Book launch presents an evening of reflection, listening to the voices of survivors of the Nazi occupation of Hungary

October 23rd, 2019 – For immediate release

“I feel someone has to speak for those who are dead. I think someone needs to remind those who try to forget. This is demanded by the cries of the dead echoing from their graves.” –  Author Peter Vas

Commemorating seventy-five years since Nazi Germany occupied Hungary, Confronting Devastation, an anthology of Canadian survivors’ memoirs, examines the diverse experiences and memories of the Holocaust in Hungary.

From the worsening exclusions that marked Jewish daily life before 1944 to forced labour battalions, ghettos and camps, and persecution and hiding in Budapest, the authors reflect on lives that were shattered, on the sorrows that came with liberation and, ultimately, on how they managed to persevere.

Editor Ferenc Laczó frames excerpts from twenty-two memoirs in historical and political contexts, analyzing the events that led to the horrific “last chapter” of the Holocaust — the genocide of approximately 550,000 Jews in Hungary between 1944 and 1945.

As antisemitism and intolerance of minorities increases worldwide, the Azrieli Foundation continues its commitment to publish Holocaust survivors’ memoirs in English and in French, distribute books free of charge to educational institutions and have authors speak about their experiences to students across Canada.

Naomi Azrieli, Chair and CEO of the Azrieli Foundation, says hearing survivors’ stories is an integral part of understanding the Holocaust. “It is the personal stories that brings history to life, allowing readers to grasp the enormity of what happened – one story at a time. The Azrieli Foundation’s Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Program encourages readers to engage thoughtfully and critically with the complexities of the Holocaust and to create meaningful connections with the lives of survivors.”

Monday, October 28th, 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.
Isabel Bader Theatre, 93 Charles St. West, Toronto
Open to the public but pre-registration is required; call 416-322-5928

For 30 years, the Azrieli Foundation has funded institutions as well as operated programs in Canada and in Israel. It invests in eight priority areas, with the common thread of education running throughout its funding. The Foundation supports Holocaust education, scientific and medical research, higher education, youth empowerment and school perseverance, music and the arts, architecture and quality of life initiatives for people with developmental disabilities.

For more information please contact Abby Robins at 416-322-5928 or

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