About this site

This website is the project of Dr Anita Frayman, the child of one of the Melbourne Buchenwald Boys. It is part of her continuing and ongoing research, which began in the History Department at Monash University and spanned over twenty years. It is based on interviews that Anita conducted from 1997 to 1998 with the Buchenwald Boys and members of the Jewish community who helped them settle in Australia.

Although the interviews began as immigration stories, they became personal Holocaust testimonies, with immigration constituting just a small part of what was told. For many of the Buchenwald Boys, it was the first time they had spoken about their Holocaust experiences. Over the years, as they felt more comfortable discussing their backgrounds, memories of their families and the horrors that they experienced during the Holocaust, the Buchenwald Boys shared more of their stories.

Anita’s research led to her conceiving and writing “The Buchenwald Boys: A Story of Survival”, an exhibition at the Melbourne Immigration Museum in 2005. This coincided with the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Buchenwald concentration camp and was carried out with the curatorial support of the Jewish Holocaust Centre.

Where the sources of photographs in this website are known, we acknowledge them. Where the sources are not known, we would appreciate any information that would allow us to acknowledge them – please email acjc@monash.edu if you can assist. We have not acknowledged the sources of personal photographs in general circulation among the Buchenwald Boys and their families.

The name, the Buchenwald Boys, refers to the group of youths who were liberated from Buchenwald concentration camp and who settled in Melbourne. In this website, for the sake of anonymity, the author has adopted the practice of referring to the Buchenwald Boys by their first names and the initial of their second names. Where the cited reference is in the public domain, the author has used the Buchenwald Boy’s full name.

This project has been carried out at the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation at Monash University and made possible by funding from the Mina and Leo Fink Foundation. Mina and Leo Fink were important people in the lives of the Buchenwald Boys and, through this funding, the Fink family has played an important part in ensuring that the Boys’ story is told.

The author thanks Professor Andrew Markus, from the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation, for his generous encouragement and support of her research over the years, and for his advice and guidance in this website. The author is grateful to Suzanne Shubart from Monash University for her skill in the development of the site. The author would also like to thank Jayne Josem from the Jewish Holocaust Centre.

Sincere gratitude is expressed to each and every one of the Melbourne Buchenwald Boys, who opened their hearts and embraced this project and all the earlier research of the author. None of this work would have been possible without their generosity of spirit and positive approach to life.