Hank Rosenbaum was born August 1936 in Warsaw, Poland. In 1939, the Rosenbaum family were forced into the Warsaw ghetto where his brother perished and where the family remained until 1942. Remaining family members escaped the ghetto through underground sewers, eventually arriving in the town of Lukow, 100 km away where Hank and his family were hidden in a barn by a farmer and childhood friend of Hank’s father.
On the farm, they hid in a hold secreted under the barn cowstall. After eight months and word that their presence had been betrayed to the Nazis, they were forced to move on. They escaped into the forest and remained there until liberation by the Russian army in 1944. Hank subsequently lived in a Displaced Persons camp in Germany until immigrating to Canada in 1952 at the age of 16.
Hank began his professional career in a clothing factory working as a bundler. He quickly learned the skills of a cutter and eventually built his own textile importing business, which he still runs today.
Dedicated to the memory of his own family members and the millions of others killed or displaced by the War, Hank has supported numerous charities during his years in Canada. In the early 1990s, with Gerda Freiberg and Michael Rosemberg, Hank established the Jewish Holocaust Survivors of Canada, which later became the Canadian Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Descendants. Hank served as Chair of Yad Vashem Canada from 1995 to 2009 during which time he was instrumental in the establishment of the Wall of Remembrance at Earl Bales Park and helped initiate the Yom Hashoah ceremonies at Queen’s Park that recognized Survivors who contributed to Ontario. He later undertook the vital role as Co-President of the Canadian Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Descendants.