Identification card : Paper : Printed, Handwritten : Ink : Pink, b&w, Blue ; Ht: 10,25 x W: 14
Other Title Information
[Prior to 1949-05-02]
1 page, double-sided. Folded once vertically to create four panels. On verso, left panel, Yiddish text printed on top and bottom. In centre, insignia of an ornate harp. On recto, left panel, square b&w photograph of cardholder affixed with one staple. Signature underneath. Yiddish printed text on right panel with additions written by hand. Document is a membership card for the 'Amchu' artists' group, attached to the Jewish Labour Committee, issued to Mayer Abramowicz. Narrative: Bella (Beila, Bela) Herling and Mayer (Majer, Meyer, Meir) Abramovitch (Abramovitz, Abramowicz, Abramowitz) were the parents of the donor, Toby Herscovitch. Bella was born in Suchedniów, Poland on September 25, 1925, the youngest of a family of ten children. Her parents and five siblings were murdered in the Holocaust. Bella and three of her sisters survived the war working as slave labourers in an ammunitions factory in Skarzysko-Kamienna. They were liberated by Russian troops on January 16, 1945, and made their way to the Feldafing Displaced Persons Camp, where they reunited with a brother who had survived Auschwitz. Bella volunteered for nursing training by a Jewish refugee agency, and worked as a nurse in the camp from 1946 to 1948. In 1948, she joined her sister Paula in Toronto, where she worked as a nurse's aide and married Mayer, a fellow survivor who she had known from Feldafing. Born November 10, 1914 in Vilna (Vilnius), he was the sole survivor of a family of six children. He lived in the Vilna ghetto and worked in a factory making window panes for German barracks; he was later sent to a labour camp in Tallin, Estonia, and then to Stutthof concentration camp. In the final days of the war, he escaped from a subsequent transfer to Dachau concentration camp and was liberated. He spent three months sick in a hospital and ended up in Feldafing, where he was active in the "Amchu" or "AMCHO" theater group, part of the Jewish Labour Committee. He lived for a year in France, and immigrated to Canada in May, 1949. Bella and Mayer moved to Montreal in 1950 and opened a fabric store. Mayer passed away in 2001, and Bella in 2014.