Online Memorial Book

Please enter your message to the family in the comments below

35 Comments

  1. Myk
    August 2, 2020

    The world lost a special woman when Babi passed. We will miss her greatly and cherish the wisdom, laughs, and memories we had with her.

    Reply
  2. Daphna
    August 2, 2020

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Edith was very special to us and we enjoyed our time with her whether it was through visits or her celebrating holidays with us. She was a smart, fierce and strong woman who lived to tell about her experiences during the Holocaust. She also raised a beautiful family. My condolences to you all.
    Daphna Nussbaum

    Reply
  3. Caroline Jones
    August 2, 2020

    I had the pleasure of meeting Edith in her last month of life. As soon as I met her, I knew how special she was. I could tell immediately that I was in the presence of a strong and loving woman. Her resilancy was apparent. I am grateful for having the opportunity to meet this force of a woman. I know that her spirit will continue to be reflected in the hearts of those who loved her. My condolences to her family and friends.

    Reply
  4. Ken & Deb Baker
    August 2, 2020

    Her positive attitude and strength was an inspiration for all those who met her.

    Reply
  5. Diane Grosman
    August 2, 2020

    What she meant to me,

    When I first met her she was prickly, “ So Jirka, she said addressing George by his Czech nickname, ” there are no Jewish girls in Florida?” I kept silent as she gave me the once over, she looked at me and said to George, “Oh she’s a jealous one.” This was true. She cussed me out right away. I was quiet and a little dismayed at how accurate of an assumption she made and I didn’t open my mouth, but for only a “How are you Mrs. Grosman?”

    I was experiencing a Jewish Aunt Vicky. Aunt Vicky raised me after the death of my mother and she and Edith would have been thick as thieves if they ever met. From growing up with my Aunt Vicky I knew that respect would go a long way with Edith and I gave it freely and willingly, and more importantly I became completely and hopeless in love with her. She was a force of nature, kind and generous and a real task master; an opinionated old soul. She was fun to argue with, then come back at you with a hug and what are we having to eat? With the guidance of my Aunt Vicki – I am who I am. Edith made me better.

    George would send me up to Toronto for Babi duty which was always fun. Edith took me to Shul with her for my first time and I was teary eyed throughout the service because I was so moved by it. I had a favorite Rabbi and the Cantor always left me awe struck and humbled. I loved the Jewish culture and had a dear friend who was Jewish so I knew how import this culture is to the world. My first Jewish services and traditions were taught to me by Edith and my favorite times with her.

    When George and I got married I called her Mom. She was in that sense; that she could admonish me and love me equally and there was never ever hard feeling. Most of the times she was right. Like a Mom. We could talk for and hours and we always had something to say to each other. I loved her stories and I would listen in wonder.
    She was amazing and tough and worldly and smart.

    I will miss her, everyday. I loved her dearly.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous
      August 3, 2020

      Dearest Diane, Thinking of you and the loss of your “mum.” You were a good daughter, a steady support to her and George. My how she loved you! Love, Heather D

      Reply
  6. Leni R. Sommer
    August 2, 2020

    I only got to meet Edith and her family once—on my first trip to Israel when I was 17. I remember her as warm and welcoming. I’ve learned so much about her since then, I can’t express how much I admire her. I only wish I’d known to visit during my trips to Toronto. G-d,filled with mercy, bring her her proper rest beneath the wings of your Shechinah.

    Reply
  7. Beth
    August 2, 2020

    I got to meet Edith twice. I loved her stories and her pride in her family. She left the world her 2 wonderful grandaughters. Whose commitment to her was wonderful. I know she will be missed but I know she lived a full life surviving unimaginable horrors. I will keep her memory in my heart and send love to her family

    Reply
  8. Anonymous
    August 2, 2020

    The loss is great for you George and your Family. I wish I could have met her, Sincere wishes from Edith.

    Reply
  9. Ingo Andersen
    August 2, 2020

    Sandra and I send our deepest condolences at this dark time. Your mom was a light in the dark, and lit up anywhere she went

    Reply
  10. Ana Kulis
    August 3, 2020

    My deepest condolences to the whole family! Edith was like family to us – the neighbour’s next door for so many wonderful years. We knew every year she would sing happy birthday to my brother Tom and I (no matter what age) 10 or 30 🙂 She would be there to celebrate!
    There were so many special moments we shared throughout the years. Her wisdom, intellect, warmth, love and humour – oh the laughs, will forever be in our memories and hearts.

