When World War II broke out, Benjamin Haberberg was about one and a half and was living in Warsaw at 10 Maryanska Street with his parents, Dora and Raphael Haberberg. His extended family lived on another floor. It was 1940 and it was going to be a long five years.
Benjamin’s father disappeared within the first year of the war. Throughout the remaining years, Dora and her son did whatever they could to survive. They pretended to be devout Polish Catholics, they claimed new identities, they lived with Nazis. They tried not to starve, be killed, bombed, found out, or recognized. It was all about survival. You had to be a little smarter, a little luckier, to survive.
Thankfully they did.
This work, as a documentation is significant at a time when the holocaust is still being challenged. The saga of its survivors is drying out. The need for those who can bear witness to their tragedy is more important than ever.
The memories of my father, Benjamin, as a holocaust survivor are an intimate investigation of his past and present. It is about a child who overcame devastating circumstances, and the memories of the man that survives. The work provides a forum in which I can better understand my father’s past and as a corollary, my own. In addition, it enables me to share an important story – one personalized through my father, but linked to a greater chapter of our collective history. It is a testament to my father’s life. The voice of Benjamin is important and can be expressed with the use of text, or heard on an audio CD – his commentary is integral to the project. Please contact me if you are interested in the full project and transcript.