Helena and Elias Steinitz

Connected to Reese BEDERMAN, Class of 2022

Name: Helena and Elias Steinitz
Birth: Unknown
Birthplace: Częstochowa, Poland
Death: Unknown

Connected to: Reese BEDERMAN, Class of 2022
Connection: Great-great-great Aunt and Uncle

Helena and Elias’s birth and death dates are unknown by the family; however, they were most likely born in the 1910s. Helena and Elias lived in Częstochowa, Poland. When the war started, they were both sent to labour camps. Helen was married at the time but had lost her husband during the Holocaust. Al had also lost his wife and son. Helen and Al both had blonde hair and blue eyes, so they didn’t appear “Jewish.” Helen was able to escape from the camp and walk through the city, only to realize that there was nothing for her there. She had no place to stay, there were no people there for her, and it was scary because, if she was discovered to be a Jew, she could have been killed. The emptiness caused her to return to the camps, where she made munitions. The Jewish workers tried very hard to sabotage all of the weaponry they were making. They had to be very careful as the Germans could have killed them if they found out that they were sabotaging their munitions. Al was a baker in the labour camp. They were living in barracks and, at some point in either the labour camp or a displaced persons camp, Helen and Al met each other and got married.

Al had many siblings, and two of his sisters who had emigrated 20 years before lived in Toronto. Al and Helen’s relatives sponsored them to come to Toronto after the war with very little of anything. They had a lot of help from the Scott Mission, which raised money to help immigrants and people in need, and helped them get clothes and other necessities.

Unfortunately, for the rest of Helen’s life following the War, she never ate a banana again because she said that it tasted like frozen potatoes which were most of what they ate during the war.

We Remember Helena and Elias


Exalted and hallowed be God’s great name
in the world which God created, according to plan.
May God’s majesty be revealed in the days of our lifetime
and the life of all Israel — speedily, imminently,
To which we say: Amen.

Mourner’s Kaddish