    Reply
  11. Anonymous
    August 3, 2020

    דודה יקרה כמה עצוב ורק מנחם שאת כבר לא סובלת. משיחתינו האחרונה בפסח אמרת לי שקשה ונמאס לך אמרתי לך את אומרת כאילו דברים את גבורה שרדת דברים יותר קשים.
    נוחי בשלום על משכבך

    Reply
  12. Sarah Benoit
    August 3, 2020

    I’ve heard countless stories of Babi through both Hanna and Naomi. They always brought a smile to my face hearing about the laughs and the many meals she would make for her loved ones as well as her ongoing commitment to sharing her experiences and wisdom to name a few. I had the pleasure of meeting Edith once and her smile lit up the room. She was very welcoming and kind. Edith lived a very full life and has passed on strength, wisdom and knowledge to the people that were fortunate enough to cross her path.

    Reply
  13. Anonymous
    August 3, 2020

    When it came to me that I should write the book 999 about all of the girls, and not a memoir about Edith, I was afraid my idea would hurt Edith’s feelings. Instead, she embraced it whole heartedly. “The book should be about all of us,” she agreed with me, “because we were all there.”

    I was also worried that the family wouldn’t want Edith to work with me, at her advanced age was it a good idea to talk about Auschwitz? And then there was the matter of money–I didn’t have any and couldn’t pay her for her story. Edith and her son, George, understood better than anyone, the life of a writer. They had lived with one! (A great one, for that matter. I tell you it was daunting to walk a path that Ladislav Grosman had tread so perfectly.) Edith gave herself freely to everyone. It was one of her most beautiful traits–to be so impassioned by life and so generous with others.

    Edith’s gift to me was her gift to us, by sharing her story with me over many hours of phone calls, visits to Toronto, and FaceTime chats, her narrative fills the chapters of the book and the documentary, 999. She helped us correct history and put the girls in their rightful place. May the world never forget that the first transport was all young girls and may the four (that I know of) who are left alive today be cherished and loved for their courage and fortitude.

    From the translator of the Slovak Edition, I received this: “Last week I happened to be in Humenné and was really moved. Standing on the main square and reading the text on the Ladislav Gross memorial plaque I remembered Edith, too.” Adriena Richterova

    Reply
    1. George Grosman
      August 3, 2020

      It’s “Ladislav Grosman” – not Gross but I understand Mrs. Richterova’s sentiments completely

      Reply
      1. Anonymous
        August 4, 2020

        can’t seem to edit:(

        Reply
  14. Erica Viezner
    August 3, 2020

    George has been a great friend to me now for more years than I can remember, but I only met his mother several times, usually at one of George’s musical events. Edith was always very interested in my life, and she was also happy that she could carry on a Czech conversation with someone sitting beside her. I so admired her “joie de vivre”, her wry sense of humour, and I always marvelled at the energy she seemed to posess in that tiny body of hers. The last time I saw her, she hugged me and then she said softly into my ear (in Czech): “You must be using some good imported French soap, because you smell so nice!”
    I felt quite honoured by that. What a lady she was! My deepest sympathy to you George, and Diane and the whole family. Edith will be sorely missed, but her legacy will live on. Odpočívej v pokoji.

    Reply
  15. Anonymous
    August 3, 2020

    Sorry for your loss

    Reply
  16. Susie (Klein) Bruch
    August 3, 2020

    What a great loss. Edith was a remarkable and strong woman and we send you our condolences and deepest sympathy. We are so grateful that she shared her story with the world so that we can all remember and continue to keep the stories alive. May her memory be a blessing and may your beautiful memories of Edith comfort you at this very sad time.
    Susie (Klein) and Howard Bruch and Family

    Reply
  17. Anonymous
    August 3, 2020

    I first met Edith in a Streetsville park, many years ago. She was warm and friendly, yet seemed not to understand me. I asked if she spoke French. This was also a no-go so I tried German, the only other language I knew. Reluctantly she spoke to me, and we had a nice conversation. In fact we conversed in German off and on over the next while until she felt her English was acceptable enough. It was only after we had become friends that I came to understand why she had hesitated to utter the German tongue. How difficult that must have been for her! But that was Edith for you. Jiri and Helga had recently moved in across the road from us, and when Hanna and my daughter Nina met, at age three, they became instant lifelong friends. Jiri and Helga became our friends too, and after Naomi was born we looked after both little girls until they moved to Iceland. I truly loved them like my own daughters. Often Edith would be at our place for tea, and her smile of satisfaction as she watched the children play was beautiful to behold. “Pansies in paradise” she used to call them. Edith never hesitated to offer advice, and was refreshingly honest, always beginning with “Listen, Linda…” Later she added “I am an old woman, what do I know? But…” and pearls of wisdom inevitably followed, often when I needed them most. She also helped me through one of the most difficult times of my life. Edith was kind-hearted and generous and a wonderful adopted Babi to my children. Whether she was coming to dinner at our place or making dinner for us, she always had candy or cookies as gifts for them. “Never go empty-handed to children” she would explain simply. She called us family, and to us she was always family too. She was a beautiful and powerful light in this world, and a gift to us all. My deepest condolences to the family, you have truly lost a treasure.

