The Atlantic Jewish Council

Holocaust Memorial Service 2019 – Saint John

Event Details



MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2019; 7:30 P.M.



The programme will feature a keynote address by Mr. Andy Réti. He was born on July 16, 1942 in Budapest, Hungary. When he was two years old, he and his mother and grandmother were compelled to live in a ghetto. His father and grandfather were sent to a forced labour camp. In time, his grandfather was able to escape, but his father could not. Réti credits his survival to the incredible courage, resilience and sacrifices of his mother and grandmother. They were liberated on January 18, 1945 by the Soviet Red Army.

After liberation, Communism displaced Nazism in Hungary. Réti’s mother realized that her family had no future so in 1956, during the October Revolution against the Communist regime, they escaped and started a new life in Canada. Réti went to school, learned a trade and became a Canadian citizen. His mother married Holocaust survivor Emil Grossman in 1958.

In 1968 Réti married Magdi Vadnai, a daughter of survivors. They had two children. She passed away in 2000. Six years later he married Judy Wittelsz, a daughter of survivors, who had two sons from a previous marriage.

Andy Réti became a volunteer at the Holocaust Centre in Toronto in 1998 where he had the privilege of working alongside his mother until she passed away in 2005. Reti’s mother, Ibolya Grossman wrote her award-winning memoir “An Ordinary Woman in Extraordinary Times” in 1990. Reti wrote a sequel to it entitled “The Son of an Extraordinary Woman” in 2001. The two books were combined and published in 2016 by the Azrieli Foundation.

Memorial candles will be lit in memory of victims of the Holocaust.

This programme is made possible with financial assistance from The Atlantic Jewish Council.

For further information please contact the Saint John Jewish Historical Museum: (506) 633-1833 or