Photographs of Dusia's friends Photographs of Dusia's friends
Photographs of Dusia's friends Photographs of Dusia's friends

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Name of the exhibit: Photographs of Dusia’s Friends and Classmates, Fajn Family History

Submitted by: Rosalind Conway

Date of origin: July 13, 1936

Origin of the object: My mother saved photographs of her classmates, and of her best friend Ruta. They all perished in the Holocaust. Ruta sent a postcard of herself to my mother in Rumania, where my mother was living because of my grandmother’s asthma. The written account details how my grandfather took my mother and Uncle Romek Fein (still alive in Israel and now 99) to Palestine. He returned to Rumania and was arrested. His business partner was shot. He left everything behind and was able to leave with a British Laissez Passer.

Description: My mother had the photographs with her in Israel, eventually she emigrated to England, and later to the U.S. and Canada. She had the pictures in her room at Hillel Lodge. She always carried the picture of her classmates from the School in Łódź in her purse, and had hoped she would find a living classmate. She never did. Her account details how her family lost everything, and the guilt she carried for the rest of her life for having survived. She died April 21, 2018, at 98. My father, Theodore David Cohen, was named after Herzl, as his father (Rosalind’s grandfather) was Herzl’s secretary; to hide his Jewish identity at work, her father changed the family name to Conway, a name he found in the London telephone directory.

The photographs were taken in Łódź, in central Poland, a major industrial city.

Voyage to Ottawa: My mother brought the photographs with her when she immigrated to Canada.