Exhibition currently in Safra Square, central Jerusalem, will be on view until August 2021.

It is an outdoor exhibition held under Covid-19-friendly, safe distance conditions.


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The Lonka Project is proud to announce the opening of an exhibit in the Ghetto Fighter's Museum in Kibbutz Lohame HaGeta'Ot, northern Israel, in its second collaboration with Photo Is:rael in their current international photo festival. The exhibition consists of 48 photo portraits from The Lonka Project's collection of Holocaust survivor portraits. There are 16 black and white images inside an "X" within the main gallery in the museum that include some vertical mirrors, which are flanked by 32 color images lining the walls of the gallery and the entry staircase (seen  above). The exhibition will be open through the summer 2021.
Curator: Ya'ara Raz Hakla
Designer: Ohad Benit
Photos in museum by Jim Hollander

Photos above, L to R: Davis Factor, Lois Adamski-Peek, Axel Martens, Vardi Kahana, Greg Williams, Louise Kennerley, Nadav Neuhaus (large print).

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Photos by, L To R:
Tom Vack, Grzegorz Litynski, Gideon Markowicz (top & bottom), Oded Wagenstein (top & bottom), Marlen Noy, Greg Williams, Louise Kennerley

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Photos by, L To R:
Armin Smailovic, Ohad Zwigenberg, Gilles Peress, Amir Levy

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Photos by, L To R:
Marko Dashev, Paolo Pellegrin, Roger Ballen (C), Marissa Rith, Cheney Orr

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Photos by, L To R:
Sébastien Van Malleghem, Eyal Warshavsky, Grzegorz Litynski, (color, C), Marissa  Roth,  Jim Hollander.

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Photos b,y L To R:
Eyal  Warshavsky, Marko Dashev, Oded Wagenstein (top & bottom, C), IKaren Gillerman (BW), and Marissa Roth (R)

Photos by, L To R:
Heidi Levine, Roger Ballen, Marissa Roth, Jim Hollander

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A new photographic magazine is coming out in June-July  2021and we're proud to announce The Lonka Project will have a photo spread by ten of the professional photograhers who participated in the project over the past two years. It is a large format, 250-page magazine and will only be available as a real magazine, not an E-zine or online. Their website is    Check out their very interesting, informative, artistic and even curious website. Special thanks go out to photo editor (and photographer) Natalie Behring and guest editor Karen Mullarkey, and to the Curious originator (and photographer), Kenneth Jarecke.

The photographers included in  this black & white photo spreah on Holocaust survivors who participated in The Lonka Project are:

Davis Factor photographed Joseph Alexander in Los Angeles.
Lauren Koplowitz photographed Alex Gross in Miami.
Douglas Kirkland photographed David Lenga in Hollywood.
Marissa Roth photographed Dorothy Bohm in London.
Kristian Schuller photographed Salomea Genin in Berlin.
Jane Evelyn Atwood photographed Ginette Kolinka in Paris.
David Burnett photographed Nat Shaffir in Washington DC.
Rustam Bayramov photographed Margot Pins in Rimonim.
Eli Reed photographed William Samelson in Austin.
D-Mo Zajac photographed Harry J. Fransman in Sydney.

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We are proud to announce The Lonka Project  is now available in a Polish language version with special outstanding thanks to photographer Grzegorz Litynski who is responsible for putting this together. It is a virtual exhibition available online through the Jewish Culture and Education Center in Wrocław, Poland.  There will be 30 Holocaust survivor portraits available in each exhibit that will rotate every month. All the portraits are of survivors who were born in Poland. The stories and the information are available only in Polish.

Here is the address of the exhibit:


Here is a partial list of some of the survivors and the photographers who made their portraits  are on view in this virtual l exhibition in Wroclaw, in no particular order.

Joseph Pell -  photographed by Lori Adamski-Peek

Joseph Alexander - photographed by Davis Factor

Roman Polanski - photographed by Franck  Leclerc

Ryszard Horowitz - photographed by Gilles Peress

Ralph Hakman - photographed by Barbara Davidson

Dov Landau - photographed by Yechiel Hakoen

Gaby Koren - photographed  by Ronen Akerman

Miriam Ziegler - photographed by Moe Diron

Samuel Bak - photographed by Nati Harnik

Gerda Klein - photographed by Patrick Zachmann


The Lonka Project
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We are saddened to receive the news, a few days ago at the end of May 2021, that Michael "Mickey” Bieder had  passed away. He is the second from left in the top row of portraits of Holocaust survivor friends who live in Los Ageles and gather at the Café Europa. Mickey Bieder was born in 1923 in Ivanhorod, present-day Ukraine. He lost a younger and an older brother and an older sister. He took a train to Budapest, then to Austria, then after the war back to Ivanhorod. One sister survived the war. In 1975, he immigrated to the United States.

Photo © Ethan Pines / The Lonka Project, 2019

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We are sad to hear that Yitzhak Arad has passed away. May his memory be blessed.

Itzhak Arad was born in Święciany, Poland (now Lithuania) in November, 1926. During the war he joined the ghetto underground for two years. Then, in 1943, he joined the Soviet partisans of the Markov Brigade, where he encountered antisemitism in the non-Jewish unit. Yitzhak remained in that unit until the end of the war, taking part in attacks on Nazi railroads, bridges and trains in the forests of Belarus and in eastern Lithuania. In 1945, Yitzhak arrived illegally in Mandatory Palestine. He joined the Israeli army, rising to the rank of Brigadier General. Later he became the director of the Yad Vashem Holocaust facility in Jerusalem for 21 years from 1972 until 1993. Itzhak Arad passed away in May, 2021.

Ramat Hasharon, Israel

Photo © Yoav Alon / The Lonka Project, 2019

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We are sad to report that Yosef (Joseph) Kleinman passed away at age 91 in early May, 2021. The Lonka Project has two portraits of Mr. Kleinman, both made at his home in Jerusalem, by two individual photographers.

At left  Photo © Oren Ben Hakoon / The Lonka Project, 2020

At right: Photo © Yonatan Sindel / The Lonka Project, 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Yosef Kleinman was born in Hungary in 1930 and is the last living survivor who testified against Adolf Eichmann at his trial in Jerusalem. ‘I was one of about 3,000 teenage boys who wound up together in Auschwitz in the summer of 1944. We were considered too young to work and so we spent the entire summer in our barracks waiting for the end and hoping to survive. ‘It was March 19, 1944,’ he recalls, ‘the Satmar Rabbi was visiting our village and he announced: “... everyone is to go home; it is dangerous to remain here.” Chaos ensued, and then we learned the Germans had taken control of Hungary.’ The Jews were herded into the ghetto, and the deportations to death camps began. ‘We were 80 people crammed into a cargo train without food or water, like animals.’ When they arrived in Auschwitz, ‘Suddenly the doors were flung open and the Nazis howled: “Everyone out! Leave your things outside!” ‘My mother disappeared.’ I never saw her again. When I reached the selection platform, I saw the officer deliberating which side to send me to. I clutched my father’s hand - he was barely standing up - the officer separated us, sending me to work - which meant life. I never saw my father again.’ Over the next seven weeks, 438,000 Jews arrived in Auschwitz in 150 trains. The boys in his group were too young to work. The 3,000 young boys were shut into barracks, from which they could see the Sonderkommando, the lifeless men who transferred the bodies from the gas chambers to the crematoria. Dr. Mengele and his deputy Dr. Thilo arrived. ‘They made us line up and ordered us to disrobe. All the skinny boys were sent out, including me. But I left the line and made a dash for my brother’s barracks, and from there, back to my own bunk. The boys who had been selected were loaded onto trucks. They knew exactly where they were going to. Cries of Shema Yisrael pierced the air.’ Five months later the Kleinman brothers succeeded in smuggling themselves into a group that left Auschwitz for Kaufering slave labor camp, a subsidiary of Dachau concentration camp in Germany. ‘Work was the ticket to life.’ While they were incarcerated in Kaufering, Europe was liberated from the Nazis and the war came to an end. Yosef finally arrived in Mandatory Palestine after a perilous sea voyage on an illegal ship, capture by the British, and incarceration in Cyprus and in Atlit.

The Lonka Project

Just adding a few recent photos  of  the exhibition in Safra Square,  Jerusalem.

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An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man reading the story of Leila Jabarin, photographed by Debbie Hill (USA) in Umm el-Fahm, Israel. Jabarin was born inside the Nazi death camp Auschwitz in 1942. She survived and her moved with her family to Mandatory Palestine. At age 17 she met a Moslem man, changed her religion, married and moved to the Israel Arab town of Umm el-Fahm. She did not tell of her Holocaust survival story for over 50 years.

Left; Steve McCurry (USA) photographed Sonia Kam and sister Hannie (left) in New York City.

Center: Abir Sultan (Israel) photographed Rabbi Menachem Mendel Taub in  Jerusalem.

Right; Dave Burnett (USA) photographed Nat Shaffir in Washington DC, USA.

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Children  play in Safra  Square. The  portrait at  left i s   by Eli Reed (USA) and  is of survivor  William Samelson and was made in Austin, Texas, USA. At right is Pascaline Lefin's  (Belgium) portrait of Henri Kichka  made i n Brussels, Belgium.  Kichka  died  from complications of Covid-19  in  April, 2020.

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Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men hold evening prayers in Safra Square.  In foreground is the portrait by Greg Williams (Great Britain) of Olympic weight lifting champion and Holocaust  survivor, Sir Ben Helfgott, made in London.

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Israeli riot police grouped for possible   disturbances (that did  NOT take place) besides Ziv Koren (Israel) photograph of four  survivors who all were in Auschwitz. It  was  photographed in Koren's studio in Tel Aviv.

The Lonka Project

Henri Mass Coleman was born in Antwerp, Belgium in 1936. The Mass family was from Lwow, Poland, and immigrated to Antwerp where their three children were born. After the Nazi invasion in May 1940, the family fled to the south of France. When France fell in June, 1940, the Mass family found themselves under the rule of the Vichy regime, and they were deported to Rivesaltes concentration camp in southern France. To save her children, Henri’s mother, through a resistance member, appealed to the AFSC, an American Quaker aid organization, whose members were rescuing children from Europe. Henri, age 6, and his sister Mimi, 8, were placed on a convoy of refugees which left Marseille bound for Portugal, where the ship SS Serpa Pinto was docked. Their youngest sister Helene was given to a French Catholic family. The Serpa Pinto left Portugal, docking in Casablanca and Bermuda, and reaching New York's Staten Island on June 24, 1942. When Charlotte and Marvin Coleman learned about the plight of the 50 lone Jewish children on board, they volunteered to foster Henri and Mimi in their Chicago home. When the war ended, the Colemans learned that Henri’s parents had perished in the Holocaust, and the couple adopted both children. Back in France, thanks to the efforts of Marvin Coleman, their younger sister Hélène, then 16, discovered her Jewish identity, and in 1953,  the three siblings were reunited in the United States. The circumstances of their escape and the tragic fate of their birth parents were never discussed. Henri became a father to three children. He retired to Arizona, where he passed away in 2020.

Tuscon, Arizona, USA

Photo © John Pregulman / The Lonka Project, 2020

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Lily Gumbush was born in 1930 in Croatia. At the outbreak of World War II, Lily and her family fled to Bacarz, a fishing village on the Italian border, where an Italian family sheltered them for a while from the Italian fascist police. But they were caught and all forced to move into an Italian ghetto. From there they were transferred to several concentration camps and then shipped to Auschwitz. Lily was forced to work in construction and later in a weapons factory. Lili was sent to her death to the gas chambers but was rescued miraculously, and later she survived the death march.  Lily passed away in the beginning of April, 2021.

