One Step Ahead: David J. Azrieli (Azrylewicz): Memoirs, 1939–1950

Danna J. Azrieli


Upon arriving at the kibbutz, after years of running and living in a constant state of fear and anxiety, I finally felt that I could unburden my heart and mind. I had dreamed of the day I would arrive, alive, in Eretz Israel. The constant stress of the last few years was made easier by my constant desire to achieve that goal. So, when I first arrived in the kibbutz dining hall, it was as if all my dreams had come true. David J. Azrieli was born in 1922 in Maków Mazowiecki, Poland. Written by his daughter Danna, this gripping account of survival during World War II describes David’s extraordinary travels, always just one step ahead of lifethreatening danger, which took him to the Soviet-occupied zones of Poland and later to Ukraine, Tashkent, and Buchara. He subsequently served in the Anders Army, before making his way from Baghdad to the frontiers of British-occupied Palestine. The memoir chronicles David J. Azrieli’s arrival in Palestine, his studies at the Technion in Haifa, his experiences as a soldier in the War of Independence, and his realization that most of his immediate family had perished in the Holocaust. Azrieli finally settled in Canada in 1954. There he married his wife, Stephanie, and together they raised four children—Rafi, Sharon, Naomi, and Danna. This story of survival is all the more remarkable given Azrieli’s later achievements as a successful real estate developer and philanthropist. One of the economic giants of the Jewish world, his many developments changed the face of Israel and stand as a striking testament to the strength and courage of a boy whom Hitler could not defeat. The highlight of his activities is the establishment of the Canadian and Israeli Azrieli Foundations, which focus on improving the lives of present and future generations through education, research, healthcare, and arts.

Products specifications
Year 2022
ISBN 978-965-308-628-9
Size 16X24 cm.
Format Hard Cover
Publisher Yad Vashem
No. of Pages pp. 168
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