Fonds RA039 - Holocaust Memorial Committee fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Holocaust Memorial Committee fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Photographic material

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents of fonds.

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1986–1994, predominant 1986–1987 (Creation)
    Holocaust Memorial Committee

Physical description area

Physical description

20 cm of textual records
3 photographs : prints
1 poster
1 optical disk : DVD

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Administrative history

The Holocaust Memorial Committee was formed by members of the Vancouver Holocaust Centre Society (VHCS) with the goal of building a memorial to honour the memory of loved ones who had perished in the Holocaust. The committee was chaired by Jack Kowarsky. Other committee members were Leon Dales, Mariette Doduck, David Ehrlich, Lili Folk, Rome Fox, Bill Gluck, Paul Heller, Leon Kahn, Freda Kaplan, David Shafran and Robbie Waisman. Leo Lowy and Jack Perel were also involved.

The committee presented a model of the proposed memorial at the April 9, 1986 annual general meeting of the VHCS, which authorized its construction at that time. Construction of the monument at the Schara Tzedeck Cemetery in New Westminster began in August 1986 and was completed in February 1987. It is inscribed with the following: “Dedicated to the six million of our beloved people brutally murdered during the Nazi Holocaust 1933–1945. They shall live in our hearts forever.”

The monument was unveiled on Yom HaShoah on April 26, 1987. It is the site of an annual High Holidays cemetery service first programmed by the Cemetery Service Committee of the VHCS, and later, by staff of the VHEC.

Key contributors to the Holocaust memorial were:
Naomi Spiers, artist
Jack Lutsky, architect
Ralph Schwartzman, structural engineer
Renia Perel, chairperson, names collection
Morris Perel, memorial assistance fund
Robert Krell, president, VHCS
Josef Auerhahn, funding eternal light
Jack Kowarsky, chairman, Holocaust Memorial Project and co-editor, commemorative book
Freda Kaplan, co-editor, commemorative book

Custodial history

Files one through seven were originally in the possession of Freda Kaplan, board member of the Vancouver Holocaust Centre Society and member of its Holocaust Memorial Committee, and transferred to the archives of the VHCS. The remainder of the files in the fonds were stored with the VHEC’s institutional records and added to the fonds in 2019.

Scope and content

Fonds is comprised of administrative and other records generated as a result of the activities of the Holocaust Memorial Committee of the VHCS. The Holocaust Memorial Committee managed the building of a Holocaust memorial monument and an accompanying commemorative book project. The VHCS initiated and funded the committee’s work; its board members at the time of the memorial unveiling were Robert Krell, Leon Kahn, Dave Shafran, Freda Kaplan, Robbie Waisman, Leon Dales, Mariette Doduck, David Ehrlich, Lili Folk, Rome Fox, Paul Heller and Jack Kowarsky. Records in fonds include administrative files, inscription requests, correspondence, draft text of commemorative book, and photographs.

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Files 1 through 7 were arranged and described to the file level by the VHCS. Remaining files were added to the fonds in approximate chronological order by the archivist.

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Created in 2019 by Shyla Seller. Updated January 2020 with addition of DVD documentation of event.

Language of description

  • English

Script of description

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