    Reply
  18. Anonymous
    August 3, 2020

    My deepest symphaty,for the whole family…edith was very nice to me eveytime i go to clean her place..i treated her as my grandmother..your memories be always remembered.
    ..

    Reply
  19. Anonymous
    August 3, 2020

    My deepest symphaty,for the whole family…edith was very nice to me eveytime i go to clean her place..i treated her as my grandmother..your
    memories be always remember.

    Reply
  20. Rondi Adamson
    August 3, 2020

    I never met Edith but knew of her through my friendship with her son, and also through her willingness to speak about what she experienced during the Holocaust. I am so grateful for her openness about what was surely the most painful topic. May her memory be a blessing.

    Reply
  21. Karen
    August 3, 2020

    I first met Babi babysitting Hanna and Naomi on Wilson Avenue, it was not long after that we connected and she became like my Grandma also, she told me years and years ago that one day I will be a great mother, and I am so happy that my children had the opportunity to meet such a strong woman, even though I have not lived there for over 10 years I always detour into the driveway to give Babi a quick look up on that second balcony and yell hello Babi

    How much you will be missed

    Reply
  22. Marie Franek
    August 3, 2020

    Marie Franek
    Editka was mom to my dear friend George whose many talents crossed my path. We acted together, sang and hung out with many our Czech artsy friends. Editka was our big fan attending all our performances with a smile on her face and at times she would join in singing with a forte voice which was so contrary to her petit figure. And many times she would invite us to her humble place and there was always smell of fine homemade soup and we had a nice visit envious that George still has a mom that is so strong and independent, travelling solo visiting relatives and friends all over the world. People she loved, people she was happy to have after her ordeal of the dreadful past. She will be missed.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous
      August 9, 2020

      HAHA! Her “forte” voice will indeed be remembered by all the concert goers 🙂 Thank you Marus

      Reply
  23. Tibor Martinek
    August 4, 2020

    My condolence to Jirka and his family. Being a son of Holocaust survivals, we have shared past.
    Your mom was a special lady with a will and zest for life. May the memory of the Jewish mother and heroine be preserved for generations to come.

    Reply
  24. Anna Shved
    August 4, 2020

    Spomienky na tetu Editu –

    Ako zhrnut zazitky zo 73 rokov do niekolkych riadkov? Zazitky z Humenneho, Z Prahy, Z Kironu….
    Snad to rozdelim na 2 casti – Spomienky z byvaleho Ceskoslovenska a spomienky po roku 1969, po mojej emigracii do Izraela.
    Pocas rokov stravenych v Ceskoslovensku navsteva tety Edity ,uja Laca a Jirku u nas–to bola stale slavnost.
    Rozhovory mojich rodicov s nimi, politicke debaty ,vylety –tieto stretnutia mali zvlastnu atmosferu na ktoru s laskou spominam.
    Podobne mam aj prekrasne spomiemky na moje navstevy u nich, potulky Prahou, dni stravene na chate v Mokropsoch… dali by sa o tom pisat cele romany
    Po mojej emigracii do Izraela ma ujo Laco a teta Edita fakticky adoptovali. Prisla som do Izraela sama a neuvedomila som si do akeho dobrodruzstva som skocila.
    Ale boli tu ujo Laco a teta Edita ktori sa starali o mna po vsetkych strankach: byrokraticke, zdravotne a ine problemy spojene s prechodom do inej, tak rozdielnej krajiny.
    Proste na vsetky moje problemy bola jedna adresa:
    Ulica Hashikma 6 v Kirone– tam som sa citila ako doma.

