Holocaust Commemoration: An Australian Perspective

Updated articles
Kristallnacht Commemoration Perth 2018 | tangential travel
Uncle Boydie and Moishe Fiszman

Source: youtu.be/1N700Olmw-U

Published in The Maccabean 16/11/18

Yom Hashoah Commemoration Perth 2018 | tangential travel

DSCN0676 DSCN0665 DSCN0667 DSCN0681 DSCN0683 DSCN0685 DSCN0694 DSCN0700 DSCN0709 DSCN0713 DSCN0714 DSCN0715
Rabbis Lieberman & Marcus Solomon
Ties that bind – A short documentary conversation

between Uncle Boydie (Alf Turner) – grandson of Indigenous activist William Cooper, and Moishe Fiszman – a Holocaust survivor …

This movie was made in Australia in 2017. It is also now part of the USHMM’s (Washington) collection.

Ties That Bind


Source: youtu.be/1N700Olmw-U

Review and more info:

Watch “The Ties that Bind” from the Jewish Holocaust Centre | Hero Town

Source: www.herotowngeelong.com.au/watch-the-ties-that-bind-from-the-jewish-holocaust-centre/

Profile of Viv Parry, the director of Ties That Bind

Jewish Holocaust Centre – JHC Social Club: Viv Parry

Source: www.jhc.org.au/news-and-events/calendar-of-events/item/358-viv-parry.html

Ties That Bind – New Film – Barbara Miller Books

Ties That Bind – New Film – Barbara Miller Books

Source: barbara-miller-books.com/uncategorized/ties-that-bind-new-film/

Australia and the Holocaust:  A Koori Perspective                 by Gary Foley

Australia and the Holocaust: A Koori Perspective

In a way these people were perhaps unconsciously repaying the gesture of solidarity and empathy extended years before by William Cooper and his intrepid band of Koori resistance activists.

Source: www.kooriweb.org/foley/essays/essay_8.html

William Cooper 
The Aboriginal who stood up to Hitler


On December 6, 1938, a fierce-gazed Indigenous man from the Murray River began a march from Southampton Street Footscray to make a simple demand for justice at government offices at 419-425 Collins Street, Melbourne. But this wasn’t a protest to defend Aborigines. It was a protest to defend Jews. And it wasn’t against a state government or Federal government. It was the German Government.

The protest was led by William Cooper. And 75 years after the event, it’s now clear that it was the only one of its kind. It’s something that didn’t happen in London, or in Paris or even in New York. It happened in Melbourne, organised by people who weren’t even citizens in their own country.

On that day, towards the end of his life, William Cooper stood up for the Jews of Europe. But as you’ll learn, it was only one of many astounding acts of justice this man made, even in his last years.

Who was William Cooper?

William Cooper was an Aboriginal. An activist. A unionist. A devout, Bible-reading, church-going, hymn-singing Christian.

Through his life, he worked as a shearer, a writer, a public speaker and, by the time he died in 1941, a political leader who could successfully demand a face-to-face meeting with the Prime Minister. As a man in his 70s, he started Australia’s first indigenous justice movement – the Australian Aborigines’ League. A movement which, long after his own death, would lead to the famous 1967 referendum.

But this was no communist radical. William Cooper was a Christian who believed the best thing that had happened for Australia’s first peoples was the Christian missions. He would argue passionately, often from the Bible, that Aboriginals ought to be treated as equal citizens in this country.

Once you learn where William Cooper came from, and how he came to stand up to injustice, you’ll wonder why you hadn’t heard of him before. But to begin, take a closer look at the day he challenged the Third Reich.

The March Against Tyranny

It was with his friends from the Australian Aborigines’ League that Cooper resolved to stand up to Hitler. It followed the night of “broken glass” on 9–10 November, 1938. In that terrifying 24 hours, Adolf Hitler’s brown shirts, the Sturmabteilung, rampaged through the streets of Germany looting, burning and smashing Jewish stores, buildings and synagogues. In just a few hours, nearly 100 Jews were killed and approximately 30,000 incarcerated in concentration camps.

Across the country, Australians were stunned as they read the stories in their newspapers. But Cooper stood up, gathered his Indigenous friends and family from Fitzory and Footscray, and they walked. Mind you, one of the reasons they walked was they had no money. In fact, Cooper was raising several grandkids in his home, and they didn’t even have electricity or gas. He’d rather spend it on ink, paper and stamps for his work for the Australian Aborigines’ League.

They arrived at the imposing stone building and climbed the stairs. He demanded a meeting with Doctor Drechsler, the General Consul of the Reichs Consulat – to speak against the Nazi mistreatment of Jews that had begun on Kristallnacht a few weeks before. But when they got to the door of the Reichs Consulate, the Nazi administration wouldn’t let them in.

Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, the world’s leading Holocaust research centre, says that, indeed, this protest was the only one of it’s kind in the world.

How did this happen? Why was it that – of all minority groups who could have stood up for the Jews in the 1930s – it was an Aboriginal man from one of the smallest tribes who made a stand? What drove this man, who could have been spending his twilight years fishing for Murray Cod in the Barmah Forest, to become a man who meddled in matters of state? What gave him the temerity to speak against the German Reich?

