Many Canadians will pause Thursday to remember the victims of the Holocaust — including 93-year-old Holocaust survivor Pepa Livingstone.
The Czechoslovakia native has lived in London, Ontario, for years, but still remembers the last day she saw her parents in 1938.
“The last thing my father said to me was that they will see me again in Palestine,” Livingstone said. “My parents were waiting for certificates to go to Palestine at the time.”
Livingstone last saw her parents when she rode the Kindertransport — German for “children’s transport” — from Poland to London, England.
“I’m not entirely sure what happened to them after that, but I did hear that they were shot and killed by the Germans in 1941 in Poland,” Livingstone said.
“I know that I was extremely fortunate, because I really don’t have any stories of horror. I never even met a German because of the efforts of Nicky Winton,” Livingstone said.
Sir Nicholas George Winton, a British humanitarian, organized the Kindertransport prior to the beginnings of the Second World War. Winton organized the rescue of 669 children — most of them Jewish — from Czechoslovakia, including Livingstone.
“It’s quite incredible what that man did. I owe so much of my life to him,” Livingstone said.
When she reached England, Livingstone worked as a nurse in Liverpool for some time.
“When I took a vacation from the hospital, I met my husband … who was a Canadian pilot. Eventually, we moved to London, Ontario,” she said.
Livingstone adds the Holocaust is part of her “being,” as the events that took place during that short period of time shaped her life entirely.
“I still remain grateful to this day that I was given the opportunity to live. I’ve experienced so many wonderful things in Canada.”
Meanwhile, celebs ranging from “Big Bang Theory” star Mayim Bialik to former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton to one-time “American Idol” judge Paula Abdul took to Twitter on Thursday to pay their respects on Holocaust Remembrance Day.