As the generation who survived the Holocaust is slowing disappearing, the work of Yad Vashem is increasingly important.
As part of my Bat Mitzvah, I decided to twin with a young victim of the Holocaust who tragically was unable to celebrate her Bat Mitzvah. Hanna Florsheim was born in Hamburg, Germany in 1932, to loving parents Arthur and Frieda. Hanna died in 1941 at the age of 9, having been deported by the Nazis. Yad Vashem tries to make connections with you and a victim. My twin was born in the same city as my Great Grandpa Jacob Schreiber. When he was 13, his family was summoned to the local police station under Nazi guard. While they we waiting to be told their outcome, he escaped through the toilet window and never saw his family again. He managed to survive in hiding, in Hamburg, until a place was found for him on the last youth Aliyah group who left for Europe for what was then British Mandate Palestine. He travelled by train to Trieste and then by boat to Haifa where his elderly aunt and her family were living. He attended night school and worked in the day setting himself up in life. He married and had three children who still survive him today. During the six-day war, he risked his company’s fortune by supplying oil to the Israeli army when all his suppliers threatened to blacklist him for this. He was quite determined to do the right thing even when others thought it was wrong. A remarkable family man, businessman and Zionist.
I raised money for Yad Vashem so that the work undertaken by the foundation which includes strengthening Jewish continuity, protecting the basic values of humankind and educating future generations about the Holocaust can continue. As the generation who survived the Holocaust is slowing disappearing, the work of Yad Vashem is increasingly important.