William Cooper (Aboriginal Australian) – Wikipedia

William Cooper (Aboriginal Australian) – Wikipedia


Articles by Stan Marks

Stan Marks – Wikipedia

Stan Marks – Wikipedia

Stan Marks is an Australian writer and journalist. He is the husband of Holocaust survivor Eva Marks.

Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stan_Marks

The Order Of Proceedings
Kristall 18 7 Kristall 18 3 Kristall 18 5 Kristall 18 6
Kaddish led by Rabbi Adi Cohen

Kaddish led by Rabbi Adi Cohen

Kristallnacht Commemoration Temple David Perth 11 November 2018

Source: youtu.be/MOLcirmSvIo

Oseh Shalom

Oseh Shalom

Oseh Shalom sung by PLC Choir at Temple David Synagogue, Perth 11 November 2018

Source: youtu.be/R6v1Gp-aznw


See also:

Lore Zusman talks about Königsberg:


A Walk On The West Side

Western Australia at its best on a stunning Winter’s day.
Jill and my walk from Trigg to Brighton (and back).

One of those amazing days as you will see below! The way back.

Brighton Beach

Scarborough Pool


Scarborough Beach
Always try to include something Jewish in my posts
Rabbi Marcus Solomon – Dianella Mizrachi

The path back to Trigg

South Trigg Beach
Trigg Beach  

Our Special Connection With The Stropkover Rebbe

Noranda CHABAD, Perth, Western Australia, 30 June 2018

Avraham Shalom Halberstam spends Shabbat Balak with us. I had discovered on his previous visit to Perth in July 2016 that we were 8th cousins. Researching using Geni.com, I discovered that we both are members of the Katzenellenbogen Rabbinic Family Tree.

Earlier the day on Shabbat,  we did something during Shacharit that brought the Rebbe and our community together as never before – read below.

Please note: no photos were taken during shabbat!

My 8th Cousin  – The Stropkover Rebbe – The Admor of Stropkov


Davening Maariv
Havdalah at Noranda CHABAD


Havdalah at Noranda CHABAD

Mendy of RARA and the Stropkover Rebbe.  Other guests were Moishe, the Rebbe’s assistant, and Moishe from RARA

Source: youtu.be/wzTfMchMCCs

Some special photos for our albums
With Rabbi Shalom White and the Rebbe
Mendy, Rabbi White, Sheldon Manushewitz, the Rebbe, Michael Manushewitz and Moishe in front
The Maccabean

13 July 2018

Earlier after the torah reading on shabbat we recited Av Harachamim

A noteworthy custom fitting the mood of the Sefira period deals with the prayer Av Harachamim. Av Harachamim, recited on Shabbat after the Torah reading was written in response to the Crusades. In it we memorialize the righteous martyrs and pray for retribution for their spilled blood. Av Harachamim is generally not recited on Shabbatot which have an added celebratory nature – such as Shabbat Mevarchim (the Shabbat in which we bless the new month). In many congregations during the Shabbatot of Sefirat Haomer, Av Harachamim is recited even on the Shabbatot in which we bless Iyar and Sivan. The Mishna Brura (284,18) adds, that even if there is a Brit Milah that Shabbat, giving us a second reason why Av Harachamim should not be recited, Av Harachamim is still said, since this was the season of the tragedies.

A few weeks ago, Rabbi Marcus Solomon of Dianella Mizrachi Shule, told me about an initiative he had started in his shul.

Before reading the Av Harachamim prayer,  he selects one of the 6500 shtetls that existed before and during the Holocaust from this three volume set:

Rabbi Solomon then shares the story of the particular shtetl to illustrate what we lost in Holocaust!

Today was the first time we did the same at Noranda CHABAD Shul during Shacharit.

With the Stropkover Rebbe spending Shabbat with us, I chose the following shtetl from Volume 3:


Thanks to Michelle Urban and the JHGS for allowing me to use these books from their excellent library housed at CHABAD.


It goes without saying that those in shul were inspired to hear about Stropkov with its Rebbe in our shul. The further connection as 8th cousins was an added bonus for us!

We discussed the Rebbe’s previous visits to Perth and at his request, last night I found this clip I filmed of the Rebbe at Benny Sasson’s barmitzvah June 2000. We did not know our connection then, and here 8 years later, I am pleased to be able to upload it to the internet for all to view and share!

Stropkover Rebbe’s 2000 visit

Stropkover Rebbe’s 2000 visit

At Benny Sasson’s barmitzvah

Source: youtu.be/nn1M-SVGTHk

July 2016


The Stropkover Rebbe has just completed a visit to Perth Australia from Jerusalem.

We were honoured to have him spend Shabbat with us at the CHABAD shul in Noranda WA.

He has visited Perth before.

I took the opportunity on Saturday night to learn more about him and his town.

The Rebbe was born in Germany and lives in Jerusalem. The Stropkover Rebbe’s “once upon a time” community was based in Stropkov in Slovakia.



