David Forberg

Syma was born in the small village of Opatow, Poland on August 5, 1924, in a typically small shtetl. David was born in the city of Czestochowa, Poland on February 1, 1922. Syma and David met in the concentration camp in Chensachowa, called Skarshiko in the area of Pelcery. By that time, David had lost his wife Hindi and 5 month daughter to the Nazis. In the camp, David was beaten numerous times and credits his survival to sheer luck. As for Syma, at one point, an SS guard, who did not want to lose her on the production line, spared her life. By the end of the war, David had also lost his parents, a sister and a brother to the Nazis. Syma, once the eldest of 8 children, was the only survivor of the Shoah in her family. After three years in a Displaced Persons camp the family – Syma, David, two year old Joe and six month old Honey – boarded a boat “The Beaverbrae” to Quebec and then moved on to Toronto by train, having been sponsored by Syma’s great uncle.

Syma and David had their second child in 1948, and two more in 1952. David went to English class at night while Syma learned her English by reading, talking to her children and watching TV. Her cousins, owners of a furniture manufacturing company, employed David as an upholsterer on a piecemeal basis.

After many years, David made the decision to leave his employment and partner with another survivor, founding Star Chrome Mfg. Co. Ltd., an upholstery business. Syma rented any and all rooms in the house, and babysat to scrimp and save. Star Chrome started with one phone and small production space at, what was then, the Heintzman Piano Building in Toronto.

The risks paid off, and that upstart upholstery business became the second largest in Canada, employing about 90 people. He ran it for more than 30 years.

Today, Syma and David are involved in fundraising for a variety of charities, including UJA, Reena, Alzheimer’s, the Simon Weisenthal Centre, Yad Vashem, Baycrest and others. David has also been recognized for his contributing Jewish videos of all description to the Toronto Jewish Video Library at the Lipa Green Building.

Syma and David are blessed with 4 children, 10 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren.