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
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
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
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
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
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 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 PHOTO IS:RAEL 2020 Festival please see the link:
For more on the 2020 Festival please see the website:
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
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
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
Yehudit Ashriel was born in Hungary in 1926. In 1944 she was deported from the ghetto to the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp with her family when she was 18. ‘We arrived at the train station at night. The doors opened and the place was lit with large lanterns as if it was the middle of the day. SS soldiers everywhere with dogs. As soon as the doors of the wagon opened we were shouted at to get out faster. I asked what about the suitcase and they said they would bring it to me later. I did not know people were lying, I believed everything. The first selection was by Dr. Mangala - a Satan who separate men and women. I have not seen my father since. I stayed with women on the ramp and Dr. Mengele sitting on a high chair wearing polished, shiny uniforms, white gloves he would gesture, right and left: life or death. SS soldiers forced us to undress and fold neatly our cloth, we were left naked like animals. It was very cold. We were marched to a hut - and set on the ground - about 200 women, we clung on the ground to each other to keep warm, I fell asleep from exhaustion and I woke up to screaming. A polish Jew who was held in the camp pointed to us the smoke coming out of a chimney and said that this was where all are being exterminated. She wanted us to know what awaited us, what would be the end. None of us said a word, this was the first time we heard the truth.’ Judith managed to survive in the death camp and after a period she was sent to forced labor in an AEG industrial plant with a group of Jews. Judith's resourcefulness and knowledge of German gained the trust of the engineer in charge of her, and led to her rescue and the rescue of the group that was with her. In May 1945 she was liberated by the Red Army. She returned to her home to look for members of her family. Only her sister survived. The family’s candle sticks, hid by neighbors from looters, was all that was left from her family home. Judith immigrated to Israel in 1949 and dedicated her life to help new immigrants and commemorations of the Holocaust. She passed away in Oct. 2020.
Photo © Maya Mamoni / The Lonnka Project, 23019
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
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
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
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
We are very saddened to hear from the photographer on April 26, 2020 that Henri Kichka passed away in Brussels from complications of Coronavirus.
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 magazine pays tribute to Henri Kichka on their cover with Pascaline Lefin's portrait. May5, 2020 issue.
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
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.
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.
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 wishes everyone health and the very best for the upcoming holidays.
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
In Times of Coronavirus
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.
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."
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.“
Judith Barnea & Lia Hoover, age 82
" 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."
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."
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.
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 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)
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.
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
Feature article published in Israel HaYom Magazine
Friday, January 17, 2020
Written by Hanan Greenwood.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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
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 Royal Photographic Society magazine, February 2020
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)
Dr. Eleonora 'Lonka' Nass with her husband Dr. Jerzy Nass from the family album.
Leica Fotografie International, Germany
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)
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 Bear Bar Kallos (Israel, Hungary)
Additional Photographs in the article:
Nat Shaffir was photographed in Washington DC by Dave Burnett (USA)
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)
Prof. Renata Reisfeld was photographed in Jerusalem by Debbie Hill (USA)
Gerda Weissmann Klein was photographed in Phoenix, Arizona, USA by Patrick Zachmann (France)
Article by Jessica Steinberg Published January 27, 2020
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 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
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
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)
Article in The Jerusalem Post January 5, 2020 about the exhibition in the United Nations in New York City.
See link above, in white.
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."
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
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.”
MISCAR - Remember Issue #64
Center Organization of Holocaust Survivors in Israel
75th Anniversary of Auschwitz Liberation
Received from Colette Avital March 26, 2020
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.
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.
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.
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.
Just noticed this mention from The Magnum Digest: February 14, 2020
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
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
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 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.
Published in Tachles, Switzerland June 4, 2020
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.
The Lonka Project is saddened to report the passing of Joseph Ganz, born in Hungary in 1920. Photographed by their daughter at their home on April 26, 2020.
Joseph Ganz was born in Hungary in 1920. In 1944 Joseph was sent to a forced labor camp. He escaped, was caught and his life was spared by a Hungarian Colonel, Imre Reviczky, from deportation to the Auschwitz death camp. Joseph was liberated by the Red Army, but his family perished. Joseph married Bina, a survivor of Auschwitz, and tried to immigrate to Mandatory Palestine in 1947. Their ship “Pan Crescent” was stopped by British soldiers at sea. All the refugees on board threw their documents into the sea and were deported to a camp in Cyprus. They reached Israel in 1949. Joseph and his wife Bina were farmers in Moshav Kfar Pines.
Photo © Sara Gold / The Lonka Project, 2020
The Lonka Project is saddened to report the passing of Rabbi Moshe Stern, born in Hungary in 1922. He is photographed in his home at prayers during the Coronavirus pandemic lock-down in Jerusalem on April 19, 2020.
Rabbi Moshe Stern was born in Hungary in 1922. He is known for saving hundreds of lives during Nazi Germany’s invasion of Hungary in 1944 when he derailed one of the last trains en route to the Auschwitz death camp. Rabbi Stern, pretending to be a railway worker, stopped the train from continuing to its final destination and, with other underground members, was able to derail the wagons. 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. He passed away on July 18, 2020.
Photo © Chaim Goldberg / The Lonka Project, 2020
We are saddened to report the passing away of Eftychia Battinou Ezra, born in 1924. She participated in The Lonka Project in her home in Athens, Greece, and was photographed by Artemis Alcalay.
Eftychia Battinou Ezra was born in 1924 to Romaniote Jews, Behorakis & Stamoula Battinou, in Ioannina, Greece. Eftychia was the youngest of six brothers and sisters. On March 25, 1944, she was arrested with her parents and three sisters, their husbands and two children, on Greek Independence Day. At the time, her brothers were in Athens and Egypt and succeeded in escaping arrest and expulsion. Eftychia was transported to Larissa, one of the starting points for deportations to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in 1944. In Auschwitz II-Birkenau she worked in the Kartoffelbunker (potatoes storage). She was also forced into Block 10 where mostly women were subjected to Nazi medical experiments. In January 1945, as the Germans began to retreat, Eftychia was one of 60,000 prisoners who were forced on a Death March. She was liberated from Bergen-Belsen by the British army in April 1945. Eftychia returned to Greece, the only one of her family to survive the camps. Both her parents, her three sisters with their husbands and two children, all perished.
Photo © Artemis Alcalay / the Lonka Project, 2019