George Brady (Holocaust survivor)
George Jiri Brady OOnt (born Jiří Brady; 9 February 1928 – 11 January 2019) was a Holocaust survivor of both Theresienstadt (Terezín) and Auschwitz (Oświęcim, Poland), who became a businessman in Canada and was awarded the Order of Ontario in 2008.
9 February 1928
|Died||11 January 2019 (aged 90)|
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Parent(s)||Markéta Bradyová (mother)|
Karel Brady (father)
|Relatives||Hana Brady (sister; deceased)|
Early life and the HolocaustEdit
The son of Markéta and Karel Brady and brother of Hana Brady, George Brady lived an ordinary childhood in interwar Czechoslovakia until March 1939, when Nazi Germany took control of Bohemia and Moravia. After that, his Jewish family encountered increasing restrictions and persecution by the German occupiers. By 1942, Brady's parents had been separated from their children and sent to prisons and Nazi concentration camps, perishing in Auschwitz before the end of the Second World War. For a short time, George and Hana stayed with an aunt and uncle; he was not Jewish, and thus the couple was a "privileged" mixed marriage and not subject to deportation. The children were deported in May 1942 to Theresienstadt, a ghetto-camp not far from Prague, Czechoslovakia, where George shared Kinderheim L417 with around forty boys including Petr Ginz, Yehuda Bacon, and Kurt Kotouc.
George and Hana remained in Theresienstadt until 1944, when they were sent in separate convoys to Auschwitz — George in September to the work camp and Hana in October, where she was soon executed in a gas chamber. George was transferred from Auschwitz to Gleiwitz I subcamp, where he worked repairing damaged railway cars. Brady escaped during a death march to Germany in January 1945, the same month Auschwitz was liberated.
Life after the HolocaustEdit
Brady traveled until May 1945 when he reached his aunt and uncle in Nové Město and learned from them that his parents had died in Auschwitz. After the Communist coup in 1948, he escaped to Austria in 1949 and moved to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, two years later.
Brady made a living in the plumbing trade, in which he had trained in Theresienstadt Ghetto. Early in 1951, he established a plumbing company in Toronto with another Holocaust survivor. He married and became a father to three sons and a daughter. The family resided in Toronto and later on he was made a member of the Order of Ontario in 2008.
In 2016, he was supposed to receive an award for his lifelong campaign for Holocaust remembrance from Czech President Miloš Zeman on the state day of 28 October. Ultimately, the president decided against conferring the honor on him after Brady's relative, Czech government minister Daniel Herman, met exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama against the president's wishes.
Among his many lifetime honors, he was also awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.
- "Benjamin's Park Memorial Chapel - Service Details". www.benjaminsparkmemorialchapel.ca.
- "Timeline" Archived 3 August 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Hana's Story. Brady family (hanassuitcase.ca). Retrieved 27 July 2015.
- Levine, Karen (2002). Hana's Suitcase: A True Story (U.S. 2003 ed.). Morton Grove, Illinois: Albert Whitman & Co. ISBN 0-8075-3148-0. LCCN 2002027439. OCLC 48988742.
- "Former premier David Peterson to get Order of Ontario". Toronto Star. 15 January 2009. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
- "2016 Czech president accused of scrapping Holocaust survivor medal due to Dalai Lama". Reuters. Archived from the original on 22 October 2016. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
- Fraňková, Ruth (12 January 2019). "Czech Holocaust survivor George Brady dies at age 90". Czech Radio. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
- "Zemřel Jiří Brady. Pamětník holokaustu, kterého Zeman odmítl vyznamenat". iDNES.cz (in Czech). 12 January 2019. Retrieved 12 January 2019.