“Be proud that you are Jewish. You don’t have to be religious to be a good Jew. Teach your children to see and to witness.”
Kathleen Zahavi was born in 1929, in Nyiregyhaza, Hungary, a small city with about 10,000 Jews. In 1944, the German army invaded Hungary, and within days Kathleen and her family had to move into the ghetto. Four weeks later the transports started. At 14 years old, Kathleen, her sisters and parents were sent to Auschwitz. Both parents perished there, but the three sisters survived. After a few months in Auschwitz they were sent to Dachau and after three months in Dachau, they were deported to Bergen- Belsen. Together the three sisters were liberated on April 12, 1945. One sister died shortly after liberation. Post war, Kathleen and her sister returned to Hungary, only to discover that they were the only survivors from their family. They joined the Shomer Ha’Tzair movement and went to Palestine. In 1959, Kathleen moved to Canada with her husband and eldest daughter. Kathleen has two children, and four grandchildren.