Jerusalem, Israel

Photo © Oren Ben Hakoon / The Lonka Project, 2020


Rabbi Yechezkel Roth, known as the Karlsburger Rabbi, was born in Arad, Romania in 1930 to Hungarian ultra-Orthodox Jewish family. In August 1941 all Jewish males 18-55 years old were drafted into labor battalions. The Jews from the Arad district, together with those of the district of Timişoara, were slated to be deported to the Belzec extermination camp in 1942, at the very beginning of a massive joint Romanian-German operation which targeted all the Jews from Regat and southern Transylvania. On October 11, 1942, the order to deport the Jews of Arad was rescinded. In August-September 1944 most of the Jews in Arad fled to Timişoara. Together with the majority of the Jews of Regat and southern Transylvania, the Jews of Arad survived the war. The Rabbi like most of the ultra-Orthodox community does not talk about his teen years during the Holocaust. The Rabbi of Karlsburger shares his time between New York and Mt. Meron in Israel. He is know to be one of the greatest authorities on Jewish law today. Rabbi Roth passed away in the United States on March 6, 2021, and was buried in Israel.

Mount Meron, Israel

Photo © David Cohen / The Lonka Project, 2020

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Veronica Phillips, 92, living in Johannesburg, South Africa, was born in Hungary in 1926. She was arrested by the Arrow Cross militia in Budapest and deported on December 1, 1944 from Budapest to Ravensbrück. While there she was ‘by luck’ selected as a laborer and taken to work in Penig (a sub-camp of Buchenwald), where she suffered inhumane conditions. She was taken on a death march. At Johanngeorgenstadt, the group was liberated by the allies, but only after many had been killed, by either the Nazis, starvation, or fatigue. She returned to Budapest in an emaciated physical condition to find her mother and brother. Veronica became a Microbiologist and Geneticist at Brunel University, eventually moving to South Africa, where she was a Microbiology lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand for 20 years. As a result of what she endured as a teenager under the Nazis, Veronica suffered eight miscarriages and could never have children. The only child she gave birth to, survived less than two days. Veronica passed away in Johannesburg on February 24, 2021.

Johannesburg, South Africa

Photo © Kim Ludbrook / The Lonka Project, 2019

The Lonka Project
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The Lonka Project is very saddened to report  that  Walter Spitzer, age 93, has  passed away in Paris  from complications due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Above is  Spitzer's portrait (right) as it  hangs in the current Lonka Project exhibition in Safra  Square  in Jerusalem. At left is a photographic  portrait of Holocaust survivor Leon Schagrin  made by photographer John Myers in Parkland, Florida in 2019.

Walter Spitzer's portrait was made by Alfred Yaghobzadeh in the artist's atelier in Paris in 2019. Spitzer's story of survival is below.

Walter Spitzer was born in Cieszyn, Poland in 1927. When the ghetto was liquidated in June 1943 Spitzer’s mother was shot, and the sixteen-year-old Walter was deported to Blechhammer, a sub-camp of Auschwitz. There he made his first drawing, with a burnt stick on an empty cement bag. Spitzer describes the moment when his life was, quite literally, saved by drawing. During the final months of World War II, Spitzer was an inmate in the Buchenwald concentration camp and was summoned to appear before the German political prisoner who was in charge of his barracks. Spitzer’s name was on a list of inmates to be sent off the next day to a work camp, a move which would mean certain death for him. His anti-Nazi block master told the artist he would delete him from the transport list on one condition. Spitzer had to promise, if he survived, “to tell with his pencils all you have seen here.” Spitzer lived to honor his vow, providing generations with an artistic record of the Holocaust and crimes against humanity. Walter Spitzer has lived and worked since World War II in France, where he studied at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris, becoming a renowned painter and print maker. Walter Spitzer passed away from complications due to the Covid-19 pandemic in mid-April 2021, at the age of 93.

Photo © Alfred Yaghobzadeh / The Lonka Project, 2019



An exhibition of The Lonka Project photographic portraits of Holocaust survivors opens in Safra  Square in central Jerusalem on April 8, 2021, commemorating  "Yom HaShoah," 

or Israeli Holocaust  Remembrance  Day.

The exhibition will be shown for four months  -  until  August.

The Lonka Project, hosted by the Jerusalem Municipality, is honored to present portraits and stories of Holocaust survivors from around the world. This exhibition in Safta Square is made possible thanks to the generosity of Debra Pell in memory of her father Joseph Pell.

Here is a link to an article published today in the Times of Israel written by Jessica Steinberg

Some images made while hanging the exhibition over the past three days. All photos © Jim Hollander, 2021.

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Image  right: Ginette Kolinka photographed in Paris by © Jane Evelyn Atwood (USA & France), 2019

Image left: David Lenga photographed in Hollywood, California,  USA  by © Douglas Kirkland (USA), 2020

Image center, left: Solomon Kofinas photographed in New York City by © B.A. Van SIse (USA), 2020

Image center, right: Dorothy Bohm photographed in London by © Marissa Roth (USA), 2019

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Image above: Joseph and Eda Pell photographed in San Rafael, California, USA by © Lori Adamski-Peek (USA), 2019

Joseph Pell passed away in December  2020, at age 96..

  Below, left: Peggy Parnass photographed in Berlin by © Axel Martens (Germany), 2019

Below, right: Mordechai Perlov photographed in Johannesburg, South Africa by © Roger Ballen (USA),  2019

Mordechai Perlov passed away on January 20, 2020, at age 93.

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Image above, left: Joseph and Eda Pell photographed in San Rafael, California, USA by © Lori Adamski-Peek (USA), 2019

Image above, center: Professor Shaul Paul Ladany photographed in Omer, Negev Desert, Israel by © Tsafriar Abayov (Israel),  2019

Image above, right: Dr. Andrea Anati  was photographed in the Ein Prat Nature Reserve by © Roni Sofer (Israel), 2020

There are 59 images from The Lonka  Project collection on view in the Safra Square exhibition, curated by Hila Smolansky, head of exhibitions in the Jerusalem Municipality. Each of the images, above, is 2-meters wide, DiBond. Smaller prints are 1-meter  wide.

Printing was done at The Print House, Tel Aviv. Hanging production by Artadmin.

Exhibition curator: Hila Smolansky, head of exhibitions in the Jerusalem Municipality. Produced by Kobi Frig.

Continuing amazing production activity by Chagai Rot

Design by Jim Hollander with great thanks to Yuval Rakavy

Survivor stories and photographer credits are in English, Hebrew, and Arabic

Image below:  Rea Ben David in The Print House with test prints of all 59 photographic portraits of Holocaust survivors included in this exhibit.

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Image above left: Opening ceremony in Safra Square. Portrait of Joeseph Alexander made in Los Angeles, California, USA by ©  Davis Factor (USA) in 2019.

Image above, center: Safra Square as a two-minute siren wails marking Yom HaShoah, Israel's Holocaust Remembrance Day, the country comes to a standstill. An Israeli stops and honors the victims in front of the portrait of Joseph and Eda Pell photographed in San Rafael, California, USA by © Lori Adamski-Peek (USA), 2019

Joseph Pell passed away in December  2020, at age 96.

Image above, right: Armed motorcycle riot police stop while patrolling through Safra Square as they admire the portrait of Holocaust survivor Ginette Kolinka made in Paris in 2019 by Jane Evelyn Atwood (USA).

Three photographs above made by Jim Hollander on Yom HaShoah

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I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.

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Photo  Credits:

Left,  top:

David Burnett (USA) photographed Nat Shaffir in Washington  DC in 2019.

Left,  bottom L to R:

  Tom Bickles (Israel) photographed Miriam Tobol in Adam, West Bank in 2021.

  Rafi Amar (Israel) photographed Naphtali Bilu in Ashdod, Israel in 2020.

  Yossi Aloni (Israel) photographed Yorek Maron in Bat Yam Beach, Israel in 2019.


Right, top:

  Greg Williams (Great Britain)  photographed Sir Ben Helfgott in London, in 2019.

Right bottom:

  Louise Kennerley (Australia)  photographed Eddie Jaku at 100 years of age in Sydney in 2020.

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The Lonka Project
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The Lonka Project is sad to announce as Israel  Hero and Martyrs Remembrance Day,  or Yom HaShoah, is about to commence and  be  marked   by  remembrances and ceremonies for the next tenty-four hours, that two of the Holocaust survivors in the project's collection have recently passed away. Their stories are below. May their  names  forever be a blessing.


(Right) Sara (Lili) Leicht was born in 1929 in Romania, and lived in Tileagd with her father Ignace (Yom-Tov), mother Ferenzi Hermina, and six siblings. In April, 1944, weeks after the German occupation, Sara's family was deported to the Oradea Ghetto and from there to Auschwitz. In May, 1944, upon arrival at the camp, Sara was separated from her family, who were all sent to their death. After being rescued from the gas chambers, she was sent to Fallersleben, where she worked in a weapons factory. With the advance of the Red Army, Sara was transferred to a labor camp in the city of Salzwedel, where she was liberated by the U.S. Army. Sara immigrated to pre-state Israel on the illegal immigrant ship Max Nordau. With the outbreak of war in 1948, Sara joined the Palmach unit of the then-underground army and fought with the Harel Brigade for Israel’s independence.  

Jerusalem   Photo © Radi Rubenstein / The Lonka Project, 2019

Jacob (Jackie) Handeli was born in 1928 in Thessaloniki, Greece, to a family of six. The family's roots in Thessaloniki date to the 16th century. In 1941, the Germans entered Thessaloniki and applied anti-Jewish laws. The Baron Hirsch neighborhood of the city was turned into a ghetto for the city’s Jews. Jackie’s family was deported to Poland on a cramped freight train. After about a week, the passengers were left without water and food, and each time the train stopped, the Nazis would remove the bodies of those who had not survived the journey. There in the wagon, Jackie learned his first sentence in German: "You won't need it anymore." The train arrived at the Auschwitz death camp. Jackie was separated from his parents and sisters, and never saw them again. He and his brothers Judah and Samuel were separated among the sub-camps for forced labor. Jackie and his brothers, like the other Thessalonians, were unable to communicate with other Jews in the camp because they only spoke Greek. At Auschwitz (Bonn), Jackie’s brothers were sent to death, and he was left alone. The Thessaloniki boxer Jacko Rezon managed to obtain food and shared it with Jackie, saving his life from starvation. In January 1945, the prisoners were sent on a death march. Jackie remembers the snow-covered road that was stained with blood. Those who survived arrived at Bergen-Belsen, until the British liberated the camp. In 1947, Jackie sailed to Mandatory Palestine with other volunteers to take part in the 1948 war for Israel’s independence.   


Jerusalem   Photo © Simcha Barbiro / The Lonka Project, 2019

The Lonka Project


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Tel Aviv - checking the mounting of large prints at The Print House on  March 31, before the opening of The Lonka Project in Safra Square, Jerusalem. An outdoor, Covid-safe exhibition, will open on Yom HaShoah, April 7, 2021. It is due to run for four months. We are very excited the long winter is coming to a close and this exhibition is able to proceed after twice being postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. More to come. Thanks to all.                                                                                                                             Photos by Jim Hollander

Clockwise from top, left:

Agnes Keleti photographed in 2019 by Bea Bar Kallos in Budapest and Solomon Kofinas (top) photographed in 2020 by B.A.Van Sise in New York City. Ginette Kolinka (B&W) photographed in 2019 by Jane Evelyn Atwood in Paris. Abraham Grinzaid (bottom) photographed by Oded Wagenstein in 2020 in Rehovot, Israel, and Yechiel Alexander photographed in 2019 by Avishag Shaar-Yashuv in Kakur, Israel. (Bottom R) Rea Ben David of The Print House with staff. Emil Farkas (center, below) was photographed in 2021 by Oz Moalem in Carmiel and the photo print of  Abraham Grinzaid (top) was photographed by Oded Wagenstein in 2020 in Rehovot, Israel. Dr. Renata Laxova (right) who passed away In  November 2020  was photographed in 2019 by Michael Nelson in Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

The Lonka Project
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We are sad to announce Ralph Hakman passed away from Coronavirus complications in Los Angeles on March 22, 2021, shortly after turning 95.


