December 4, 2009 92YTribeca
Thanks to all members and supporters of 3GNY for joining us at what was a moving Shabbat dinner. Guest speaker and Holocaust survivor Bernard Gotfryd shared his story.
Mr. Gotfryd was born in Radom, Poland, and became interested in photography at an early age. When World War II broke out and schools were closed to Jewish students, Gotfryd found work as an apprentice in a photography studio. While working in the studio, he began aiding the Polish underground by passing on photographs taken by Nazi officers of war atrocities. After an unsuccessful escape attempt in October 1943, Gotfryd was apprehended and shipped to Maidanek. By the war’s end, Gotfryd had survived six concentration camps.
In 1947, Mr. Gotfryd emigrated to the United States, where he worked as a photographer and studied photojournalism. After being drafted into the U.S. Army in 1949 and going through basic training, Mr. Gotfryd was assigned to the Signal Corps as a combat photographer. In 1952, he married his wife, Gina. They settled in Forest Hills, Queens, where they raised two children, Howard and Eva.
Mr. Gotfryd joined the staff of Newsweek in 1957, where he worked for more than thirty years, photographing some of the most influential figures of the 20th century. It was while working for Newsweek, covering the Holocaust Survivors Gathering in Washington, D.C., in April 1983, that Mr. Gotfryd was moved to write about his own experiences. First published in Newsweek, his stories were eventually published as a collection, titled Anton the Dove Fancier and Other Tales of the Holocaust.
Copies of Anton the Dove Fancier are available by calling 1-800-537-5487 or visiting this website.