In memory of our Child Survivors of the Holocaust
Acknowledging our precious Child Survivors of the Holocaust and holding their memory in perpetuity.
Melbourne’s ‘Yiddish treasure’ Danielle Charak and child survivor, who has been remembered for her warmth, positivity and wisdom.
Charak was born in Brussels in 1939 and when the war came to Belgium, she was put in the care of a non-Jewish family, who looked after her for a year until 1944. She was reunited with her parents and older sister, the late Floris Kalman, after the war and the family moved to Melbourne in 1949.
Charak taught at Mount Scopus, and for many years wrote the Yiddish VCE exam, and was recognised internationally as a Yiddish scholar.
Original member of the CSH Melbourne Group, Oscar was a Buchenwald Boy. One of 900 boys aged 8 – 18 who survived the notorious Buchenwald concentration camp. Liberated; April 11, 1945. Oscar, assisted by the Red Cross arrived at a Displaced Person’s camp in France, where he met the great love of his life CSH, Eleyan. Married in Paris; the couple eventually made their way to Australia.
Dr. Margit Korn
I came to know Margit when I became Chairperson for the CSH group, 2013. Our friendship blossomed from that time until Margit’s passing. Margit was an avid reader of Connections, no sooner had her emailed copy arrived her critique landed in my inbox. ‘Excellent edition Viv!’
I have her framed photo on my desk; she spurs me on to this day – Viv ParryRead article
Born in Hungary, Eva left after the Revolution arriving in Australia to start her new life.
Being one of the original Child Survivors of the Holocaust Group Eva attended every meeting in those formative years of the CSH group.
Feeling safe amongst her own Eva told her CSH story to the members confessing it was the first time in her life she had ever said she was Jewish.
On behalf of the CSH Melbourne Group, we send our condolences to the Balogh family; Eva will be remembered for her dedication to the group as well as her passion for all child survivor related issues.
Bernadette Gore. (Founding Committee member CSH)
Marietta Elliott Kleerkoper
Marietta is remembered warmly for her passion for the CSH group, including her contributions to the CSH Anthologies, meetings and events. Marietta: Author, teacher, photographer, story teller and keeper, loyal friend, staunch ally, proud “Dutchie”.
Poet whose words are everlasting, Mar was all of the above and so much more.Read article
Much loved original CSH founding member Eva left her stamp indelibly on the CSH group. Her dedication and inspirational ideas contributed to some of the most memorable events. The CSH patchwork wall hanging (to be displayed in the new MHM Children’s museum) and the CSH Time Capsule are two important contributions. We will miss Eva’s famous jokes, her observations about life and stories of her much-loved family, especially her life partner Stan.Read article
Susi Sambor was a very warm, loving and generous person. Susie was a very loyal and caring friend and when I got engaged Susi came to help prepare for the party. I last saw Susi when she visited the Melbourne Holocaust Museum in 2019. I remember thinking how even as she was becoming frailer she still had a beautiful smile and face.
Rae Silverstein, MHM Volunteer Coordinator.
“Anna (Anne) Gouttman, born in Krakow on 19 July 1939, sadly died on 25 February 2020. To all who knew her, she was a loving, kind and generous friend. Although her light has now been forever extinguished, her memory fervently lives in the minds of so many.
Anna was an ever-faithful member and supporter of the Child survivor Melbourne Group.
Dr Rodney Gouttman
Floris was the second CSH President taking over from our founding President Paul Valent; her love for her fellow CSH members and the group knew no boundaries.
Often called upon to speak at CSH seminars and special occasions, Floris was always reluctant to take the offer but on the day her carefully chosen words, humility and optimism always won over the audience. Floris left wonderful memories for all of us who were privileged to know her.Watch her testimony
Born to a Jewish family, in Galicia’s oil industry, this beautiful woman, orphaned at 12 survived multiple concentration camps alone. After marrying David Schnall in Italy, they had 2 children in Melbourne. David died at 57 but she delighted in 2 grandsons & gained deep satisfaction & solace guiding here with friends for 20+ years.Watch her testimony
Gary Gray (Gustav Josef Crajcar)
Born in Sosnowiec, Poland. In April 1942, aged thirteen, he was incarcerated for three years in a number of slave-labour concentration camps.
After being liberated from the Sportshule Reichenbach Concentration Camp on May 5th, 1945, he made the trip home and discovered that his parents and younger sister had died in Auschwitz in 1943. He later worked in the Ministry of Commerce in Warsaw for a number of years before discovering that he had two aunts in Australia and a year later he came to join them.
He eventually married and had 3 daughters. He had many jobs but found his niche in selling cars. He is considered one of the top car salesman in Australia.
In 1986, Gary Gray began recording his war experiences as a legacy for his three daughters, in the form of short stories. These have consequently gained wide acclaim, having been published in various anthologies, magazines and newspapers. This eventual led to Gary publishing his book “A Spoonful of Soup and other stories” which brings together all his stories, allowing the reader to make that terrible and unforgettable journey with the author.
Upon retirement he became a survivor guide at the Melbourne Holocaust Museum, recounting his wartime experiences to thousands of students and adults.
Maurie (Maurice) Hoffman
born in Lubaczow, Galicia, Poland in 1929. In his memoir, ‘Keep Yelling: A Survivor’s Testimony’ 1995, he recounts the story of his survival through World War II, first by hiding outside the ghetto in the cellar of his family home, then by escaping to join the Russian partisans in the Galician forests, contending with Ukrainian partisans, German soldiers, hostile Poles and bandits.
Orphaned and effectively uprooted after the war, he sought to reach Palestine by his ship, intercepted by the British, was forced to dock in Italy.
In Italy he acquired a general education and compiled his memoirs. In 1949 he immigrated to Australia, dreaming of creating a family and establishing himself in the business world. These memoirs laid dormant for 40 years until he knew it was time to share them with his children and the rest of the world.