The fifth of 10 children, Ralph Hakman was born on March 11, 1925, in Radom, Poland, ‘You have to turn yourself in to the police,’ his mother Rose instructed her 17-year-old son after Ralph’s oldest sister and her baby were caught in their hiding place and taken into custody. ‘Rivka and the baby will be released,’ Rose explained. Ralph was frightened and weeping, but he obeyed. ‘I knew I had to do it for my family,’ he said. In May 1942, after turning himself in, Ralph and other prisoners were marched through the ghetto to a waiting train. Ralph’s mother and sister trailed him to the gate. ‘That was the last time I saw them,’ he said. Ralph was assigned to work in the Birkenau bathhouse, 75 feet from two crematoria.  Ralph regularly observed his SS supervisor driving to the crematoria in a Red Cross van, donning a mask and emptying three canisters of Zyklon B crystal pellets into designated ports. Ralph heard the screams of the dying Jews, and then 15 minutes later, when the doors were opened, he saw the bodies tumble out.  On January 18, 1945, as the Allies advanced, the prisoners were marched to Gleiwitz, divided into smaller groups and dispatched on death marches. Ralph trekked in the cold and snow with several hundred men for days and at gunpoint managed to flee the German guards, running until they spotted a Russian soldier on a bicycle, who told them the Allies had just liberated the area. It was May 7, 1945.

An obituary in the Los Angeles Times:

Photo © Barbara Davidson / The Lonka Project, 2019

The Lonka Project


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Some of the photographers included in the Willy-Brandt exhibit (seen above) are, in no particular order:

Douglas Kirkland                Rina Castelnuovo

Steve McCurry                   Karine Sicard Bouvatier

Greg Williams                    Stuart Franklin

Gilles Peress                        Tsafrir Abayov (banner lower left)

Shlomo Arad                       Ziv Koren      

Roger Ballen (large print on floor)

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Photographs from The Lonka Project on display inside the Willy-Brandt Haus in Berlin on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27, 2021. The exhibition will be "online" starting today and we hope at some point when pandemic restrictions relax some it will be open to visitors. 104 photographic portraits of Holocaust survivors are n view.

A great "virtual tour" of the works is online at the following link (below in blue).

Stories are available in both English and German.

Curator: Gisela Kayser, WBH.B

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The Lonka Project

A link to the You Tube video and (below in blue) of the video message from the presidents of Israel, Germany and the European  Council marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27, 2021. It is 76 years since the liberation of the Auschwitz extermination and concentration camp. The video is made from clips and still photos of the  18 photographs on exhibit in the President's Residence (Beit HaNasi) in Jerusalem. A photo above (courtesy Beit HaNasi) shows the exhibit.

​Special thanks to:

Dr. Chagai Rot for initiating and follow-through in production with this project with Yuval Keshet in Beit HaNasi who curated the exhibit.

Yuval Rakavy for graphic design, expertise, and general overall support.

​​Bradley Burston for English editing.

The Print House in Tel Aviv for their continuing fine work under pressure.


Below are the 18 portraits selected and printed for the exhibition in the president's Residence, Beit HaNasi, in Jerusalem. All the photographs are of Holocaust survivors in Israel. Printed at The Print House, Tel Aviv.

Participating photographers and survivors:


Miri Tszachi photographed Irena Wodislavsky in Ariel.

Hadas Porush photographed Motke Blum in Jerusalem.

Yossi Zamir photographed Aharon Barak in Jerusalem.

Shaul Golan photographed Marie Nahmias in Ramat Hasharon.

Micha Bar-Am photographed Arie Eshel in Kfar Saba.

Gideon Markowicz photographed Motek Mordechai Szymonowicz in Petah Tikva.


Tsafrir Abayov photographed  Shaul Paul Ladany in Omer.

Ziv Koren photographed Four Auschwitz Survivors (R to L) in Tel Aviv;  Shmuel Blumenfeld, Yehuda Maimon, Baruch Kasher and Tommy Schwartz Shacham.

Roni Sofer photographed Andrea Anati in the Ein Prat Nature Reserve.

Reli Avrahami photographed Herta Caspi in Tel Aviv.

Yossi Zeliger photographed Frank Lowy in Tel Aviv.

Tzachi Ostrovsky photographed Laszlo Roth in Bat Yam.


Igal Slavin photographed Ina Reinart Rakavy and Missio in Jerusalem.

Ohad Zwigenberg photographed Lia Hoover and her twin sister, Judith Barnea in Ra'anana.

Rina Castelnuovo photographed Four Pilots (R to L) in Hod Hasharon; Itzchak Biran, Moshe Eshel, Aryeh Oz and Nachmann Magen.

Jim Hollander photographer Jakub Weksler in Jerusalem.

Kobi Wolf photographed Abraham Michael Grinzaid in Rehovot.

Jim Hollander photographed Israel Meir Lau in Tel Aviv.

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Mazel Tov and congratulations to Kathy Peck and David Marks who were married on New Year's Day, January 1, 2021, in Sherman, Connecticut. The couple had planned a June 2020 wedding, but then the world was hit by Covid-19. They quarantined for ten months and decided on the spur of the moment to get married and usher in a much better year. The Lonjka Project wishes them all happiness, love, and good health in their future years together.

Wedding photo, left: Photo © Michelle Morganstern, 2021

David Marks was born in 1928 in Szilágysomlyó, in the area of Transylvania that was annexed to Hungary in 1940. He was 16 when he was crammed into a cattle-car with thousands of others and brought to Auschwitz, the largest of the Nazi death and extermination camps. Thirty-five members of his immediate and extended family of Romanian Jews were killed in Auschwitz, including his father and brother on the day he arrived. David, on that same day, was selected for work. ‘That same day, 35 members of my family were burned or cremated, that Friday.’ He returned to Auschwitz for the first time in January 2020 to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by the Russian army, and also recounted there his story for the first time. ‘I didn't talk about it with my children,’ he said. ‘I didn't want they should know what I went through.’ He added, ‘I would love Hitler should be alive to see what I accomplished - that I'm alive.’ He still works every day in his woodworking shop. His sons now run the fine furniture and cabinetmaking business he founded in Brooklyn, New York.Poto © Howard Schatz / The Lonka Project, 2019

Photo © Howard Schatz / The Lonka Project, 2019

The Lonka Project
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A front page story in Die Welt, Germany's largest daily, written by Sarah Cohen-Fantl features The Lonka Project exhibition on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, eve January 26, 2021. The exhibition has 104 large photographic prints from The Lonka Project collection and will open "online" on January 27, 2021 in a virtual tour of the exhibition. We hope it will open to the public when pandemic restrictions ease. The exhibit will be shown until at least April 11, 2021.

Photographers featured in the article top, left, clockwise:

Eyal Warshavsky photographed Gabriel Moked, Israeli literary pioneer, in his Tel Aviv apartment.

   Photo © Eyal Warshavsky / The Lonka Project , 201

Avigail Uzi photographed Moshe Haelyon with flowers in her Tel Aviv studio.

   Photo © Avigail Uzi / The Lonka Project, 2019

Alec Soth photographed famed violinist Adam Han-Górski working out in his home in Plymouth, Minnesota, USA.

   Photo © Alec Soth / The Lonka Project, 2020

Stuart Franklin photographed Eva Schloss on her 90th birthday in London. She was a friend of Anne Frank.

   Photo © Stuart Franklin / The Lonka Project, 2019

Michael Nelson photographed Dr. Renata Laxova with her dog  Breenie in Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

   Photo © Michael Nelson / The Lonka Project, 2019

Tsafrir Abayov photographed Professor Shaul Paul Ladany as he power walks in the Negev Desert in Israel.

   Photo © Tsafrir Abayov / The Lonka Project, 2019e

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The German newspaper Bild runs a story on The Lonka Project exhibition in the Willy-Brandt Haus in Berlin on the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27, 2021. The exhibition in the Willy-Brandy Haus, curated by Gisela Kayser, will open "online" due to strict pandemic restrictions in Germany. The exhibition which contains 104 large photos will run until April 11, so it is expected the doors will one for viewing at some point in the future. The photographers featured in this clip are:

Clockwise from top, left:

José Giribás Marambio photographed Hermann "Mano” Höllenreiner, a Roma survivor, as he revisits Auschwitz.

   Photo © José Giribás Marambio / The Lonka Project, 2020

Omer Messinger photographed famed cellist Anita Lasker-Wallfisch as she smoked a cigarette in Berlin. as she is awarded the  German National Prize for her campaigning against anti-Semitism.

   Photo ©  Omer Messinger / The Lonka Project, 2019

Steve McCurry photographed Sonia Kam (R) and her sister Hannie Dauman in New York City.

   Laura Kam, the daughter of Sonia Kam, visits the Willy-Brandt Haus exhibition on the eve of the "online" opening with her husband, Israeli Ambassador to Germany, Jeremy Issacharof.

   Photo © Steve McCurry / The Lonka Project, 2020

Alec Soth photographed famed violinist Adam Han-Górski working out in his home in Plymouth, Minnesota, USA.

   Photo © Alec Soth / The Lonka Project, 2020

Tsafrir Abayov photographed Professor Shaul Paul Ladany as he power walks in the Negev Desert in Israel.

   Photo © Tsafrir Abayov / The Lonka Project, 2019ex

The Lonka Project

Here is a link to a Hungarian website that published a wide selection of portraits from The Lonka Project with a Hungarian angle. The idea was proposed by Bea Bar Kallos, one of the photographers who contributed the portrait of the amazing Olympic gymnast Agnes Keleti just prior to turning 100 as he stretches in her Budapest apartment. She wrote the story for this Hungarian Jewish website, Izraelinfo - no translation in English, so for Hungarian readers here's something for you. Thanks, Bea so much.    The link has to be copied into a browser as Wix is funny with direct links, sorry.

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Photographers included in this website clip.

Far left;

Ohad Zwigenberg photographed Lia Hoover and her twin sister, Judith Barnea in Ra'anana, Israel.

Top Row L to R:

Kim Ludbrook photographed Veronica Phillips in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Koko Meir Ben-Ari photographed Miriam Kato Galai and sister Edith in Kfar Warburg, Israel.

Gadi Kabalo photographed seven survivors from Hungary in the same kibbutz, Nir Galim, Israel.

Yaaqov Shofar photographed Mordechai and Yehudit Taychner in Kibbutz Ein Hashofet, Israel.

2nd Row, L to R:

Oren Ben Hakoon photographed Yosef Kleinman in Jerusalem.

Jared Buckley photographed Eva Kepes in Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand.

Chaim Goldberg photographed Rabbi Moshe Stern in Jerusalem.

3rd Row L to R:

Repeat image from Chaim Goldberg.

Baruch Yaari photographed Sheine Deyzh with her son in Jerusalem.

Andy Anderson photographed BenFerencz seated in Delray Beach, Florida, USA.

Brandon Richardson photographed Joshua Kaufman & Vincent J. Speranza in Long Beach, CA. USA.

Bottom Row, L to R:

Eyal Landesman photographed Elazar (Gusty) and Zehava Blau in Ramat Gan, Israel.

Jillian Edelstein photographed John Hajdu in London.

Nadav Neuhaus photographed Gera Gabriel in Beersheva, Israel.

Judah Passow photographed Judith Rosenberg in Glasgow, Scotland.

