A film testimonial of Ottawa Holocaust survivor David Moskovic followed by a question-and-answer session with Moskovic and Carleton University professor Jennifer Evans will be held at the Canadian War Museum on April 26 at 7:00pm.
Moskovic was born in 1929 in Konus, Czechoslovakia. His family’s fate was sealed when the Nazis came to power and the world turned a blind eye to the rising storm. Moskovic and his family were ultimately sent to Auschwitz, where most perished.
With unflinching clarity, Moskovic tells of his life before, during and after the Holocaust—a story that represents the fate of millions who might have been saved if countries like ours had taken steps to welcome them. Today, the St. Louis is a symbol of refugees, then and now, whom the world abandons.
At the age of 14, says Moskovic, he was separated from his father and brother and put on a train to Buchenwald. “We had no food for three to four days and many starved or froze to death.” Barely alive himself, Moskovic managed to shield himself between the frozen bodies.
After the war, he returned to his home town to see if he could find any other family members. His sister then found his name on a notice board of survivors and reunited with him in Konus. Soon after, she immigrated to Canada with the help of relatives.
Meantime, Moskovic learned the plumbing trade and spent two years in a displaced-persons camp in Austria before finally being admitted to Canada. He even did some work for General Eisenhower, the future U.S. president.
Moskovic eventually followed his sister to Ottawa and built a successful plumbing business here too.
As Mark O’Neill, president and CEO of the Canadian War Museum and Canadian Museum of History said at the launch of the St. Louis exhibit: “For me, the ultimate message is the constant need to be vigilant against incidents of hatred, discrimination, and anti-Semitism. We must have the determination and courage to present the facts, the truth, through personal experiences…”
Moskovic is among the few remaining Holocaust survivors who can still present this stark truth. He was one of ten Holocaust survivors, eight from Ottawa and two from Toronto who participated yesterday in the Ambassadors of Change Program led each year by the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.
His film was produced by CHES in 2016 as part of a project to capture a cross-section of survival experiences, tailored for educational use. The presentation with David Moskovic will be held April 26 at 7:00 pm at the Barney Danson Theatre of the Canadian War Museum. This program, on the enduring importance of eyewitness accounts, has been organized by the Centre for Holocaust Education and Scholarship (CHES) for the museum’s St. Louis-Ship of Fate exhibit.
The museum has also collaborated with CHES to present a lecture on the MS St. Louis and the Refugee Crisis by Dr. Diane F. Afoumado of the USHMM on Yom Hashoah.
Admission to the event is free with registration. To RSVP click here.