Edward Fisch

Letters of Hope and Inspiration

Countless “letters” testify to the impact that Edward Fisch is having on students, as he educates and transforms them—one young mind at a time.

Recently, Edward Fisch returned with his family to Pest, Hungary, the place of his birth, to share the stories he had held close to his heart for so long. His daughter tells of the sights, sounds, and horrors of his youth coming to life. Edward recounted stories of how he earned money for food, his life in the ghetto, how he saw babies beaten, and worse. Stories came slowly, with reservation and with difficulty; then, as if a door had opened, the stories came more freely, laden with sadness and emotion but sometimes with laughter and humour.

Edward Fisch was the eldest of two sons, born on January 16, 1933, to Sarolta and Ignatz Fisch. They lived a modest life in a one-bedroom walk-up together with his grandparents. Edward’s grandparents had a fruit stand, and his father peddled fabric remnants. When the Nazis came, his father was taken, never to be seen again, as was his grandfather; his mother was sent to Auschwitz. Edward took care of his younger brother and grandmother, sleeping on a table in the ghetto, eating flour with glass remnants, and more often going without.

Edward came to Canada with his brother under the orphan program with absolutely nothing. His mother followed later. Edward married Sylvia Starkman in 1955, and together they have two children, five grandchildren, and one granddaughterin-law. Edward worked hard, built a business, and achieved the “Canadian dream.”

Today, Edward, 80, is part of the Holocaust education project in Toronto, speaking with children of all ages and all religions about the Holocaust. While speaking of his experiences, Edward patiently answers their questions, listens earnestly to their comments, and puts a human face on an inhumane event.