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The Catholic website Kath in Switzerland added some Holocaust survivors from Switzerland and who have stories of survival related to Switzerland, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 21, 2021. Here is a link to their web page:

Photo credits

Top L clockwise:

Ursula Markus photographed Inge Ginsberg in Zurich.

   Photo © Ursula Markus / The Lonka Project, 2020  Inge's amazing story:

Inge Ginsberg was born in 1922 in Austria. In 1938, following the annexation of Austria by the Nazis, anti-Jewish laws were implemented, and thousands of Jewish families were evicted from their homes. Inge’s father was sent for forced labor at Dachau, but was released and then deported on the St. Louis, the infamous ship that set sail from Germany on May 13, 1939, carrying more than 900 Jews fleeing Nazi persecution. The ship was denied permission to dock in Cuba, Canada and the U.S., and was forced to turn back to Europe. Inge’s father disembarked in the UK. Inge, her mother and brother were left in Vienna and went into hiding with fake documents. Inge worked in forced labor at night in a spinning mill. In return for Inge’s mother’s jewels, an influential count involved in smuggling helped the family to cross into Switzerland. After a short time in a refugee camp, Inge was tapped to manage a villa set up by the American OSS to spy on Nazis and coordinate operations by partisan groups fighting the Germans. After the war ended, Inge moved to Hollywood and became a journalist and composer for pop stars, sharing time between Israel and US. When she turned 96 she performed as a singer in the death metal band, “Inge & the TritoneKings.” When she was well over ninety, she took part in the Swiss qualification for the Eurovision Song Contest. To hard rhythms she delivered messages like: ‘If you want to live long, laugh at death!’ In March, 2020 Inge contracted Covid-19 at the age of 98. She survived, she tells a Swiss newspaper, ‘I neither know how I got Corona, nor how I survived it. The six weeks are like obliterated. My memory was impaired, my head wasn't working properly, I was between reality and nightmare. I can say so much, otherwise I'll have a total blackout.’

A view inside the Willy-Brandt Haus in Berlin during the "virtual tour" in an online gallery space. The Lona Project exhibit there runs until April 11, 2021. A very soothing and nice virtual tour of 104 portrait. Stories in German and English.

David Turnley photographed Irene Butter in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.  Her survival story:

   Photo © David Turnley / The Lonka Project, 2019

Irene Butter was born in Berlin in 1930. ‘My family had lived in Germany for generations. My father had fought for Germany during the first World War.’ With the growing Nazi threat, her family relocated to Amsterdam in 1937. In 1940,  Germany invaded and once again they were under Nazi oppression. ‘My grandparents in Germany were taken away to Theresienstadt in 1942, and we never saw them again.’ Irene and her family were rounded up on June 20, 1943 and sent to Westerbork transit camp, a stopover for Dutch Jews before being sent to death.  ‘We managed to stay in Westerbork longer than most, because my father secured for us Ecuadorian passports. The passports didn't allow us freedom, but they did give us a different status until we were forced on a train in 1944 for Bergen-Belsen.’  Irene recalls the starvation and slave labor that took its toll on the prisoners.  ‘My friend, Hanneli Goslar, from Amsterdam, and her closest friend, Anne Frank, were in Bergen-Belsen in neighboring sections of the camp. We met at the barbed wire fence and later Anne and her sister became gravely ill and so did my family.’  Irene’s father died in Bergen-Belsen just before Nazi Germany needed prisoners to trade for German prisoners held by the Allies. Irene, her mother, and brother were exchanged and they arrived in Switzerland.  ‘I was put on a train for Marseilles and then a ship for Algeria. The Swiss did what even the Nazis never did to me: they tore apart my family.’  With the war's end, ‘In the late fall I boarded an American Liberty ship and sailed for the United States, arriving on Christmas Eve, 1945.’ Irene was reunited with her mother and brother six months later. ‘I was told not to talk about my experience, so I focused on studying and becoming one of the first women to earn a Ph.D. in economics from Duke University.’  Irene participated in a panel about Anne Frank and since the late 1980’s she has been teaching students about the Holocaust. ‘My Memoir, Shores Beyond Shores, details my journey. I'm a co-founder of the Raoul Wallenberg Medal & Lecture series at the The University of Michigan, and one of the founders of Arab/Jewish Women's Dialogue group in Ann Arbor. Suffering never ends, so our work must continue.’

Alex Kolomoisky photographed Fannie Ben-Ami with her grandson Eyal in Jerusalem. Fannie's story, below.

   Photo © Alex Kolomoisky The Lonka Project, 2019

Fannie Ben-Ami was born in 1930 in Baden-Baden, Germany. When Hitler came to power, the family fled to Paris. When war broke out her parents were arrested, and Fannie was placed in a Jewish children home with her sisters. The home was dismantled soon after the German invasion of France. Fannie led the dozens of Jewish children across forests to the border area with Switzerland, and all were smuggled in. After the war, Fanny learned that her parents had been murdered. Fanny was awarded the Legion of Honor for her bravery, but she refused to accept it.

The Lonka Project

Ynet website in Israel on the exhibition and video presentation from the Israeli President Reuven Rivlin commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 21, 2021.

Ziv Koren photographed Four Auschwitz Survivors (R to L) in Tel Aviv;  Shmuel Blumenfeld, Yehuda Maimon, Baruch Kasher and Tommy Schwartz Shacham.

Photo © Ziv Koren / The Lonka Project, 2019

Gideon Markowicz photographed Motek Mordechai Szymonowicz in Petah Tikva.

Photo © Gideon Markowicz / The Lonka Project, 2019

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Roni Sofer photographed Andrea Anati in the Ein Prat Nature Reserve.

Photo © Roni Sofer / The Lonka Project, 2020

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We are very saddened to announce that Judith Rosenberg has passed away in Glasgow, Scotland, on January 22, 2021. May her memory be a blessing.


Judith Rosenberg, at the age of 97 is the last living Nazi concentration camp survivor in Scotland, with a giant photographic cut-out of her late husband Harold, which she keeps in her Glasgow apartment. Because of anti-Jewish quotas in Hungary, the land of her birth, Judith was not allowed to attend university, despite having excelled at high school. As a result, Judith became a watch repairer, a decision that would save her life, before being transported to Auschwitz at the age of 21 with the rest of her family in 1944. She was separated from her father on arrival at the Nazi concentration camp and never saw him again. Experiencing unimaginable disease, deprivation, and hunger, Judith, her sister, and her mother were ordered to work in a munitions factory in Lippstadt in Germany, where she produced grenades. After she survived the death march from Auschwitz, Judith married the British Army Glaswegian lieutenant who had found her and returned with him to Scotland.

Photo © Judah Passow / The Lonka Project, 2019

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We are saddened to report the passing of Renata Polgar Laxova who sat for a portrait for The Lonka Project with her beloved dog Brennie in her home in Madison, Wisconsin, USA.


Renata Polgar Laxova was born in Brno, Czechoslovakia in 1931. At the age of 8, her parents sent her to England on the “Kindertransport” in 1939. The Kindertransport from Prague to London transported 669 Jewish children to safety as Nazis were rounding up Jews to be sent to concentration and labor camps. Renata left Prague on July 31,1939 on the last of eight “Kindertransport” trains traveling through Germany to Holland, and then by ship to England. The ninth Kinderstransport train, a month later and the largest one with 250 children on board, was loaded and ready to pull out of the Prague train station on September 1, 1939 when it was stopped as all the country’s borders were closed by the occupying Nazis as Hitler’s troops invaded neighboring Poland. All 250 children were never heard from again, and it is believed they were all killed by the SS. Both her parents survived the war by changing their identities and living covertly. Renata was reunited with her parents and moved back to Brno in 1946. She relearned the Czech language, attended university and started a career as a pediatric physician and geneticist. Renata and her daughter, on the advice of a friend, took a bus convoy to Vienna barely missing the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and the Prague Spring in 1968. The family eventually immigrated to the United States. She is Emeritus Professor of Genetics at the University of Wisconsin. She discovered the New-Laxova syndrome, which is a rare congenital abnormality. She lives with her terrier, Breenie, named after her hometown in the former Czechoslovakia. Renata passed away on November 30, 2020, at age 89 after a brief illness.

Photo © Michael Nelson / The Lonka Project, 2019

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We are very saddened to announce the passing of Joseph Pell, late in December 2020. May his name be a blessing.


Joseph was born in Poland in 1924. When Nazi Germany invaded Poland in 1939, Joseph’s family opted to head east, and they relocated to a town called Manevich. In 1941, Nazi Germany attacked the Soviet Union, and tanks were soon rolling through Manevich. On the night the SS rounded up the Jews in the town’s ghetto, the executions began. Joseph managed to escape death by crawling to a nearby forest. There he joined a group of Soviet partisan fighters and as a teenager, he embarked on dozens of missions against the Nazis throughout the duration of the war. Joe is the sole survivor of his family. He lost his parents, four siblings, and his entire extended family. Joseph emigrated to the United States through Ellis Island to San Francisco in 1947. Eda Pell, Joseph’s wife, was born in Cologne, Germany in 1928. After her father was taken away by the Nazis, Eda's mother chose to leave their home. Eda was 10 when she traveled to France on a false passport, where she lived in an orphanage for two years. Eda lost both her parents, three older brothers, and a younger sister. She emigrated to the United States in 1941 and grew up in a Jewish orphanage in San Francisco. Joseph Pell passed away late in December 2020.

San Rafael, Caifornia, USA

Photo © Lori Adamski-Peek / The Lonka Project, 2019

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We are saddened to hear that Anne Weinbaum passed away in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on November 25, 2020.

Anne Hanka Weinbaum was born in Chmielnik, Poland. On September 5, 1939, the town was conquered by the Germans, who soon assembled Jewish dignitaries in the synagogue and burned them alive. In 1941, the Nazis established a ghetto, covering the whole city except streets adjacent to the fields, so Hanka lived at home until 1942. The liquidation of the ghetto began in 1942 and it was the last time Hanka saw her mother, when Nazis separated the men and women. About 12,000 Jews were deported to the Treblinka death camp. The majority of them were killed at once. A Polish friend of Hanka's father obtained Aryan papers for her, and she was smuggled out of the ghetto to a Polish family from October 1942 to January 1943, pretending to be Catholic. Frightened of being discovered by the Gestapo and of the risk to the Polish family should she be caught, she returned to Chmielnik. In January 1943, she was transported with her father to Keielce Hassag to work in a munitions factory. Hanka spoke fluent German and was sent to forced labor in an ammunition factory. In January, 1945 she was transported to Bergen Belsen concentration camp. In March, 1945, the prisoners were told they were being transported to Bavaria to make ammunition there. The Allied bombing damaged the roads and trains. They never made to Bavaria. An order came from Berlin to transfer all prisoners to Dachau. Hanka marched with other prisoners towards Dachau. When the Allies began bombing the roads, the Nazi guards scattered for cover, and Hanka and other prisoners ran away and went to a house on the outskirts of Turkheim on April 30. A German woman let them sleep at her home. Hanka was freed. Anne Weinbaum passed away on November 25, 2020

Photo © Debra Friedman / The Lonka Project, 2019

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The Lonka Project is saddened to announce the passing of Yehuda Maimon, seen in this portrait 2nd from right, who was born in Poland in 1924 and was known as a member of  "The Avengers," a group of some 50 Holocaust survivors who devised an audacious plot in the summer of 1945, to kill millions of Germans by poisoning the country’s water supply in major German cities such as, Nuremberg and Munich. This did not succeed, but according to testimonies, another plot to poison the bread of thousands of SS officers held in prisoner of war camps did partially succeed in 1946, making many ill but probably not killing any. Maimon survived 22 months in the Auschwitz extermination and death camp. Many of "The Avengers," came to Israel and continued their work of tracking down and killing Nazis.

Pictured with Maimon are three other Holocaust survivors - all of whom were prisoners in Auschwitz.

From Left to right are: Tommy Schwartz, Baruch Kasher, Maimon, and Shuel Blumenfeld.


Photographed by Ziv Koren for The Lonka Project in his studio in Tel Aviv in 2019.

Photo © Ziv Koren / The Lonka Project, 2019

The Lonka Project
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Here is a screenshot from the Photo Is.rael Instagram page for The Lonka Project currently on view in an outdoor exhibition in Tel Aviv until November 21, 2020. Many thanks to Eyal Landesman and Hadar Reich for putting together the Webinar that Judah Passow (in London) and I (in Jerusalem) held together on 11.15.20 on the project. Very well done on the production side and I think very informative on the photography side of the project, as well as being able to high light some of the amazing stories of the Holocaust survivors whose portraits were shown. Photo by Alec Soth of survivor Adam Han-Górski made in Plymouth, Minnesota, USA.

Photo © Alec Soth / The Lonka Project, 2020

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The Lonka Project is proud to be included in the PHOTO IS:RAEL 8th International Photo Festival currently on view in Kikkar Hamedina in north Tel Aviv. Eighteen photos were selected in this limited exhibition that is on view outdoors, free to the pubic (with Covid-19 pandemic social distancing and masks) until November 21, 2020. The selection was curated by Kineret Palti. These two images of the exhibit, made just as the solar-powered lights went on at dusk were made by Jim Hollander/ The Lonka Project using a Fuji GFX50S camera with long exposures. Many thanks to all participating photographers and Holocaust survivors who have helped this educational and artistic project continue through these difficult times.



A webinar will be presented by Photo Is:rael on Sunday, November 15 at 20:30 Israeli time (18:30 GMT) to discuss The Lonka Project, and show additional portraits in the collection. It will feature Jim Hollander in Jerusalem and Judah Passow in London Here is a link to copy & past for a direct sign-up for the webinar. Hope it works on mobile devices as well.

Stay Safe & Be Well.

The Lonka Project
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The Lonka Project is included in the PHOTO IS:RAEL 2020 International photography festival being held in Tel Aviv from November 9 - 21, 2020. The festival is their 8th annual international festival and this year's theme is "Transformations." The exhibit will be held outdoors, due to the Covidf-19 pandemic regulations, and wearing a mask and keeping 2-meters social distancing is necessary. Photo panels are hung around a large building site circling Kikar Hamedia in northern Tel Aviv that runs almost one-kilometer in length. The Lonka Project was selected to take part in the festival as a "taste" of a much larger, more comprehensive exhibition expected to take place outdoors in Jerusalem in the Spring of 2021. They have selected 18 Holocaust survivor portraits made by the following professional photographers:

Gilles Peress - France        

Rina Castelnuovo - Israel

Alec Soth - USA

Eyal Landesman - Israel

Ohad Zwigenberg - Israel

Vardi Kahana - Israel

Avigail Uzi - Israel

Robert Gumpert - USA

Eli Reed - Israel

Jim Hollander - Israel

Roger Ballen - USA, South Africa

Eyal Warshavsky - Israel

Ronen Zvulun - Israel

Bea Bar Kallos - Israel, Hungary

Marissa Roth - USA

Davis Factor - USA

Miri Tzachi - Israel - Israel

Maurice Weiss - Germany

Curator: Kineret Palti

For more on the 2020 Festival please see the website:



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Congratulations to Sir Ben Helfgott who, at 91 years of age, has just received the Pride of Britain award, it was publish in the Mirror newspaper on October 30, 2020. Sir Helfgott is also the recipient of a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire, an honor he received in 2018. He is President of the "'45 Aid Society," which Sir Ben established in 1963. The organization promotes Holocaust remembrance through education and its goals are to help increase integration, peace, and tolerance.

Sir Ben Helfgott was born in Piotrkow, Poland 1929. He was ten when Germany invaded Poland. In 1942, the Nazis herded the Jews into the Piotrkow Ghetto. Ben, then 12, registered to work at a glass factory, having heard rumors that if one had a job assisting the war effort of the Third Reich, one would not be taken away. 'We did not know where Jews were taken - we heard stories of gas chambers, but who could believe it?' The factory’s manager, Mr. Janota, treated him brutally. But when SS guards marched into the glass factory and rounded up workers for transport to Treblinka - Ben among them - Janota came to Ben's rescue. Janota lied to the SS-men, risking his own life and saving Ben by saying that Ben was a non-Jewish Pole. Later, Ben was caught and sent to Buchenwald. ‘It was a terrible place. All we had to eat was soup that smelled like urine and a crust of bread.’ Later he was shipped to Theresienstadt, where he was eventually liberated, weak, emaciated and starving. Ben’s mother Sara and sister Lusia had been rounded up and murdered in a forest. His father was shot trying to escape from a death march from Buchenwald, just days before the war ended. Ben was sent to England after the war at age 15 with 700 other orphans. A mere 11 years later, Ben was part of the 1956 Olympic Games in weightlifting, a feat he repeated in 1960. He is one of two Jewish athletes to have competed in the Olympics after surviving the Holocaust.

Photo © Greg Williams / The Lonka Project, 2019

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The Lonka Project is saddened to announce the passing of Dov Livne on October 8, 2020, just some seven weeks after his portrait was made sitting out front of his home in northern Israel. May his memory be blessed.


Dov Livne was born in1927 in Poland. Dov was orphaned of his father at a young age, and grew up in a poverty-stricken home with his mother and four brothers in the Jewish ghetto of Święciany. Following the Nazi occupation, most of the Jews were executed. Zvi and his brothers fled, but had to split up. Zvi managed to hide in a Polish hospital, carrying water and chopping wood until he had to flee from the SS. In 1943, Zvi was deported to Ponary by train. Upon arrival, he saw Jews being taken off the train, which was surrounded by SS guards, and then ordered to march to the killing pits, where they were forced to lay on top of each other with their faces down. A riot broke out in his train car, when one Jew screamed, “Escape!” Zvi ran into the forest and his life was saved. He began wandering in the forests and between villages, searching for his mother until he found her near Vilna. With nowhere else to hide, they entered Vilna's ghetto. During the approximately two years of the existence of the Vilna Ghetto, starvation, disease, street executions, maltreatment, and deportations to concentration and extermination camps reduced the ghetto's population from an estimated 40,000, to several hundred. Those who managed to survive, did so by hiding in the forests surrounding the city and by joining Soviet partisans. Zvi’s mother was killed in the Vilna Ghetto. Zvi was left alone in an orphanage, where he worked as a forced laborer. He escaped, but was caught and deported to a forced labor camp in Estonia, where he worked paving roads and laying railway tracks until all the laborers were transported to Germany. He was sent to Stutthof camp and two other camps and on a death march. In the end he was stranded in Poznan. Zvi was liberated by the Red Army in 1945, but his entire family perished. In 1946, Zvi tried to reach Mandatory Palestine, boarding the "Tel Chai" ship, which was captured by British forces offshore. Zvi was sent to Atlit detention camp until he was allowed to stay. Zvi was drafted into the Haganah underground in Mandatory Palestine, and fought for Israel’s independence. Later he joined Kibbutz Ma'apil, where he met his wife Esther. In June, 1948, Kibbutz Reshafim was established and Dov at last had a home. He worked in every possible odd job on kibbutz - as an ambulance driver, a plumber, a farmer and a teacher. He devotes his senior years to crafts and his large family. Noam passed away on October 8, 2020, some seven weeks after his portrait was made sitting outside his home.

Photo © Noam Warshavsky / The Lonka Project, 2020

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We are very saddened to hear of the passing on Mina Helig at age 96. Her portrait for The Lonka Project was made only on August 21, 2020. She passed away in early October 2020. May her memory be blessed.


Mina Heilig was born in Poland in 1924. When her town, Borislaw, came under Soviet administration in 1939, the Jewish institutions were disbanded. Soon after, the war with Germany broke out and the town fell to the Nazi Germans on July 1, 1941. The following day the Ukrainians staged a pogrom against the Jewish community, killing hundreds of Jews. Mina and Zvi, who had been together since Mina turned 15, went into an underground hiding place, in what they called the “bunker,” where Zvi promised to look after her for the rest of his life. In the first SS Aktion in November 1941, thousands of Jews were murdered in the forests of two neighboring villages. The following winter, Jews who survived hunger and disease were sent to the labor camps and the Belzec death camp. The extermination of the Jews continued with executions at the city slaughterhouse, on February 16 - 17, 1943 - women, children, and elderly people. Jews who tried to hide in the forests and in the city itself were mostly caught and killed by the Nazis, aided by the cooperation of local Ukrainians. Mina and Zvi emerged from their underground hiding place in August 1944, the day the Red Army entered Borislaw. The liberation day was also a day of mourning, when Mina learned that her parents' hiding place had been discovered and that all were murdered - her mother on a death march in Auschwitz, and her father and brothers in the Mathausen death camp and the killing pits. The fate of her older sister, Roja, was unknown. Zvi and Mina immigrated to Israel in 1949. They raised a family, and after 80 years together, Zvi passed away. In her living room, Mina keeps a replica of the painting “Yom Kippur” by Mauricio Gottlieb, a painting much admired by her family in Borislaw. ‘When I was a child, I would look at the picture and tell myself a family story … it's my father, it's mother …’ Mina Heilig passed away in October 2020.

Photo © Maya Maymoni / The Lonka Project, 2020

We are pleased to announce that Reverend John Fieldsend has agreed to participate in The Lonka Project and his portrait was made recently by Harry Borden, in Thame, outside London. Harry Borden spent five years working on his photographic book "Survivors - A portrait of the survivors of the Holocaust," published by Hachette books in 2017.

Reverend John Fieldsend was born Hans Heinrich Feige in 1931 in Czechoslovakia. As World War II approached John, at age seven, and his 10-year-old brother Gert were given to a British stockbroker named Nicholas Winton and were able to escape from Czechoslovakia to England as part of a rescue mission known as the "Kindertransport." They were on the second to last transport out of Czechoslovakia. On arrival, they were fostered by different families. In 1946, John received a package through the Red Cross of photographs and albums of his family, as well as the last letters from his parents, who had died in Auschwitz. In the letter, his mother details all his family members who were killed by the Nazis. 'Thank those who have kept you from a similar fate,' she wrote. 'You took a piece of your poor parents' hearts with you when we decided to give you away. Give our thanks and gratitude to all who are good to you,' she continued, adding, 'In December it will be our turn.' As a young man, John converted from Judaism to the Church of England, becoming an Anglican vicar. In 1988, he met the man who saved him and his brother. The rescuer, retired British stockbroker Nicholas Winton, was on a BBC television show whose audience was made up of people whom Winton had saved via the Kindertransport, John among them. John was one of 669 children, most of them Jews, whom Winton had rescued from Czechoslovakia just prior to World War II. For his heroic efforts, Winton became Sir Nicolas Winton, and is known as "Britain's Schindler." He died at age 106. He and the Reverend John Fieldsend became good friends and often lunched together in a local pub. Reverend John Fieldsend in 2019 was awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for his services to Holocaust education.

Photo © Harry Borden / The Lonka Project, 2020

The Lonka Project
022420 Jono David Harry Markowicz S RIP.

