Aba Beer


Aba Beer was born in Bielsko-Biała, Poland, in 1922. In 1942, his family was deported to the Janowska concentration camp in Poland (today in Ukraine). Aba escaped the camp and, hiding his Jewish identity, joined a group of Poles who were travelling to Germany to find employment. While working in a café in Germany, Aba was arrested for not wearing his Polish identification badge and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp for Russian soldiers. Again, Aba managed to escape the camp in 1944. He left to join a Polish partisan group, and worked on a farm in Germany under a false identity until liberation.

Aba returned to his hometown in 1945, and discovered that only one cousin had survived the Holocaust. Aba married one of the cousin's daughters and they left Poland in 1949. In 1953, after spending four years in a displaced persons camp in Germany, Aba and his wife immigrated to Canada. They settled in Montreal and had a son. Aba became active in Holocaust remembrance and education. He was a founding member of the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre in 1979, as well as President of the Association of Survivors of Nazi Oppression, and Chairman of the National Holocaust Remembrance Committee. Aba died in 2013.

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