Updated: Mar 29, 2021
Written by our founder:
She was born Perla Fiszel on December 17, 1925 in Bedzin, Poland.
At the age of 14 she was taken to Grunberg Labor Camp where she remained for approximately 4 - 5 years.
In the winter of 1945 she was evacuated from Grunberg camp and forced to join a death march to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, walking for weeks and covering approximately 400 km in freezing temperatures.
She was liberated from Bergen-Belsen by British troops on April 15th, 1945.
She was my maternal grandmother.
She died December 22, 2015, in Ontario, Canada, just days after she turned 90.
Since her death we have seen a drastic rise in hate crimes and antisemitic hate crimes in particular.
Within the last week we’ve seen violence and heard rhetoric that is deeply disturbing. A newly elected congresswoman praised Hitler for being right about one thing, and at the U.S. Capitol insurrection we saw men wearing bold “Camp Auschwitz” and “6 Million Weren’t Enough” shirts, Nazi salutes and symbols.
I have felt grateful my grandmother passed 5 years ago and hasn’t been here to witness the rise in antisemitism and attacks against the Jewish community because it would have broken her... and to see the behavior on full display last week, and hear so many in this country trying to explain it away.
Antisemitism is a serious issue that we as individuals, organizations and a nation must address. We will be sharing more about my grandmother’s story and how we can fight antisemitism this year. We hope you will join us.
All information included in the slides was sourced from the “Audit of Antisemitic Incidents 2019” by the Anti-Defamation League: www.adl.org/audit2019