Harry Markowicz was born in Berlin in 1932. In 1938 the family escaped the rise of the Nazis by moving to Belgium, shortly before Kristallnacht. When Nazi Germany invaded Belgium in 1940, the family tried to escape again. Harry’s first memory at age three was of hiding in a ditch on the side of the road. German planes bombed the road on which refugees were attempting to escape. Harry’s family huddled in the ditch to wait out the bombings. When they reached the French border, they were turned away, and forced to remain in Belgium. In 1941, the Nazi authorities detained Jewish men for forced labor in factories or farms in Germany to replace their soldiers, and were relocating Jews to the East. In 1942, the Markowicz family went into hiding. The parents rarely left their hiding place for years at a time, while their children were separated and hidden with various families. Harry was hidden with several different families and in children’s homes in Brussels until he was taken in by the Vanderlindens, a Belgian family with a teenage daughter. He became their “son" until the liberation of Brussels in September 1944. Despite his young age, Harry was aware throughout the war of the anxiety of the adults around him, and behaved in ways that did not attract attention. The Markowicz family survived the war. Most of their extended family perished.

Harry Markowicz passed away on September 15, 2020 in Silver Springs MD., USA.

Photo © Jono David / The Lonka Project, 2020

The Lonka Project
 Visa Pour L'Image_TLP Screening Announc

We are very honored and proud to have The Lonka Project included in the Visa Pour L’Image festival 2020’s program for “virtual screening.” Here is a link for the full program of screenings that begin August 31 and run through September 6. The Lonka Project will be held on Tuesday, September 1, 2020, and will be available free, online for 24-hours. I believe one must register beforehand in order to access the screenings.

Photo at bottom right: Dorothy Bohm photographed in London by Marissa Roth / The Lonka Project, 2019

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080920 Brent Stirton Juliane Heyman 8 S.

In these very difficult times of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are continuing to ask both photographers and Holocaust survivors to take part in The Lonka Project. We realize we are asking a lot of both to donate their talents and stories under these very trying times, especially as many places in the world have seen spikes in infections. We would like to express our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all who have participated in the past months and want to ensure that the project is moving forward and portrait sessions are being safely carried out.

Another announcement will be coming soon on the inclusion of The Lonka Project in Visa Pour L'Image 2020 within their line-up of "virtual screenings." This will be held on September 1, 2020. Another announcement will be posted when this foremost photographic festival's scheduling is completed, including how to sign-up to this free, online event - made virtual this year due to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic.


Here is Brent Stirton's experience in photographing Juliane Heyman in Santa Barbara, California, USA on August 9, 2020. Ms. Heyman, 95, was born in the Free City of Danzig (now Gdansk, Poland) in 1925. When the Nazis came into power in 1933 and amid rising antisemitism, her parents, after being imprisoned, took her in 1938 in the middle of the night and crossed the border to Gdynia, Poland, and later to Brussels, Belgium. They then traveled to Paris and then to the unoccupied zone in France and then were smuggled on foot across the Pyrenees into Spain and managed to travel by train to Portugal and eventually to the US by freighter ship.x


"When I was able to email Juliane, Covid-19 had taken hold in the US, and the retirement facility where she lives were understandably very nervous about outside visitors. We waited a few months until the authorities cleared me to come to see Juliane for a portrait session. As usual, when people who are not photographers set the parameters for shoots, things like time of day, location, soft light, etc. are not often considered. I was asked to come and photograph Juliane outdoors in an open space at 11 am. The open space makes sense given Covid but a real pity in terms of light. I was not allowed to enter her home so that made things a little more difficult in terms of accessing elements that might have made the shoot more personal and spoken to her remarkable past. As a result, I decided to light her outdoors and try to bring the focus to her face as opposed to the surroundings. I cannot imagine…what she must have endured to survive. My only thought with this shoot was to try and make an image that had dignity but also showed a strong woman who was a survivor in every sense of the word. I do think the people being photographed for this project deserve our best, despite the limitations Covid-19 can bring to photography. It was my honor to meet Juliane Heyman and I hope she will feel I have represented her appropriately."


Juliane says in notes about her eventful and full life, "My challenging life experiences have given me depth and understanding of different peoples, and I hope I have touched the lives of some."

We are proud to have Juliane and Brent participate in this educational and artistic photographic project. Bravo!

Photo © Brent Stirton / The Lonka Project, 2020


The Lonka Project
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On this day, May 8, 1945, the Allies declared Victory in Europe Day following the Battle of Berlin and the Nazi unconditional surrender. To commemorate this day, here are two photographs from The Lonka Project collection of Holocaust survivors.

Photographer Andy Anderson poses with Ben Ferencz, who turned 100 on March 20, 2020, during a portrait session in Florida in Ben's home on July 25, 2019. Ferencz was a US soldier who landed in Normandy on D-Day and went on to become a lawyer. He was called back into the army and at age 27 became the Chief Prosecutor for the United States at the Einsatzgruppen Trial, held by the U.S. at Nuremberg, Germany. He is responsible for reparations for hundreds of thousands of Holocaust survivors.

Abraham Michael Grinzaid, 93, enlisted with the Red Army in 1943 when he was 17. ‘I joined the Red Army to take revenge. My father was killed by the Germans, my relatives were in the ghettos and sent to their death. I was alone and my only desire was to avenge my family death,’ he said. ‘I appeal to the Jewish people, don't forget it. A million and a half Jews fought against the Nazis.’ He earned five medals for bravery in battles across Europe.             Photographed in Rehovot, Israel by Kobi Wolf / The Lonka Project, 2019

The Lonka Project

We are very saddened to hear from the photographer on April 26, 2020 that Henri Kichka passed away in Brussels from complications of Coronavirus.

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Henri Kichka was born in 1926 in Brussels, Belgium. His parents came from Poland. In May 1940, the family was stunned by the Nazi invasion of Belgium but Josek, Henri’s father, had no illusions about the fate awaiting the Jews. In the first week of September 1942, they were taken from their Brussels home as the Nazi soldiers sealed off the street in the middle of the night and went from building to building forcing all Jews from their homes. The family was herded into cattle wagons in a railway transport heading east first to Germany and then to Nazi occupied Poland. Henri and his father Josek were taken off the train with the other men in the small town of Kosel. They were to work in slave labour for the Third Reich. Henri’s mother, Chana, his sisters Bertha and Nicha and his Aunt Esther, were shipped to Auschwitz and upon arrival they were gassed. Henri ends up imprisoned in ten concentration camps: Camp d’Agde, Camp de Rivesaltes, Sakrau, Klein Mangersdorf, Tarnowitz-Nord, Sankt Annaberg, Kattowiz-Schoppinitz, Blechhammer, Gross-Rosen, and Buchenwald. On January 21, 1945, with the advance of the Red Army, they were forced on a death march with some 5000 prisoners – only 750 survived. Henri was liberated from Buchenwald on April 11, 1945, but his father had died a few days before the camp's liberation by the 6th Armoured Division of the US army. Three days later Henri turned 19. Henri returned alone to Brussels, and succeeded to rebuild his life.  On April 25th 2020, Michel Kichka announced his father’s death, “A small microscopic Coronavirus has succeeded where the whole Nazi army had failed.’

Photo © Pascaline Lefin / The Lonka Project, 2019

regards cover Henri Kichka pascaline fot

REGARDS magazine pays tribute to Henri Kichka on their cover with Pascaline Lefin's portrait. May5, 2020 issue.

The Lonka Project
Zoom conference via Photo Israel on The

Thank you PHOTO IS:RAEL for hosting a Zoom video chat conference on The Lonka Project on Yom HaShoah, April 21, 2020, which was very well attended. Eyal Landesman was master-of-ceremonies and Israeli photographers Nati Shohat, Kobi Wolf, Nadav Neuhaus living in New Jersey and Oded Wagenstein (see picture below) took part in answering some questions, as well as Max Hirshfeld in Washington DC who also chimed in with some personal accounts of making his portrait in New York City of Holocaust survivor/architect Stephen B. Jacobs.

Thanks to Inbal Feller for organizing the conference.

For those interested It is available for viewing on YouTube at

The Lonka Project
042120 Oded Wagenstein Zeni Rosenstein 1

Oded Wagenstein photographed Holocaust survivor Zeni Rosenstein was she marks a two-minute silence as a siren wails in Tel Aviv marking Yom HaShoah, Israel's Holocaust Remembrance Day, on April 21, 2020. Keeping with strict" social distancing and isolation" measure in effect due to the Coronoavirus, the portrait session took place on Zenio's terrace outside her apartment.

The Lonka Project

Yom HaShoah    April 20 - 21, 2020

The experience of lockdown and social distancing due to the fast-spreading Coronavirus is affecting people differently. For Holocaust survivors, the growing isolation triggers painful wartime memories when the life they knew came to a sudden halt and the outdoors became life-threatening.

041920 Chaim Goldberg Rabbi Moshe Stern

Rabbi Moshe Stern during morning prayers inside his home in the Mea Shearim neighborhood of Jerusalem, April 19, 2020.


Rabbi Stern was born in Hungary in 1922. He is known for saving hundreds of lives during Nazi Germany’s invasion to Hungary in 1944 when he derailed one of the last trains en route to Auschwitz death camp. Rabbi Stern, pretending to be a railway worker, stopped the train from continuing to its final destination by derailing the trucks with other underground members. The train came to a stop and most onboard managed to escape. The 97-year-old resident of the Mea Shearim neighborhood of Jerusalem, and a devotee of Toldot Aharon, was involved in clandestine operations on behalf of the Jewish Agency during the Holocaust of Hungary Jewry.

Photo © Chaim Goldberg / The Lonka Project, 2020

The Lonka Project

The Lonka Project wishes everyone health and the very best for the upcoming holidays.

071619 Jim Hollander Israel Meir Lau Com

April 11, 1945, Israel Meir Lau was 8-years-old when he was photographed leaving Buchenwald concentration camp after its liberation by 6th Armored Division, United States Army...

75 years later Rabbi Lau will observe Passover Seder with social distancing and isolation from his many family members, like so many other Holocaust survivors.

The rabbi says, “This year the night of Passover will be different. This time I will not talk to people, but about history.”                                          


Jim Hollander / The Lonka Projhect

The Lonka Project

In Times of Coronavirus

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Corona closures and isolation are becoming part of our daily life and undoubtedly will save lives. 


The Lonka Project collaborated with journalist Iris Klieger, daughter of the late Noah Klieger, a survivor of the Holocaust. The article was published in Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel's leading daily newspaper, on March 24, 2020.

"They are 80+, some are over 100, and now they are spending their time in isolation, away from their family members. But these Holocaust survivors have a lot to teach the younger generations about resilience and hope."

Photographic portraits from The Lonka Project, from left to right:

Yosef Dekel, age 105

"I keep telling my children to keep away and stay home, don’t come to visit. Period. I'm fine. Until this is over, I keep in touch with both Skype and Zoom.

With sister

Rivka Helfand, age 94

"Life taught me to be iron strong. When you ask me if I'm afraid of the corona, you are actually asking me gently if I'm afraid of dying. So my answer is no, I'm not afraid of death! I've met him too many times face to face. Presently I think only positive thinking."

Photographed by

Amir Levy

Dov Landau, age 92

“This you call suffering?" asks Dov Landau. "Staying at home with food?! There's TV,  a computer, a phone and you even have those movies, what do you call it - Netflix? So what on earth is your problem to stay home and guard yourself and your family!!! Learn from someone who survived the worse in extermination camps, without food, no family left, for months and months...... this period will pass and we will come out reinforced and united.“

Photographed by

Nati Shohat

Judith Barnea & Lia Hoover, age 82

Mengele twins

" We're always together, but for the first time we must be separated.”

The sisters are optimistic, but in the Corona crisis there are factors that bring them back to the trauma.

"I've been through much harder things. If you have food, even just bread, stay home and remember that when you stay home - you keep us alive."

Photographed by

Ohad Zwigenberg

​Moshe Barth, age 94

"I won - I have three sons, 13 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren. I consider myself a Winner. I survived Auschwitz, we will survive the Corona too."

