“Always remember the lessons of the Shoah. It is part of our Jewish history. When the survivors are no longer here, it will be up to the future generations to carry on. I hope that the students commit to remembering the lessons of the Shoah and will have a greater dedication to the Jewish people and Israel.”
Anita Ekstein was born in Lvov, Poland, in 1934, to Edzia and Fischel Helfgott. In 1942, after her mother was taken away, she was taken in and hidden by Josef Matusiewicz, a Polish Catholic man and his family; and then hidden again in 1943, by Matusiewicz’s nephew, who was a priest. Her mother was murdered in October 1942 in the Belzec death camp. Her father was murdered in 1943. Anita was liberated in 1945. She immigrated to Canada in 1948, with a surviving aunt. In 1988, Anita went to the Ernst Zundel trial in Toronto. His denial of the Holocaust motivated her to speak out about her experiences. Anita feels that education will lead to better understanding about what happened to the Jewish people and a warning of how this could happen again to anyone, at any time. Anita has three children, eight grandchildren and two great granddaughters.