    Ale prisiel 25. Januar 1981 – datum ktory nas zasiahol ako blesk z neba – nahle , necakane a hlavne predcasne nas opustil ujo Laco.
    Od toho datumu adresa Hashikma 6 ,Kiron nebola viac relevantna Teta Edita zila ciastocne v Kanade, ciastocne v Izraeli,
    ale stale ostala mojou dusevnou podporou. Rozpravala sa so mnou ako s priatelkou. Nedala mi citit vekovy rozdiel medzi nami.
    Stale a vsade mi s nou bolo dobre. Zdalo sa mi ze takto to bude trvat do nekonecna.

    Od piatku 31. Jula 2020, od obdrzania tej smutnej zpravy o jej odchode od nas , premietaju sa mi v hlave rozne spolocne zazitky.
    Teraz ju vidim inac- bola to sice moja teta, ktoru som mala rada, ale bola to aj zena, ktora presla tazke veci .
    Nic ju nezlomilo, stale isla za svojim cielom: zvecnit pamiatku uja Laca a preniest dalsim generaciam posolstvo: nikdy viac Auschwitz.
    Pre mna bola Edita moja teta . Pre stovky a tisicky ludi na svete to bola uzasna zena, hrdinka, ktoru kazdy obdivoval a mal rad.
    Tazko mi je, ale viem že aj ona, aj ujo Laco ostanu v mojej pamati pokial zijem
    Svoju lasku k nim a svoje zazitky prenesiem nasim detom a vnukom.

    Anička

    Reply
    1. Anonymous
      August 9, 2020

      Beautiful words, Anicka <3
      Jirka G

      Reply
  25. STEPHEN RICE
    August 4, 2020

    Edith was a wonderful woman, wry and witty and argumentative and tough and very kind. When I was in graduate school and also the main care-giver to our youngest, then just over a year old (Linda being then in teacher’s college), Edith understood the dilemma and volunteered to look after Raven during the times that I had to be at school. I would bring her to Edith’s apartment and pick her up a few hours later. Raven was always happy to spend the day with Babi. I am so grateful for all the care she gave us.

    One small story that stays with me. We had been looking after Hanna and Naomi for a while and took them camping with our two children, Nina and Aaron. Edith came with us on the journey. On the way there we had some car trouble and had to stop and retie the roof racks. I was trying to figure how to make the rope secure and Edith said ‘give it to me, I will hold it’. I didn’t like this idea and told her so. “If the load shifts the rope will run through your hand and you’ll get hurt” She blew that objection off, “I survived the camps. That will be nothing”. I told her we’d find another way, and we did. But that was her attitude.

    Reply
  26. Naomi Lea Grosman
    August 4, 2020

    I was living with Babi for the last four months of her life. Before I describe the precious moments we shared, I’d like to say: We fought. A lot.

    When the bickering and fighting took place she used to say that we don’t have a common language.

    I always took issue with that and one day, when we were in one of our many disagreement I realized: we had one very common language – how alike we were. It came to me suddenly and I said to her: we fight a lot because we are so similar. And she agreed.

    She was fiercely independent and took immense pride in that. She always spoke her mind and what she said, she said with vigour. She was a strong woman in every sense of the word.

    But sometimes when two people are that alike, that strong headed and stubborn, it leads to fighting. It showed both our passions for what is true, what is right, and, in a way, our love for each other.

    While our disagreements often seemed to overshadow the time we spent together, what is left now in my memory are all the peaceful and tender moments we shared. After every fight we made sure to say how much we loved each other and ultimately I think our fighting was just a release of the tension we both shared during such a difficult time.

    In the last few weeks of her life, my denial that the end was near started to wane and I would often sit by her bed and hold her hand.

    There were three things she said to me in the weeks before she died that are especially memorable.

    One night I was sitting by her bed and started crying as I was saying good night to her. Not sad tears but in admiration of her strength and in recognition of the bond we shared. So I was crying hard but had a smile on my face. She looked up at me with a big smile on her face and said: Naomi. You are so beautiful – inside and out. With your big beautiful white teeth. It brought joy to my tears.

    The second thing was, one morning I was milling about her room, getting her prepared for the day, she looked at me and with a gentle look and smile said: Naomi, I will never forget you.

    Finally, my most cherished memory was when she was clearly in her last days and in and out of consciousness, hardly making eye contact. Throughout the day I would sit with her and beg for her to say my name, just to make sure that she knew I was still there. Calling out to her, I said: Babi, who am I? And she looked at me and said quietly but clearly: You are Naomi and you take care of me.

    Then I knew that all the guilt I had been carrying about our fighting and my feelings of inadequacy as a care giver was just noise. All that was left between us was love and mutual respect.

