Life in Canada with
My Mom Faye Schulman

Happily Ever After?

There are plenty of true stories about the ordeals faced by holocaust survivors. But most of  these stories end when the war ends. They find their way to freedom - often a courageous journey filled with miracles and with incredible lucky coincidence. This story with a happy ending often includes some recent photographs of the survivors with their current family and we feel happy for them that they have returned to a life of peace in America.

The holocaust survivor stories imply that they began a new life and lived happily ever after. Compared to their old life, it is indeed happily ever after.

And yet, after such extreme experiences, people do not suddenly become normal. Why isn't more written about the life of holocaust survivors after the war? There are lingering effects. This website is about the lingering effects on my Mom. And how I was affected as a child of the holocaust. And how my own children have been affected.

These effects are not bad. They are simply personality traits or quirks which can even be endearing. They are certainly eccentric and sometimes they can even be funny. In any event, it's always a good idea to develop a sense of humour.

Faye Schulman giving formal talkMy Mom speaking at a memorial conference. She's wearing her formal jacket with all her awards and medals

Who is Faye Schulman anyway?

My mom was still a young teenager when the Nazis occupied her village in Belarus, Russia. The Jews of that village, about two thousand people, were rounded up shot, their bodies thrown into a large ditch.

Except for a few of them, who might be useful to the Nazis. My mother was one of the useful ones. She was allowed to live because of her photography skills.

Days afterwards, the Russian Partisans attacked her Nazi-occupied town. Amidst the turmoil, she managed to escape and join the Partisans. She managed to retrieve her camera and all the necessary supplies. The next 3 long winters were spent living in the northern Russian forests. She became a guerrilla fighter with her Partisan comrades, she tended the wounded, and she took photographs. We still have that camera to this day. It's a family heirloom.

After the war

When searching for her name online, I’m bemused by the related searches suggested by google: "When did Faye Schulman die?"

Her face is a little more tired, her movements are a little slower.  But she is still very much alive.
We just celebrated her 101 years young birthday on November 28th, 2020.  In spite of Covid, our celebration seemed even more momentous than last year.

Rest assured that I'll  continue to keep this site updated about any significant changes.

Birthday 100 years youngMy Mom, Faye Schulman, at her 100th birthday party in November 2019.

After the war, she met my father. They continued to live in Russia for a while. My mother had been awarded medals and was hailed as a war hero. On the surface, life was good. But it was the Stalin era in Russia. People were afraid. My parents could not trust that the peacefulness would last.

Thus it was, that, early in 1946, I was born in a displaced persons' camp, in Germany. And a couple of years later, the 3 of us - my mom, my dad, and myself - were on a boat on our way to Canada.

And here I am,
    building this website

And all these years later, here I am building this website. Browse around. Laugh with me. Cry with me. Did you notice I was born in 1946? At my age, it's not simple for me to learn how to create a website! So hopefully, you'll be gentle with your feedback.