​Photographed by

Yonatan Sindel

The Lonka Project

We have changed this heading to "Press & Notices" to make certain announcements, as they come up. With the advent of the Coronavirus affecting most of the world we are placing the most recent press clipping at the top of the page. If other Corona stories come in relating to the virus pandemic we shall place that high up as well.


Otherwise, the most recent item is placed at the bottom of this page, so please scroll down.


We hope everyone stays safe and healthy in these difficult times worldwide.

The Lonka Project

           Inaugural Exhibition at the United Nations


The Lonja Project will be inaugurated on January 27, 2020 at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Here is the UN page link. One can register for the reception to be held on January 28th at 3 PM for free entry.

Portraits of 14 Holocaust survivors made in the Europa Café in Los Angeles photographed by Ethan Pines (USA)

The Lonka Project

The Lonka Project will have a multi-media screening on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27, 2020 in the Yad Mordechai Museum, Israel.

Entrance is free and the program begins at 6 PM.

A screening was also held in the Willy-Brandt Haus, Berlin, Germany on the same night.

 Dorothy Bohm with her Rolleiflex camera in London photographed by Marrisa Roth (USA)

The Lonka Project
011519 TLP Yedioth Ahronoth Clip-S.jpg

An article in the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth with the headline "Let The World Never Forget" dealing with The Lonka Project exhibition in the United Nations.

Photo credits:

Left: Fannie Ben-Ami was photographed in Jerusalem by Alex Kolomoisky (Israel)

Center: Marie Nahmias was photographed in Ramat HaSharon by Shaul Golan (Israel)

Right: Moshe Haelyon was photographed in Tel Aviv by Avigail Uzi (Israel)

Published January 15, 2020


The Lonka Project
TLP Israel HaYom feature 011720-1.jpg
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Feature article published in Israel HaYom Magazine


Friday, January 17, 2020


Written by Hanan Greenwood.

Photo Credits:

Top Page:

Left - Gideon Markowicz (Israel) photographed Motek Mordechai Szymonowicz in Petah Tikva, Israel.

Right - Miri Tzachi photographed Jim and Rina at home in Beit Zayit, Israel.

Bottom Page:

Left -  Yechiel Hakoen (Israel) photographed Dov Landau in Benei Brak, Israel.

Center - Tomasz Lazar (Poland) photographed Madeleine Kahn in Saint-Paul de Vence, France.

Right, top - Andy Anderson (USA) photographed Ben Ferencz in Delray Beach, Florida, USA.

Right, below - Ohad Zwigenberg (Israel) photographed Lia Huber and her twin sister, Judith Barnea (R) in Ra'anana, Israel.

The Lonka Project

Photographer Andy Anderson had a nice article titled 'Photographers Capture the Present, Preserving History' about his photo session with Ben Ferencz.

Published in PhotoPolitic, early December 2109.

The Lonka Project

A partial screengrab from Ai-AP about The Lonka Project inauguration in the United Nations headquarters in New York City.


To read the story, please copy & paste the link below in white.

I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.

Photo credits:


Four Auschwitz survivors photographed in Tel Aviv by Ziv Koren (Israel)


Nat Shaffir, a marathon runner who scaled Mount Kilimanjaro photographed in Washington DC by Dave Burnett (USA)D


Auschwitz survivor Rachel Gottlieb photographed in Staten Island, NY, USA by Shira Stoll (USA)

Not in the clip:

Rene Slotkin memorabilia photographed in New York City by Ron Haviv (USA)

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The Lonka Project
Screenshot 2020-01-23 14.05.52 CLIP The

Copy and paste in browser the URL above (in white)

Feature story in The Guardian, UK

'A terrible past': photography project captures last Holocaust survivors.

by Oliver Holmes

Jerusalem correspondent.

Photo credits include:

Judith with Eliran Keren (L) visits the Mediterranean Sea at Kibbutz Magen Michael, Israel photographed by Jim Hollander (USA)

Not visible here, but in the story:

Four Auschwitz survivors photographed in Tel Aviv by Ziv Koren (Israel)

Marion Bazmen photographed in Tel Aviv with her granddaughter by Tomer Neuberg (Israel)

Eva Schloss, a child hood friend of Anne frank, photographed in London by Stuart Franklin (UK)

Ben Ferencz of the Nuremberg Trials photographed in Delray Beach, Florida by Andy Anderson (USA)

Motek Mordechai Szymonowicz tells his story of survival for the first time to family members in Petah Tikva, Israel photographed by Gideon Markowicz (Israel) (Israel)y Beach, Florida by Andy Anderson (USA)

The Lonka Project

The Royal Photographic Society magazine, February 2020

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Left Page:

Nat Shaffir photographed in Washington DC by Dave Burnett (USA)

Double page. Top Left:

Mordechai Perlov photographed in Johannesburg, South Africa by Roger Ballen (USA)

Right, clockwise from top:

Four Auschwitz survivors in Tel Aviv photographed by Ziv Koren (Israel)

Joe Alexander photographed in Los Angeles by Davis Factor (USA)

Motke Blum photographed in Jerusalem by Hadas Porush (Israel)

Dorothy Bohm (with Rolleiflex camera) photographed in London by Marissa Roth (USA)

Botton Left:

Dr. Eleonora 'Lonka' Nass with her husband Dr. Jerzy Nass from the family album.

The Lonka Project
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Leica Fotografie International, Germany

Including photographs:

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Taub photographed in Jerusalem  by Abir Sultan (Israel)

Danilo Nikolic photographed in Sarajevo by Armin Smailovic (Bosnia)

Franz Michalski photographed in Hamburg by Maurice Weiss (Germany)

Mordechai Perlov photographed in Johannesburg, South Africa by Roger Ballen (USA)

The Lonka Project
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Ha'aretz Magazine, Israel - January 27, 2020 Marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day

by Dina Kraft

Lead photograph of Agnes Keleti, 99 years old, in Budapest, photographed for The Lonka Project by Bea Bar Kallos (Israel, Hungary)

Additional photographs in the article:

Nat Shaffir was photographed in Washington DC by Dave Burnett (USA)

Dr. Renata Laxova with her dog Breenie were photographed in Madison, Wisconsin, USA, by Mike Nelson (USA)

Ralph Hakman was photographed in Los Angeles by Barbara Davidson (Canada)

Ruby Sosnowicz was photographed in Boca Raton, Florida by Mauricio Candela (USA)

Halina Birenbaum and her son Yakov Gilad were photographed in Tel Aviv by Vardi Kahana (Israel)

David Marks was photographed in Sherman, Connecticut, USA by Howard Schatz (USA)

Professor Renata Reisfeld was photographed in Jerusalem by Debbie Hill (USA)

Gerda Weissmann Klein was photographed in Phoenix, Arizona, USA by Patrick Zachmann (France)

The Lonka Project
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Article by Jessica Steinberg                           Published January 27, 2020


Pictured above:

Judith Rosenberg, 96, photographed in Glasgow, Scotland by Judah Passow (UK)

Others on the website:

Four Auschwitz survivors in Tel Aviv by Ziv Koren (Israel)

Gabriel Moked photographed in Tel Aviv by Eyal Warshavsky (Israel)

Madeleine Kahn photographed in Saint-Paul de Vence, France by Tomasz Lazar.

                  Photograph by Anna-Patricia Kahn.

Ginette Kolinka photographed in Paris by Jane Evelyn Atwood (USA)

Moshe Avital photographed in New Rochelle, New York by Ed Kashi (USA)

Lia Huber and Judith Barnea photographed in Ra'anana, Israel by Ohad Zwigenberg (Israel)

Yossi Weiss photographed in Haifa harbor, Israel by Eldad Rafaeli (Israel)

The Lonka Project
012820 EPA The Lonka Project by Peter Fi

The Lonka Project coverage by epa (European Pressphoto Agency) of the reception in the United Nations and the multi-media event in Yad Mordechai, Israel.

Both events mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day & the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

New York City UN photos by Peter Foley                                    Yad Mordechai photos by Abir Sultan

The Lonka Project
01202SCREENSHOT 2020-01-20 ... TLP Randy

Huge thanks to Randy Cole Represents in New York City for all the support and all the remarkable photographers who joined the project. You all went to extraordinary lengths to make memorable portraits that will enlighten and educate for years to come.

Spacial thanks to Evi Ginzburg who worked with Ethan Pines and the 14 survivors in the Europa Café in Los Angeles

The Lonka Project
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In the Swiss magazine

Israel Zwischenzeilen online.

(see link above in white)

Featuring a photograph of Alex Gross with family members in Florida photographed by  Lauren Koplowitz (USA)

Additional photographs in the story:

Gerda Weissmann Klein photographed in Phoenix, Arizona by Patrick Zachmann (France)

Ida Iosifovna Spector photographed in Moscow by James Hill (UK, France)

David Marks photographed in Sherman, Connecticut by Howard Schatz (USA)

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The Lonka Project
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Article in The Jerusalem Post January 5, 2020 about the exhibition in the United Nations in New York City.

See link above, in white.

The Lonka Project
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ZEIT ONLINE                                                 Feb. 27, 2020

17 Photographs, as follows:

​​1.  Roger Ballen (USA, South Africa) photographed Mordechai Perlov in Johannesburg.

2.  Steve McCurry (USA) photographed Sonia Kam and sister Hannie Dauman in New York City.

3.  Eyal Warshavsky (Israel) photographed Gabriel Moked in Tel Aviv.

4.  Davis Factor (USA) photographed Joe Alexander in the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles.

5.  Tomasz Lazar (Poland) photographed Madeleine Kahn in  Saint-Paul de Vence, France.

6.  Maurice Weiss (German) photographed Franz Michalski in Berlin.

7.  Jim Hollander (USA) photographed Judith in Kibbutz Magen Michaeil, Israel.

8.  Abir Sultan (Israel) photographed Rabbi Menachem Mendel Taub in Jerusalem.

9.  Jane Evelyn Atwood (USA, France) Photographed Ginette Kolinka in Paris.

10. Andy Anderson (USA) photographed Ben Ferencz in Delray Beach, Florida.

11. Marissa Roth (USA) photographed Dorothy Bohm in London.

12. Gilles Peress (France) photographed Ryszard Horowitz in New York City.

13. Moti Milrod (Israel) photographed Eliezer and Rachel Greenfeld in Holon, Israel.

14. Ed Kashi (USA) photographed Moshe Avital in New Rochelle, New York.

15. Eldad Rafaeli (Israel) photographed Yossi Weiss in Haifa, Israel.

16. Armin Smailovic (Bosnia) photographed Danilo Nikolić in Sarajevo.

17. Peter Turnley (USA, France) photographed Perhia in Paris.


A translation of the article:

Some have dedicated their lives to the work of the Holocaust, others could not speak for 40 years. The Lonka Project portrayed survivors.

By 2019, around 250 photographers from 26 countries have joined forces to search for the latest Holocaust survivors in their own countries. They have people photographed where they feel they belong, and tell them how they have lived and passed on.

Alas for the Lonka Project, it is the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. The project was initiated by Jim Hollander and Rina Castelnuovo in Jerusalem. The Lonka Project does not, however, tell only about the survivors of the German concentration camps, but also to the Soviet Gulags. The idea was disseminated from photographer to photographer, on a voluntary basis. Maurice Weiss, one of the respected German photographers, says, "By this, the images could be so human, beautiful and surprisingly different."

