Those left standing

January 26, 2015 by Roz Tarszisz
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Around 160 Holocaust survivors accompanied by family, friends and carers commemorated 70 years of survival…when survivors were asked to stand only about 80 made their presence felt.

Michael Jaku told J-Wire: “If we had been attending an event ten years ago to celebrate 60 years of survival, there may have been well over 300 hundred.”

Those left standing 1      Photo: Henry Benjamin

Those left standing  Photo: Henry Benjamin

For survivors of the Holocaust, time has taken its toll. Their numbers are dwindling as they become frail but their spirits are as strong as ever.

Those left standing    Photo: Henry Benjamin

Those left standing Photo: Henry Benjamin

It was a both a happy and poignant occasion as members of the Australian Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors (AAJHS) and their families met  at  the Sydney Jewish Museum to mark International Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January.

Peter Wayne, President of the AAJHS told guests they were there to celebrate “Liberty, Life and the Legacy of the Holocaust”.

Alex Lowy

Alex Lowy

“For the survivors it is a celebration of their lives and for subsequent generations, our lives too.  We must always celebrate in the shadow of the Shoah”.

Olga Horak

Olga Horak

Wayne paid tribute to survivors who had to get on with their lives and work hard and how for those who lost all their family, other survivors were all they had.

CEO Norman Seligman reminded guests about the generosity of the late John Saunders in founding the museum together with the input of the late Marika Weinberger and that of many others present. He said he was in awe of the survivor community and how they had rebuilt their lives.


Lotte Weiss

Afternoon tea was served as guests were entertained by Len Mahemoff and Elana Shatari who accompanied him.  As Mahemoff sang old favourites in Yiddish and Hebrew, guests joined in singing those they remembered.

Eddie Jaku

Eddie Jaku

“I lost all my family and remember them when I hear these songs” said Eddie Jaku.

“ I would give anything to have had my mother here.  We came from Germany, a civilised country, yet such terrible things happened.  Terrible things continue to happen: the world has not learned. “

“These people here today are my brothers and sisters and I love them” he said.

Norman Seligman and Peter Wayne

Norman Seligman and Peter Wayne


Len Mehemoff

“I was extremely grateful that I came to Australia and am happy to be here at the Jewish Museum” said Lotte Weiss.

David Benedikt started guiding after he retired 22 years ago.  He guides two-three days a week and had taken a group prior to the commemoration.

He enjoys explaining to visitors what they are going to see so they can better understand the exhibits.

“I don’t want to be in the limelight” he said.

All photos  Henry Benjamin

Gallery by George Foster

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One Response to “Those left standing”
  1. Raymond Phillips says:

    A question: Is there a list of names of those who survived the Holocaust. I am interested in those living in Sydney. Due to being away for many years I have lost contact.

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