The Violin / A Child's Testimony

The Violin / A Child's Testimony


By Adam Shtibel & Rachel Shtibel

Rachel Milbauer, a vivacious and outgoing music lover, lay hidden and silent with her family and a family friend in an underground bunker in Nazi-occupied Poland for nearly two years. Adam Shtibel, only eight years old when the war broke out, survived in the forest with other Jewish children until he was taken in by a gentile couple and “passed” as a non-Jew. After the war, the recovered violin, case and photos hidden away by her beloved Uncle Velvel became cherished symbols of survival and continuity. Saved by inner fortitude, luck, and the courage and caring of friends and strangers, Rachel and Adam met and fell in love, and set about building a new life together. Half a century later, a chance remark inspired Rachel to explore her memories. Always at her side, Adam found himself compelled to break his long self-imposed silence in the only way he could.

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About the Author

Rachel Milbauer was born in 1935 in Eastern Galicia and Adam Shtibel was born in 1928 in Komarów, Poland. After liberation, Adam joined the Polish air force. With the situation for Jews in Poland worsening in the mid-1950s, the Shtibels moved to Israel, where Adam worked in the aircraft industry and Rachel obtained an MA in microbiology from Tel Aviv University and worked as a senior scientist in bacteriology. In 1968, Rachel and Adam moved to Toronto with their two daughters and continued their successful careers in their respective fields. They live in Toronto and have five granddaughters.

Product Information

  • Release: October 1, 2008
  • $14.95 Paperback
  • 236 Pages
  • 6 x 9
  • ISBN: 9781897470053

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The Azrieli Series of Holocaust Survivor Memoirs

Since the end of World War II, over 30,000 Jewish Holocaust survivors have immigrated to Canada. Who they are, where they came from, what they experienced and how they built new lives for themselves and their families is an important part of our Canadian heritage. The Azrieli Series of Holocaust Survivor Memoirs is guided by the conviction that each survivor of the Holocaust has a remarkable story to tell, and that such stories play an important role in education about tolerance and diversity. Millions of individual stories are lost to us forever. By preserving the stories written by survivors and making them widely available to a broad audience, the Holocaust Survivor Memoirs series seeks to sustain the memory of all those who perished at the hands of hatred, abetted by indifference and apathy. The personal accounts of those who survived against all odds are as different as the people who wrote them, but all demonstrate the courage, strength, wit and luck that it took to prevail and survive in such terrible adversity. The memoirs are also moving tributes to people – strangers and friends – who risked their lives to help others, and who, through acts of kindness and decency in the darkest of moments, frequently helped the persecuted maintain faith in humanity and courage to endure. These accounts offer inspiration to all, as does the survivors’ desire to share their experiences so that new generations can learn from them. Recognizing that most survivor memoirs never find a publisher, the Azrieli Foundation established the Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Program to collect, archive and publish these distinctive records.