Lost Childhood
Holocaust Child Survivors


    Committed to achieve the compensation for "deprived childhood"
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They Played For Their Lives

During WWII, under the ruling of Nazi Germany, European Jews were being persecuted and forced to live in inhumane conditions.  In the ghettos and concentration camps, they lived with constant hunger, sickness and fear of death.  However, even under these horrific circumstances, there were those who managed to play music or compose a new song. 

Music is a universal language that has the power to express what cannot be told or explained in words.  The music that was either composed or performed during the Holocaust, provided people with a semblance of emotional comfort and distraction from their horrific reality: music gave us so much, to escape even for a few moments to a 'normal' world” explains Greta, a survivor from ghetto Terezin.  Though they could not escape from their physical reality “music allowed us a complete disconnect and emotional escape from the daily life”. 
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The children from Marquain, Belgium (1947-1948) Reunion after 60 years in Israel 6/11/2008

MarquinMarquain is near the town of Tournai in Belgium, close to the French border. The activists of the Jewish agency, Aliat Hanoar and the Jewish Brigade, organized the "Alia" Of the children from the Holocaust to Israel. Most of them orphans, from all over Europe. The children were placed in a old castle house. They divided into age groups. The relationship remained mostly between the same age group. There was also some relationship with the bigger brothers from other groups. Some special brotherhood developed among the children of the "different planet"… a brotherhood that remained for many years. As a matter of fact, until today. As children we experienced traumas of loss, and the scars that were left, were the reason for this special "sticking together" between ourselves. From the dining room I recall some pictures: two long lines of tables, and two large pictures decorating the wall. One, the map of Israel and the second the Exodus from Egypt.One of the characteristics of the house in Marquain, was the double stair case at the front of the house. The stairs Created a triangle shape leading up to the main door at the top. Life in Marquain, gave as back our lost childhood. We learned together to read the Hebrew language, and we worked in agricultural works and other house tasks. We were prepared for the emigration, "Alia" to Israel. This wonderful change, granted us with an experience that we all missed so much.
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SAMUEL BAK - Icon of Loss

SAMUEL BAKWhile completing the 36 paintings, of a series in process that is based on the  well-known photo of the Jewish boy from the Warsaw Ghetto, I reflected on the countless millions of children that perish in man's senseless conflicts, wars and genocides -- past and present.
What an unacceptable abuse of the innocents, of the just ones! Then it occurred to me that there is an ancient Midrash that speaks of 36 just men, (in Hebrew lamed-vav tsadikim.) Suddenly it downed on me that lamed vav in that language also means: "teach about the six (millions. . .)!"

Samuel Bak, April 2008 

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JACKY BARKAN - 1943 The Lost Year

SAMUEL BAKIt is years that Jacky Barkan is trying to find the year 1943, a missing year in his life.  A year in which he was hidden, during the war in Belgium, as a small child with anonymous people. All that Jacky remembered, where some blurred pictures of a house in Bruges, a family with two children,  a cupboard in which he had to hide when it was dangerous and a high window, through which he could see the German army trucks. After 57 years, a wonderful woman was surprisingly discovered, a Righteous among the Nations, Miss. De Meulemeester, who is over 90 years old today and her sister Madeleine who passed away in 1966. They were the ones who have hidden little Jacky in the house of one of their brothers, in the Saint Croix quarter near the town of Bruges. Jacky Barkan is a senior director at the Israel Educational Television for about 30 years. He is married to Judy, a choreographer and teacher of dance, and they have a daughter Inbal. In December 2000 Jacky took a journey with his wife Judy to observe from a closer distance the remains of his childhood lost memories. The film is a co-production between Videocam from Belgium and its manager producer/director, Georges Kamanayo the Israel Educational Television and the Belgian VRT.
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JACKY BARKAN - And thou shalt love thy neighbour
(A documentary film on the Righteous among the Nations)

SAMUEL BAKThe film And Thou Shalt Love Thy Neighbour explores, through personal stories, the opposing dynamics involved in taking life. And saving life. The film describes how love was sustained in the midst of terrible conditions. These are the stories of Stasys Sviderskis, from Lithuania who saved children at a Holiday camp. Ida Lenti from Italy, who saved three brothers, Stanislawa Pikula Kolacz from Poland who saved an entire family. They represent more then 17.000 Righteous among the Nations. Each character depicted in the film, inspires and enlightens us. During the research for this documentary, 
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