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Hope's Reprise

The Azrieli Foundation | The Azrieli Series of Holocaust Survivor Memoirs

David Newman’s gifts as a musician and a teacher carried him through years of brutality during the war. Torn from his family in Poland and deported for forced labour at Skarżysko- Kamienna, David battled desperation and the mounting death toll by writing songs, poems and satires about life in the camp. Later, in the infamous Buchenwald camp, the resistance recruited him for a clandestine initiative to protect the Jewish children there. With his soulful songs and his lessons for the children, David was able to rouse a chorus of hope, both in himself and those around him.


David Newman was born in Chmielnik, Poland, in 1919. He immigrated to Paris with his wife, Anna, and son, Jack, in 1946. In 1951, the Newman family immigrated to Toronto, where they raised their children, Jack and Gloria. David was a performer in Yiddish theatre productions, taught Yiddish to countless students and co-founded the Kol Yisroel congregation at the Borochov Centre. David Newman passed away in 2002.

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