Berthe Cygelfarb


“Not all people are the same. There were good people, people that helped and risked their lives to save us children. There are all kinds of people in the world and we are not all the same. Always remember that though there was bad – there was also good.”


Berthe Cygelfarb was born on July 18, 1931 in Brussels, Belgium where her parents, both born in Poland, met and married. In 1933 they moved to Paris and her brother was born. In 1941 during a roundup of men, her father was arrested and sent to Pithivier’s camp, where she visited him before he was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau where he died in July 1942. Jews were obliged to wear the yellow star and soon there was a roundup of women and children. When the French police came to arrest them, they fled for the countryside where they stayed until the end of the war. Berthe met her husband Wolf (Welwel) Cygelfarb, also a Holocaust survivor through Hashomer Hatzair which she joined in 1946. They were married in November 1950 and in December moved to Canada together. Welwel passed away in January 1992. They have two children and four grandchildren.