Fania (Fanny) Wedro’s life journey is one of hope, determination and hard work. In a time of ruin and despair, Fanny survived against all odds.
Fania Hellman, from Korzec, Poland was just 14 years old when the Nazis came and took away her father and all of the Jewish men in the village. About a year later, Fanny, her mother and those Jews who remained were rounded up, marched to the market square, and placed in a ghetto. Fanny’s mother lied and told a Nazi soldier that Fanny was 16—old enough to work. Later, when word spread that a massacre of everyone living in the ghetto was about to happen, the Jews decided to set fire to the buildings, creating a diversion. Fanny was one of those able to escape. She survived the Holocaust by hiding in the forest after the Jews of Korzec (in eastern Poland, now Ukraine) were liquidated. She was too young to join the Jewish partisans but miraculously managed to survive on her own, in the forest, until the Russians liberated her in 1944.
In 1945 she was smuggled across numerous borders until she reached a Displaced Persons camp at Linz, Austria. Since Fanny had received an excellent Hebrew education, she was able to serve as a teacher in a camp school. In Linz, she met her love, Leo (Leib) Wedro who was from the town of Miedzyrzec, not far from her own town of Kerzec. They were married in the camp and immigrated to Canada in 1948.
Fanny has been an active member of the Jewish community in Calgary. She has worked tirelessly to make sure that the story of her family and the massacre of Jewish villagers in Eastern Europe would not be forgotten. Fanny and her husband Leo z”L created the Leo and Fania Wedro Holocaust Endowment Fund in 2000. Income from this fund is used to raise awareness of the history of the Shoah, and to inspire tomorrow’s generations to challenge indifference and hate.