Ike was born in 1928 in Ożarów, a small town in Poland, and was surrounded by a large, loving Jewish family. He lived with his parents, and his brother and sister and had a religious upbringing. The family moved to his father’s hometown of Ostrowiec when he was three.

In September 1939, after the outbreak of the Second World War, the Germans entered Ostrowiec. Jewish people were made to wear white armbands with a blue star of David, and many restrictions were enforced on them.

In April 1941, a Jewish ghetto was established within the area surrounding Ike’s house. In October 1942, there was a selection of all the Jews who remained. Ike and his father were spared, but his mother and siblings were taken away to Treblinka death camp.

At first, Ike continued living in the ghetto and was made to work in a factory. He was then taken to Blyzin concentration camp and later transported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. In January 1945, he was sent on an horrific death march towards Buchenwald in the freezing cold, missing liberation by one day. He was finally liberated outside Theresienstadt on 8 May 1945.

Ike arrived in England in August 1945 and was one of almost 300 orphaned children sent to Windermere to recuperate. He found work, ultimately deciding on the jewellery trade, and went on to have a very successful career. He married in 1952 and he and his wife had two children. Ike lives in Manchester with his partner, close to his daughters and grandchildren.


“There are people who deny things that happened. Deny! Can you imagine how we, the survivors, feel about that?”

“They used to pick people, this one here, and this one there. I got on the right side of the line. Something or somebody – I keep thinking maybe my mother – was looking after me.”

“I’ve learned something from everything I’ve looked at and everything I’ve been through. It’s my education… I’ve learned to live and appreciate what I’ve got.”