    The morning Babi died I came out to the living room where she was lying and kissed her good morning. Shortly after, my sister Hanna, nephew Atlas and I all saw her take her last breath. We agreed that it was peaceful.

    She had just been bathed and her nightgown changed. She always wanted to have things in order and even in her last moments she made sure that happened.

    My biggest grief prior to her passing poured out last Monday when I was having a weak and exhausted moment. I prayed that in her dying her strength would be transferred to me. “Please give me your strength Babi” I cried.

    Her last gift to me was to show me how beautiful death can be. That there is such a thing as gracefully letting go, strength in letting go. And that endings are moments filled with an array of emotions. It is said that every thing is impermanent. But as long as I live, Babi will be a permanent fixture of my life. I continue to pray that her strength, courage and life force will continue to live on in me.

    Reply
  27. Joyce Reed
    August 4, 2020

    Although I did not personally know this incredible woman, I still refer to her as one of my heroes. Through stories and memories passed on by George as well as articles and interviews I’ve read through the years, I stood amazed at her strength and courage. Her unbelievable will to not only survive but live life with exuberance, to hold onto hope, to look forward to a better future, both amazed and challenged me to be more mindful and grateful for the blessings I’ve enjoyed. How fortunate we are that her life challenges as well as the strength of character and tenacity it took to overcome those circumstances are so well documented. May multitudes continue to learn from her and commit to ensuring those horrific experiences are never repeated. May her memory be a blessing for years to come.

    Reply
  28. Anonymous
    August 11, 2020

    Please accept my heartfelt condolences on your (and our) tremendous loss. Edith was on the same transport as my mother from Poprad Slovakia to Auschwitz in March 1942, as you know the first official transport there of Jews, all women.
    I met Edith in Poprad when she spoke at the 75th anniversary commemoration of that transport. She spoke beautifully from her heart and we were all incredibly moved. I know she touched many during her long life, and will be greatly missed.

    Reply
  29. Anonymous
    August 12, 2020

    So sad to hear the news.
    Although I didn’t know her she will always hold a very special place in my heart for sharing her story-and so helping me learn a little of my mother’s story and those amazing women on the first transport to Auschwitz. I was amazed by not only the story, but that she was so willing to speak when so many others could not.
    I wish all the family long life. Orna

    Reply
  30. Anna Shved
    August 23, 2020

    Aunt Edith.

    How can one summarize a whole world of memories, smells, tastes, pictures and sounds in a few lines? Consecutive memories of 73 years from all over the world and along different eras.

    I will divide my writing into two parts: my memories of Czechoslovakia – as a child and a teenager and memories as an adult – after emigrating to Israel in 1969.
    Over the years in Czechoslovakia every visit of aunt Edith, uncle Laco and Jirka in Humenne have always been an event of a different magnitude. The trips around town, Laco and Edith’s debates with my parents about the politics and reality of those days. There has always been a special atmosphere around these visits.
    And along with those memories of visiting Humenne, I cherish magical memories from my visits to them: the amazing visits to Prague, vacations in the Mokropsy’s cottage, so many wonderful moments, one could probably write about that period more than a few novels.

    After immigrating to Israel, uncle Laco and Aunt Edith effectively adopted me. I arrived in Israel in 1969 all alone, with no hint of understanding as to what adventure I was embarking on. They knew, and they took me under their wings, took care of me and everything that came along through this crazy transition. In an instant, house number 6 on HaShikma Street in Kiron became a home for me. A warm and loving home.

    Like a terrible lightning strike, on January 25, 1981, uncle Laco died. Aunt Edith moved to Canada and the house on HaShikma Street ceased to exist. The relationship has transferred into a relationship of letters, telephone calls and, of course, visits. Aunt Edith was my dear friend, the distance and age gaps were never an obstacle, and the feeling was that it would last forever.

    July 31, 2020 has become a memorial date. The day we said goodbye to Edith. Since receiving the sad message, I remember Edith, as in photos, in various ways: she was my beloved aunt, my friend and family, but she was also a strong woman who had a hard life; Nothing broke her and she was imbued with continuing in her noble ways. She struggled and gave everything in her power for the enterprise of her life: the memory of that generation, the revival of ‘Auschwitz – never again’ and in particular, the works of Laco.
    My memory of Edith is a personal memory of a girl and her Aunty, but I know that for many people around the world she is an extraordinary woman, admirable and beloved, a hero.

    I know – both aunt Edith and uncle Laco will stay in my memory as long as I live.

    Anicka

    (Anna Grossman Shved)

    Reply

Leave a Reply