The Lonka Project
031420 Marty Umans Shmuel Beller 2 S.jpg
The Lonka Project



Dear Rina and Jim,

I had a very emotional shoot yesterday. In working through the weeks and process of setting up this portrait session I had not given much thought to what to expect emotionally when talking and spending time with our subject. I have traveled the world and photographed children in Africa for Operation Smile, Ethiopian Jews being resettled in Israel for Hadassah, teens in NYC for Avenues for Justice for over 20 yrs. but never a 94-year-old in Brooklyn who still lives his past like it is today. It was a rewarding two hours spent with an amazing survivor and example of the unsung heroes of the Holocaust. Shmuel is open and willing to share his experiences which are horrendous. He lives them every day without the ability to block them out. I did not expect that. He is a kind person who has raised a family of four children and now many grandchildren but he is not able to share his happiness and that was what affected me more than anything. My drive home and last evening I relived our conversations. I am intrigued by what others have encountered and felt as they processed the photo sessions. Shmuel is angry at the world and especially the Jews for not teaching the next generations about these atrocities that he experienced. It took him decades before he was able to share his experiences but I don’t think it has been a healing, more of a cause, and at 94 he doesn’t have the same energy to share his story. I am grateful for his two hours and cherish my time.b

From photographer Marty Umans who photographed Holocaust survivor Samuel Beller, age 94, in his home in, New York.  March 14, 2020

042319 Shira Stoll - Rachel Gottlieb 1-3

We are sad to announce a Facebook post from photographer Shira Stoll informing of the passing of Rachel Gottlieb, born in 1924 in Romania, who lived in Staten Island, New York. Rachel survived the Auschwitz death camp as number 7564 and spent, and also the Bergen-Belsen camp and a Death march. “Miracles,” she told me. “Everybody from the Holocaust they’re here because big miracles,” recounts Shira in her post, quoting Rachel.

One final note - Rachel had a motto. She would always say “Who came back from the Holocaust can give you a blessing: Be well and live long.”

The Lonka Project
Clip - Colette Avital Newslatter #64 TLP
Clip - Colette Avital Newslatter #64 TLP
Clip - Colette Avital Newslatter #64 TLP

MISCAR - Remember        Issue #64
Center Organization of Holocaust Survivors in Israel

75th Anniversary of Auschwitz Liberation


Received from Colette Avital    March 26, 2020

Center Page

Left: Dr. Renata Laxova photographed by Michal Nelson in Madison, WI, USA.

Right: David Marks photographed by Howard Schatz in Sherman, CN, USA.

Bottom: Nat Shaffir photographed by Dave Burnett in Washington DC, USA.

Right Page

Left: Lia Hoover & her twin sister, Judith Barnea photographed by Ohad Zwigenberg in Ra'anana, Israel.

Right: Ralph Hakman photographed by Barbara Davidson in Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Bottom: Ruby Sosnowicz photographed by Mauricio Candela in Boca Ration, FL, USA.

The Lonka Project
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Very sad to report that Horace Hecht, born in1922 in Berlin, passed away several weeks after he and his wife Mildred posed for portraits for The Lona Project. In 1943, the Nazis shipped him off to Auschwitz with his family where his wife, his parents, three sisters and four-year-old nephew were murdered.

Photographed by Cindy Karp in Miami, Florida, March 1, 2020.

The Lonka Project
082119 Barbara Davidson Ralph Hakman S.j

We are very sad to announce the death of Ralph Hakman who had just turned 95 shortly before his death from Coronavirus complications in Los Angeles on March 22, 2020.


The fifth of 10 children, Ralph Hakman was born March 11, 1925, in Radom, Poland. Ralph was captured and shipped to Auschwitz at age 17 and several days later was sent to the Birkenau concentration camp where he survived for three years. He regularly observed Nazi SS troops putting Zyklon B crystal pellets into two crematoriums. Hakman managed to flee a Death March. He was spotted by a Russian soldier on May 7, 1945, who informed him the war was over. He returned to Radom and learned his parents and every sibling but one - an older sister who fled to Russia - was killed. Ralph Hakman was a speaker at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust where he gave monthly talks on his experiences. “It’s my responsibility to share what happened.”

Photographed by Barbara Davidson for The Lonka Project. August 21, 2019.


The Lonka Project

Just noticed this mention from The Magnum Digest: February 14, 2020

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The Lonka Project
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The Lonka project is saddened to report the death of Eliezer Greenfeld, born in 1925 in Lodz, Poland. Seen here with his wife Rachel. This news is especially hard as Israel commemorates Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom HaShoah, which  begins at sundown tomorrow, April 20, 2020.

Eliezer's father was among the first victims to be executed on the main street in Lodz. Eliezer and his mother were taken into the ghetto. Nazis declared a curfew and began the deportation of all Jews to the extermination camps. Men and women were separated. ‘I thought I will never see my mother again'. Eliezer was taken to a forced labor camp. ‘I weighed 40 pounds then, and when I put sacks on my back I fell. I fled with few prisoners to the forest.’ They hid until the roaring Russian tanks approached. War was over. Eliezer returned to Lodz. ‘On the steps of the house my mother was waiting for me, we both survived.’ Eliezer and Rachel met in Lodz and are among the first couple of survivors to marry.

His wife Rachel was also born in Lodz, in 1926. She was 13 when the Nazis invaded Poland. In Ghetto Lodz, Jews were rounded up 'Then they got us in the train cars to Auschwitz. We were sorted into men and women and since then I have never seen my father and brother again. Mum and I stood together, and I was holding her so tight but the Nazi separated us, and I haven't seen her since. I had nothing to live for.’ In Auschwitz one night Rachel ran away from her block to another. 'The next day they sent all my block to death. A few days later the gas ran out. We were sent to a labor camp in Germany. I will never forget the day when the French came into the camp and shouted, "The war is over, you are free."’ Rachel returned to Lodz to look for relatives. 'I was left alone’.

Eliezer and Rachel met in Lodz and are among the first couple of survivors to marry. They immigrated to Israel in 1956.


Photo © Moti Milrod / The Lonka Project, 2019

The Lonka Project

Story on The Lonka Project just out in Amateur Photographer in the UK, April 2020 by Peter Dench

To view and read the PDF, click on the icon below please

Clip Amateur Photographer UK Apr 20 Comb

The article, appropriately titled The Power of Living, even more so in these difficult, on-going times of the Coronavirus affecting so much of the world these past months.

Photo credits - top to bottom & left to right:

Agnes Keleti in Budapest - Photo © Bea Bar Kallos / The Lonka Project, 2019

Jim Hollander hangs the United Nations inaugural exhibit in NYC - Photo © Enrique Shore / The Lonka Project, 2020

Four Auschwitz survivors in Tel Aviv - Photo © Ziv Koren / The Lonka Project, 2019

Eva Schloss on 90th birthday in London - Photo © Stuart Franklin / The Lonka Project, 2019

Adam Han-Górski works out at home in Plymouth, Minnesota, USA - Photo © Alec Soth / The Lonka Project, 2020

Moshe Avital among his many books at home in New Rochelle, New York, USA - Photo © Ed Kashi / The Lonka Project, 2019

Dorothy Bohm with her Rolleiflex at home in London - Photo © Marissa Roth / The Lonka Project, 2019

Filmmaker Roman Polanski on the streets in Nice, France - Photo © Franck Leclerc / The Lonka Project, 2019

Many thanks to both Holocaust survivors and photographers for contributing to this educational and artistic collection.                            STAY SAFE   BE WELL

The Lonka Project
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The Lonka Project is saddened to report the death of Esther (Stenia) Mannheim, born in Krakow, Poland in 1924.  

Esther (Stenia) Mannheim was born in Krakow in 1924. When the Nazis captured Krakow, she was no longer allowed to attend school and had to wear the ‘yellow star’ while cleaning the streets of Krakow. Then came the ghetto in Krakow, but the family felt lucky for being able to stay together; Esther (Stenia), her parents, sister, and grandparents. During her life in the ghetto Esther had to work in a factory, and one day, ‘I waited for my mother to come and pick me up from work, but she didn't arrive. I never said goodbye to my mother and I never saw her again.’ Esther learned her mother was deported to a death camp. Then the grandparents passed away and Esther’s father was sent to the Mauthausen concentration camp. Esther and her sister were sent to four different camps before Auschwitz where she remembers the smell and the smoke from the bodies that were burned. ‘They tattooed us with a number and soon after they put us on a death train. A German asked if there were any sick people. We said no. They took all the sick people on the wagon and killed them on the way’.  In 1944, when the Nazis wanted to eradicate the camp, Esther and her sister were forced on a death march to Malkov. They were starving and thirsty, but Esther and her sister survived. American soldiers arrived and released them. Esther and her sister returned to Krakow looking for surviving relatives and there in the synagogue, Esther received news that her father was alive and in Israel. Soon after Esther and her sister reunited with their father in Israel.

Photo © Oded Balilty / The Lonka Project, 2019. In Esther's apartment Tel Aviv, Israel.

The Lonka Project

Published in Tachles, Switzerland                    June 4, 2020

The Lonka Project
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So That the World Never Forgets

Auschwitz survivor Eva Schloss shows a picture. Another Ryszard Horowitz, who was one of the youngest on Schindler's list. Another was athlete Shaul Paul Ladany, who survived the hostage-taking at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. Four Auschwitz survivors, photographed by Ziv Koren in Tel Aviv. Judith Rosenberg in Glasgow. Nat Shaffir in Washington, DC, in front of Dave Burnett's camera. Rachel Gottlieb, photographed in Staten Island by Shira Stoll. Benjamin Ferencz, the last chief prosecutor of the Nuremberg trials - on March 11, Ferencz celebrates his 100th birthday. And Anna-Patricia Kahn captures the moment of personal importance when Tomasz Lazar photographs her mother Madeleine Kahn in St. Paul de Vence. Impressive, extremely moving portraits.


The photos are part of “The Lonka Project": beginning in February 2019, around 250 photographers in 26 countries set out to visit the last Holocaust survivors, put them in the picture and thus put a memorial to them. For some photographers, the project was also an exploration of their own origins as descendants of Holocaust survivors. The elderly were photographed where they feel they belong. The result is a unique series of portrait studies that show faces in which the story appears to be engraved. In addition, a collection of life stories of the portrayed: They tell how they survived and lived on. Some have dedicated their lives to this narrative, others have been unable to speak about it for decades. The Lonka project not only resulted in a remarkable international photographic co-production, one of the largest ever realized but also a unique documentary that will soon no longer be possible: capture the present to capture history. A tribute in pictures. Worldwide for future generations.



The search for other survivors to be portrayed and whose history is to be preserved continues. Among the camera artists who visited survivors around the world for The Lonka Project include, among others, Alain Keler, Patrick Zachmann, Roger Ballen, Mario Tedeschi, Armin Smailovic, Peter and David Turnley, Thomas Dworzak, Eli Reed, Stuart Franklin, Maciek Nabrdalik, Steve McCurry, Abir Sultan, Heidi Levine, Peter Dejong, Corinna Kern, Greg Williams, Tomasz Lazar, Franck Leclerc, and many others - some, such as Patrick Zachmann, are managed by the Clair Gallery directed by Anna-Patricia Kahn represented who supports and supports the project. The project was presented on January 27 as part of a first exhibition at the UN headquarters in New York, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2020, the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Another exhibition and multimedia presentation took place on the same day in the Israeli museum in Yad Mordechai. A presentation was also held in Berlin, where a video with the first 95 pictures of The Lonka Project was shown. As international as the photographers and the places where the portrayed people live and where the pictures were taken are scattered across the continents, they should be seen and received in such a global way. Because the challenge of remembering the Holocaust is growing. New waves of anti-Semitism, coupled with the fading knowledge of recent history and the gradual disappearance of contemporary witnesses, require new forms of narration to be remembered. The Lonka Artistic Educational Project can help preserve memories for future generations when no survivor can bear witness.

Photo: Moti Milrod (Israel) photographed Eliezer and Rachel Greenfeld in their Holon apartment in Israel on December 20, 2019.