Hands belong to great-grandson Don Schapira.
Born January 29, 1899 | Nowo-Radomsk (Radomsk), Russian Empire (later Poland)
Died September 18, 1980 | Edmonton, Canada
Herman was a kind, gentle, wonderful man with a big heart.
Herman, the son of Chava and Szymon Zoberman, grew up in Radomsk and later lived in Lvov. In 1939, the Germans invaded Poland, occupied Radomsk and Lvov and began terrorizing the Jewish community. After entering into the Hitler-Stalin pact, the Soviet Union occupied Lvov. Herman and his brother Jack were deported to a forced labour settlement in Siberia where they endured hard labour, bitter cold and extreme deprivation. Herman’s family members were murdered by the Nazis at Auschwitz and Treblinka. His brother Felek survived the death camp only to be killed in a vicious post-war pogrom.
After the war, Herman met Fela Szapiro and her son Heniek while on a train to Poland, where all were returning with the hope of finding living relatives. Herman and Fela married and, together with Heniek, sojourned in Kamienna Gora, Prague, Ludwigsburg—where they lived in Displaced Persons camps—and Eggenfelden. Thanks to the efforts of Fela’s two sisters and brother, who had settled in Montreal prior to the war, they received permission to immigrate to Canada. On January 8, 1950, Herman, Fela and Heniek (Harry Shapiro) sailed on the USS General Ballou. After briefly living in Montreal, they moved to Edmonton, where Fela’s brother Morris had settled. Herman and Fela bought Jasper Food Basket and lived in an apartment above the grocery. They later invested in properties including apartment buildings. Herman, who spoke mostly Yiddish, loved listening to music in the mamaloshen (mother tongue), which his grandchildren lovingly recall. He remained close with his brother Jack, visiting him in Israel. Eventually discovering that his sister’s son Felix had survived and settled in New York, Herman excitedly reunited with him. Herman had five grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren (two of whom are named for him), and 11 great-great-grandchildren.
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