Helen Yermus

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“I hope that we survivors are never forgotten, and that future generations realize the unspeakable consequences of hatred and prejudice. Educate yourselves; educate others; learn from history.”


Helen Yermus was born in 1932 in Kovno, Lithuania. In 1941 when the Nazis invaded the area, the family tried to escape to the USSR but were driven back to the Kovno Ghetto. In the spring of 1944, the Nazis launched a KinderAktion - a roundup of Jewish children. Her brother was taken away, never to be seen again. After the Kovno Ghetto was liquidated, Helen and her mother were shipped to the Stutthof concentration camp and her father was taken to Dachau where he died. In January 1945, Helen and her mother managed to escape the great Death Marches, but were injected with a poisonous substance, when the Nazis found them. Miraculously they survived. After three years in a Displaced Persons camps they came to Canada in 1948. Helen married Aaron Yermus in 1952 whom she met in the DP camp. They were blessed with three children and nine grandchildren.