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Zelda Gordon

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December 26, 1923 - August 28, 2015 Zelda Gordon was a fighter. Born in Grodno, Poland, she survived seven death camps, including Treblinka, Majdanek, Lublin, Blizin, Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen and lost every member of her immediate family to the Nazi's plan of extermination of the Jewish race and other minorities. She had four brothers, Leo, Daniel, Aaron and Joshua, and two sisters, Tamara and Deborah. They all perished in the ovens of Treblinka and Auschwitz. The English liberated her from Bergen-Belsen on April 15, 1945. Zelda was reunited with her cousin, who became her husband Ely Grodziensky, right after the war. He had been looking for her after being liberated from Dachau by the Americans and they somehow found their way to Munich together. On September 19, 1946, they arrived in New York City, where a well known Yiddish actor Herman Yablakov, who was a member of the Grodno Benevolent Society, greeted them at the boat dock. They spoke of their experiences at the Waldorf Astoria and went on across country and spoke to many organizations along the way about what had occurred in Europe the past decade. By participating at these fundraisers, they were able to help survivors less fortunate than them. Settling in Los Angeles with the help of Ely's brother Julius, they never stopped helping other Jews as well as other troubled peoples from all over the world. After Ely's death in 1986, Zelda continued her charitable work and continued educating both the community at large as well as the young people who were so eager to hear her stories and learn how miracles can really happen. They were fascinated by Zelda and loved her and kept in close contact with her until her dementia made it impossible for her to communicate any longer. Zelda and Ely became owners of an apartment building in Beverly Hills which they managed for over 40 years. Zelda worked tirelessly to provide every educational advantage to her only child Frieda Gordon, which right had been denied to her by the Germans. She loved and adored her two grandchildren, Laura Dicterow and Julie Dicterow as well as her precious great-granddaughter Zoe Dusig. She is survived by Frieda and her husband Avery Cooper, Laura and her husband Matt Dusig and Julie and her husband Daniel Griffith. She participated in the video documentary project for Chapman University Holocaust Museum and the Shoah Foundation at UCLA, which are available online. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, September 1, 2015 at 12:30 p.m. at Mount Sinai Memorial Park Hollywood Hills campus. Donations to a university which supports Holocaust education would be appreciated.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Aug. 30, 2015
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