father’s remarriage to Chana, my father went to the Pocking DP camp, the second largest DP camp in Germany. There, he received diploma from ORT, the organization for reconstruction and training,  for his studies in the trade of weaving, dated September 2, 1947. The Pocking DP… Continue reading Finding a Place to Call Home

Liberation

After enduring seven months in Schachandorf, which included the frigid winter months, May arrived together with the resonant sounds of thundering cannon fire being exchanged between the German and the Russian Allied soldiers. With the prospect of liberation by the Russians imminent, the SS guards gathered the 2000 boys who remained of the original 5000… Continue reading Liberation

Schachandorf

The boys crossed the border into Austria and walked some 15 km to Schachendorf. Today, Schachendorf is a bucolic agricultural town with acres of wheat fields that obscure an ugly truth: This is the place where approximately 1500 to 2000 Jews were buried in a mass grave. In 1944, Schachendorf was a desolate place except… Continue reading Schachandorf