Why I Consider Myself A Survivor of the Holocaust

Please click on the Play symbol below to hear Max in his own voice

This is Max Sternthal.  I was born in Montreal in 1926. My parents were Sternthal cousins, and were married in the Ukraine. My parents and my three siblings emigrated to Canada around 1924/25 . In my youth, my father was the only member of his side of the family who emigrated, with my mother and her six brothers and sister, to Montreal.  When I was growing up, before the war, I remember my father receiving long Yiddish script letters from his parents, from his sisters, and from various cousins. I was interested only in collecting the unusual postage stamps  from the Ukraine.  The war started in 1939, and ended in 1945.  In 1946, my father resumed writing  to his family, only to have letter after letter returned unopened.  That is how we learned originally, and later from my own research, of the horrible massacre of 250,000 Jews  who lived in the area near the capital of what is present day Moldova.  The harsh fact, in my  consciousness, was that if I had been born in the Ukraine, I would have been numbered among the casualties who were exterminated in the Holocaust.  This spurred my interest to research, and find out as much as I possibly could, about this part of my life, and those relatives that I would never know.  The result of this research is what you are reading today.