20 Congregations in the Eastern Synod Central Toronto Ministry Area: Working together, creating a vibrant church relevant in our communities

Holocaust Remembrance at St.Ansgar

Saturday, November 10, St. Ansgar will be hosting a Holocaust Education Week event, the 3rd year hosting this event. Through continued collaboration we hope to reach out to those hurting from this pain and let them know that there is enough love for everyone. We would like to have support from our Lutheran family and show solidarity in love to people who need it.

The evening will be a testimony by Holocaust survivor Hedy Bohm, who was born in 1928 in Oradea, Romania, to Ignatz and Erzsebet (Breuer) Klein. She was an only child, who attended the same Jewish girls’ school as her mother. Her father created beautiful custom furniture. In April 1944, Hedy’s entire community was ordered to leave their homes and 30,000 Jews were crammed into a small ghetto. Groups were shipped out daily in stifling cattle car trains. In May 1944, Hedy and her parents were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, in Nazi-occupied Poland.


Hedy was separated from both her mother and father, never to see them again. Three months later, at the age of 16, she was selected to go to Fallersleben, a slave-labour camp in Germany, where she assembled land mines and V2 rockets in a converted Volkswagen plant. After liberation, in 1945, Hedy made her way back to Oradea. Her aunt, Ilus, who survived due to her marriage to a non-Jew, opened her home and heart to her. In December 1947, Hedy married Imre Bohm whose parents were also killed. They left Romania because of the Communist takeover.


Upon arrival in Toronto in 1948, they began a new life. Hard work enabled Hedy and Imre to grow from factory workers to owners of their own small successful business, which Hedy continued to run after her husband’s death in 1992. Hedy retired in 2007 and enjoys spending her summers at the cottage with her two grandsons, swimming, reading, doing yoga, tai-chi and playing bridge. Her greatest gift to her children, Vicky and Ronnie, is their Canadian citizenship.


With fewer survivors alive, Hedy felt compelled to share her own experience and hopes that it will have made a difference in the lives of her listeners.