Bob and his wife Freda, also a survivor, are actively involved in Holocaust education and an interview with the couple can be listened to in the Holocaust section of the JoM.
Robert (Bob) Narewczewitz’s formative memories are of Frankfurt, where his family was forced to move from his and move again as the Nazi’s clamped down on all things Jewish. He remembers, for instance, enduring taunts as he and his parents walked the streets with the obligatory Judenstern stitched on their clothes.
They were arrested and sent to Theresienstadt (now Terezin), Czechoslovakia, in August 1942. At the time Bob was seven-years old.
Upon arrival at the train station his father was asked whether he had any money. He said no. The guards patted him down and discovered the equivalent of a five-cent piece in one of his pockets. That was the occasion of his first beating.
Bob’s father died in Theresienstadt; he and his mother, Gertrud, remained there for two-and-a-half hungry years until February 1945, after which they were sent to Switzerland. The rest of their immediate family perished in the Holocaust.
Bob and Gertrud emigrated to New Zealand in 1947. He went on to study law and complete a degree. Gertrud was a soprano who had studied music at the Frankfurt Conservatorium. She performed in a number of operatic roles at the Frankfurt Opera until Jews were prohibited from working there.
Bob is a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit and serves on a number of Holocaust charitable trusts. He is past president of the Auckland District Society of Notaries and served as President of Auckland Hebrew Congregation, Chairman of United Synagogues of NZ, and President of both the Auckland Zionist Society and the Zionist Council of New Zealand as well as being a trustee of the Christian Healthcare Trust, the Home and Family Trust and the Dental Research Foundation Trust.
He and his wife Freda, also a survivor, are actively involved in Holocaust education. They live in Auckland.
Image heeader (above): Bob Narev at home in Auckland, 2012. Photograph by Keren Cook © JoM