Hersch Z.

Lost his father’s family and 43 members of his wife’s family during the Holocaust
Holocaust Education Symposium 2001 "I WILL NOT BE SILENT IN THE FACE OF INTOLERANCE"

Hersch Z. was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1937, the younger sibling of brother Joe and sister Ruth. The Z. family moved to Vancouver in the early 1940s, and Hersch returned to Winnipeg in 1959. Two years later, he married Lillian Bober, and their family grew to include daughters Pam and Ali and grandson Jonah. Family is an important part of Hersch’s life, and he was influenced to undertake Holocaust Education by the loss of his father’s family and 43 members of his wife’s family during the Holocaust.

Earning Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education degrees from the University of Manitoba, Hersch taught high school History and English for 28 years, leaving teaching due to illness in 1992. He began making presentations in Manitoba schools on the Holocaust and its implications for racism as it exists today. In 1988 he was selected by the B'nai Brith League for Human Rights to join 17 other Canadian teachers for the Holocaust and Hope programme, on a journey to six concentration camps in Poland and Germany and visits to survivor groups in Israel. This programme continues with different groups of teachers every two years.

Hersch continues his dedication to Holocaust Education by presenting to students. It is one of the primary commitments of his life. Accompanied by a number of survivors, who, in spite of the difficulty of the task, relate their personal stories of pain and survival to audiences, he addresses several key issues. He teaches that the Holocaust is the epitome of the result of racism, and that blindness to the lessons of the Holocaust can only lead to recurring attempts at genocide. Information and discussion about the racist immigration policies of the Canadian government throughout the Holocaust, the loss of pre-Holocaust Jewish culture and the genocide of Jews and other ethnic and social groups, resistance movements and the actions of Righteous Gentiles are all part of this message.

The Holocaust Awareness Committee of the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg and the board of the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada, which includes the Holocaust Education Centre, have assisted in his efforts through their generosity and understanding.


Offered by the

Victoria Holocaust Remembrance and Education Society