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SAUL (JONAS) ALPERN Obituary pic


Date of Passing: Oct 26, 2022

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Saul (Jonas) Alpern of Winnipeg passed away peacefully on October 26, 2022 with his beloved wife Ida at his side.
Saul was born in 1930 in the Bukovina region of Romania. During the Holocaust, as recounted in his memoir "No One Awaiting Me," he lost his parents, Isaac and Rosa Alpern and his two older siblings, Shimon and Molly. Facing incredible hardships, including forced labour camps, death marches, hunger and cold, Saul was forced to beg and steal so that he and his younger brother, Avrum, could survive.
After the war, Avrum relocated to British-controlled Palestine, where he fell in the new State of Israel's War of Independence. Saul also planned to move to Palestine and join the struggle to establish a Jewish state, but what began as a detour to Canada in 1948 turned into a permanent move.
Beginning in the early 1950s Saul built a successful career as a cattle dealer. In 1963 he married Ida (née Reiss), and they built a happy life together.
In 2001 Saul published his memoir, which won provincial and national awards and was translated to Hebrew by Yad Vashem. It is not only a gripping personal account of survival against all odds, but also a work of great historical importance, being one of the first books documenting the Nazi genocide in the Transnistria region.
Despite the enormous travails and personal loss that he had endured, Saul had a charming and jovial personality. He was loved by all who knew him. It gave him particular pleasure to help others, and to honour the memory of his parents and siblings, through very generous contributions to charities in Winnipeg and in Israel.
The funeral was held at the Rosh Pina Cemetery on October 28, 2022. Pallbearers were nephews Alan, Ken and Cary Reiss; great-nephews Noah and Charlie Reiss; and friend Nathan Wiseman.
Donations in memory of Saul may be made to the Ida and Saul Alpern Fund at the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba or to the Jewish National Fund.

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Nov 12, 2022

Condolences & Memories (7 entries)

  • Dear Ida, My sincere condolences to you and family on Saul's passing. Although I didn't know him personally I know he was an incredible man. You were a wonderful support to him through so many things, but especially the writing and publishing of his book. His life was an amazing journey. It is so impressive that he was able to survive what he did and become such a kind, compassionate and caring adult who could see the good in others and the world. I am sorry for your loss and thinking of you at this time. - Posted by: Dayna Weiten (Colleague of Ida's) on: Nov 26, 2022

  • We were deeply honored to publish Saul's memoir, No One Awaiting Me. He was a joy to work with. His warm and generous spirit must have inspired everyone who encountered him personally, just as his memoir does for the many who read it. In many respects, that may have been what motivated the significant effort he and Ida poured into making his memoir a lasting memorial to all who were lost in the Holocaust. Alan Adelson Executive Director Jewish Heritage - Posted by: Alan Adelson (Publisher) on: Nov 21, 2022

  • Dear Ida - Our hearts are heavy with sorrow to hear of Saul's passing. Among men he walked as a prince. He was one of the kindest human beings that we had the joy of knowing and calling Friend. In 2011 when I led a trip to Israel Saul gave me a few books to give to those who came on our tour. The people read the book before our trip and then when we followed his brother Avram's journey we visited the Palmach Museum and finally we stopped at his grave honoring him by placing a stone on his final resting place in Eretz, Israel. One of the ladies on our tour from Minnesota was so touched that she started to teach about the Holocaust to her church group. It was such a joy to see what Kelly Hiebert and his students did. Now we'll always have a memory of Saul on film as well as his book. Most of all his kindness shall forever live in our heart. Love & Prayers Rudy & Gina - Posted by: Rev. Rudy Fidel & Gina Fidel (Friends) on: Nov 14, 2022

  • Dear Ida, we are so very sorry to read of Saul’s passing. Know we are thinking of you, and our sincere condolences on the loss of this very good man. - Posted by: Karen & Richard Howell (HSC work colleagues with Ida) on: Nov 12, 2022

  • Hi Ida, I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your dear husband. I didn't have the pleasure of meeting him but through his book and you, I know how incredible he was. His ability to overcome the greatest of adversities and come out the other side as a positive, productive, kind and loving person is an amazing example for everyone. Lots of love, Heather Milne-Di Lazzaro - Posted by: Heather Milne-Di Lazzaro (friend of Ida's) on: Nov 12, 2022

  • I read the stories of the lives of people who have passed on. This one gripped my heart and I am full of admiration for this man and I must express it! It boggles my mind that such good can come out of such horrific beginnings! What a giant of a man! I wish I could have met him… My sincerest condolences to this family and what a loss for humanity! 😔 - Posted by: Stella () on: Nov 12, 2022

  • A true Mensch. May his memory be a blessing to all who knew him. - Posted by: Issy Pfeffer (Acquaintance ) on: Nov 12, 2022

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