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
View of Stropkov
Coat of arms
Country Slovakia
Region Prešov
District Stropkov
River Ondava
Elevation 202 m (663 ft)
Coordinates 49°12′18″N 21°39′05″ECoordinates49°12′18″N 21°39′05″E
Area 24.667 km2 (9.524 sq mi)
Population 10,866 (2012-12-31)
Density 441 / km2 (1,142 / sq mi)
First mentioned 1404

Stropkov (Slovak pronunciation: [ˈstropkow]HungarianSztropkópronounced [ˈstropkoː]Yiddishסטראפקאוו‎) is a town in Stropkov DistrictPrešov RegionSlovakia.

Jewish community

Jews first arrived in Stropkov, possibly fleeing Polish pogroms, in about 1650. About fifty years later, the Jews were exiled from Stropkov to Tisinec, a village just to the north. They did not return to Stropkov until about 1800. The Stropkov Jewish cemetery was dedicated in 1892, after which the Tisinec cemetery fell into disuse.

In 1939 the antisemitic Hlinka Party gain control of the Stropkov Town Council. From May–October 1942 the Hlinka deported Jews from the Stropkov area to AuschwitzSobiborMaidanek, and “unknown destinations”. By the end of World War II, only 100 Jews remained in Stropkov out of 2000 in 1942.

Chief Rabbis of Stropkov

The first rabbi of Tisinec and Stropkov was Rabbi Moshe Schonfeld. He left Stropkov for a position in Vranov. He was succeeded in 1833 by Rabbi Yekusiel Yehudah Teitelbaum (I)(1818–1883) who served as Stropkov’s chief rabbi until leaving for a post in Ujhely. The next incumbent was Rabbi Chaim Yosef Gottlieb (1790–1867), known as the “Stropkover Rov”. He was succeeded by Rabbi Yechezkel Shraga Halberstam (1811–1899), a son of Rabbi Chaim Halberstam of Sanz. His scholarship, piety, and personal charisma transformed Stropkov into one of the most respected chasidic centers in all Galicia and Hungary. Rabbi Moshe Yosef Teitelbaum (1842–1897), the son of the aforementioned Rabbi Yekusiel Yehuda Teitelbaum, was appointed as Stropkov’s next chief rabbi in 1880.

The charismatic and scholarly Rabbi Yitzhak Hersh Amsel (c1855–1934), the son of Peretz Amsel of Stropkov, was first appointed as a dayan in Stropkov and then as the rabbi of Zborov (near Bardejov). As legend has it, Rabbi Yitzhak Hersh Amsel died while praying in his Zborov synagogue. He is buried in the Stropkov cemetery where a small protective building ohel was erected over his grave to preserve it. Rabbi Amsel was succeeded in 1897 by Rabbi Avraham Shalom Halberstam (1856–1940). Jews, learned and simple alike, sought the advice and blessing of this “miracle rabbi of Stropkov”, revered as a living link in the chain of Chassidus of Sanz and Sienawa. Rabbi Halberstam served in Stropkov for some forty years, until the early 1930s, when he assumed a rabbinical post in the larger town of Košice. Rabbi Menachem Mendel Halberstam (1873–1954),the son of the aforementioned Rabbi Avraham Shalom Halberstam was then appointed chief rabbi of Stropkov and head of the Talmud Torah. After World War II Rabbi Menachem Mendel Halberstam lived in New York until the end of his life, teaching at the Stropkover Yeshiva, which he founded in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

The present day Admor of Stropkov is HaRav Avraham Shalom Halberstam of Jerusalem. The Admor runs several yeshivas and kolelim in Jerusalem and other cities in Israel. The Admor dedicates himself to Ahavat Yisrael and to helping many who need to return to their Jewish roots.


I then went into my Geni account and looked up the Stropkover Rebbe and found what appeared to be his family line.

I recalled that on Shabbat, he had been called up to the torah as HaRav Avraham Shalom ben Yechezkel Shrage.

Havdalah after Shabbat.


On Sunday I printed out this page on Geni and showed it to the Rebbe who confirmed that this was indeed him – i.e. Avraham Shalom Lipschutz (Halberstam). He also confirmed that his mother was Beila, daughter of Avraham Shalom Halberstam.


I also printed out the Geni page which shows our relationship and presented a copy to the Rebbe.


So, besides all the friends he has Downunder, he now is happy to have added a 8th cousin in this isolated Jewish community!

We are both members of the Katzenellenbogen Rabbinic Tree.


What Makes G-d Laugh 

Shabbat Balak

What Makes G-d Laugh

There is an old saying that what makes G‑d laugh is seeing our plans for the future.However, if Tanakh is our guide, what makes G‑d laugh is human delusions of grandeur. From the vantage point of heaven, the ultimate absurdity is when humans start thinking of themselves as G‑dlike.

Source: mailchi.mp/af9131e6afbc/life-without-bumps-3300829?e=678b339d93

Chabad of RARA

Chabad of RARA

Source: www.chabadofrara.org