Voices from the Melbourne Jewish Community

Anthology - Makor Publishing


The seventh anthology and 138th title in the Write Your Story series.

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This anthology gives voice to the remarkable variety of experiences that make up the texture of the Melbourne community. Many of them reflect the fact that Australia had the highest percentage of Holocaust survivors of any diaspora Jewish community in the world. Each voice gives a picture of the family before the war, when life was sweet, so the reader knows what was taken away. Two photos accompany every contribution: when possible, one from the past and then a family group from the present – a celebration of the new life they were given.

Fortunately, not everyone is a Holocaust survivor. While the collection includes some of the most brutal stories imaginable from that time, it also features stories of Yiddish performers, migrants from Buenos Aires, a Dunera boy and an emeritus professor. It honours people who have served the community for decades: the devoted convert who heads the Chevra Kadisha, the unassuming sole survivor who engineered the Myer Music Bowl and the extraordinary philanthropist who raised over $15 million for charity. Many of these people are well known but their stories have never been published. The anthology is a testament to the courage, intelligence, inventiveness and love of life that abound in this unique Jewish community.

Table of Contents and Contributors:


How my mother never left me  Marysia Kohn
The man who danced at Auschwitz  Adolek Kohn
Reflections of a fortunate Jew  Michael Hammerman
A survivor’s odyssey  Wolf Deane
A holiday romance  emeritus Professor Louis Waller AO
Four years in Siberia  Julek Sokal
Dunera Boy  Harry Unger
In my mother’s footsteps  Brigetta Paneth OAM
Before I met Richard  Lillian Frank AM, MBE
Before I met Lillian  Richard Frank
All I want is four good boys  Ian Samuel OAM/td>
How I survived  Mary Frydenberg
A legacy  Ida Klein
Making our lives in the lucky country  Helen Pinch
A teenage boy from Warsaw  Alex Blank
A very lucky life  Ilse Lamm
My pink life  Eve Lustig
Becoming myself  Lena Fiszman
To Melbourne from Romania, via Italy  Eva Levinson
Survival, my story  Helen Granek
Survived to become OK  Otto Kohn
A survivor from Chust, Czechoslovakia  Helen ‘Chajču’ Schon
A Yiddishist in shtetl Melbourne  Irene ‘Tomi’ Kalinski
Thirty years with the Melbourne Chevra Kadisha  Ephraim Finch OAM
Thirty years with the conversion team  Cas Finch
A Shanghai story  Leo Sherwin
From Buenos Aires to Melbourne  Pepe and Juanita Bekinschtein
The mikvah, my shlichut, my mission  Tamara ‘Timmy’ Rubin
Where to go … where to go …  Ruth Scheuer
A glimpse of my life  Assia (Chassia) New
A portrait of my parents  Yoshue Rapoport