Jewish Care Victoria celebrates its 175th Anniversary on Sunday 19 November – with a strong tradition of caring for and resettling Holocaust survivors.
“For 175 years, Jewish Care has responded to community needs and provided care and support to the most vulnerable in the Victorian Jewish community,” said Jewish Care Victoria Chief Executive, Adjunct Professor Alan Lilly.
“Last year 799 Holocaust survivors received support, with over 60 survivors residing in Jewish Care’s three residential homes at Caulfield, Windsor and Carnegie.”
One of those survivors is Henri Korn, 94, a resident at Gary Smorgon House in Caulfield. Henri was born and lived in Germany near the Belgium border when the Kristallnacht (anti-Jewish pogroms) started 85 years ago in 1939, where he witnessed the burning of the local synagogue.
As a nine-year-old boy – he was devastated when his teacher tapped him on the shoulder, summoned him to the school principal and told Henri he could not come back to school because he was Jewish.
Henri’s family escaped to Belgium, where they were befriended by an anti-Nazi German soldier who organised a safe passage to Belgium. Initially, a friend hid them in a loft and then Henri and his sister spent the last few years hidden in a Catholic convent, separated from their parents.
Henri's message echoes that of other Holocaust survivors “It should never happen again. The injustices and crimes committed, the hardships people had to endure, the homelessness – where families had lived for generations, “said Henri.
In 1949, Henri and his family migrated to Australia. The Australian Jewish Welfare and Relief Society, a Jewish Care predecessor organisation, provided accommodation in one of its hostels in Burke Road Camberwell. His family was housed in one room, but it was freedom – they were all together and had miraculously survived the Holocaust.
Henri has written three books and is passionate about sharing his Holocaust experiences and educating others. Henri was a Jewish Care volunteer for over 15 years, a member of Jewish Care’s Holocaust Survivor Committee and has regularly presented to Jewish Care staff at their Ethos Day.
Rosanne McMaster, Communications Specialist
Tel. (03) 8517 5718 / 0414 805 434 Email: [email protected]
Website: www.jewishcare.org.au/175Anniversary : Twitter @jewishcarevic\