When his parents were murdered in the Belżec death camp, he became the sole survivor of his entire family. After liberation, Henry volunteered for the Israeli Army and fought for Israel’s independence. He came to Canada in 1965 with his wife Hela and their two children.
His story is one of strength and courage. His survival is nothing short of a miracle.
Henry Melnick grew up in Lodz, Poland. After the Nazis occupied the majority of Europe during World War II, he was forced to endure slave labour and was transferred among nearly a dozen different concentration camps. He emerged from the war as the sole survivor of his entire family.
Henry moved to Israel with his new wife Hela and fought for the nation's independence. Several years after his two children were born he moved to Toronto, Canada.
Henry passed away on his 91st birthday on June 25, 2013. His legacy remains in the form of By My Mother's Hand.
In 1943 Hannah fled her village and her family never to see either again. She took her younger sister and escaped to hungry vowing to her mother that she would always protect and never leave her sister. After hiding underground I Budapest for several months, the Gestapo caught up with Hannah and her sister and they were sent to the death camps. Throughout Auschwitz, throughout a death march to Bergen-Belsen, among all the horrors and death of the gas chambers and the crematorium, this incredible young girl never broke the promise she gave to her mother.
Hannah did much more than save her younger sisters life however. Through her own courage and cunning, Hannah managed, at the risk of certain death, to save hundreds of lives in Bergen-Belsen.When the British liberated Hannah on April fifteenth, nineteen forty-five, Hannah was near death from typhoid and pneumonia. She weighed a mere fifty-seven pounds. As Hannah lay dying with her sister, a British soldier gave her a chocolate bar. Hannah was too weak to raise her head to eat it, but she could still wave her hand and smile. Thanks. Hannah said. My God, what took you so long?