Last week Holocaust Remembrance Day was held worldwide. And you may wonder how this relates to beauty.
Meet Hedy Katz. Her life story inspired this connection.
In 1944, at the age of 17, she was taken with her family to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. Her story during the following months is very different from the stories that you’d usually read on a beauty blog.
Hedy’s parents, grandparents, great grandparents, uncles, and many cousins were all killed by the Nazis in the camp. 64 members of her family didn’t make it. Against all odds, Hedy survived. She married Willy Katz in Rumania and had two sons: Robert and Gabriel.
In 1964, the family moved to Montreal, and a few months later to Venezuela where they settled, determined to overcome past suffering and sadness, looking forward to new opportunities.
“64 members of her family didn’t make it. Against all odds, Hedy survived”
Years later, Robert and Gaby became professionals, started their own families, and became successful businessmen in the beauty industry. In 2015 they joined me (Yoel) in creating Haielle. 75 years after Hedy’s liberation from Auschwitz, Haielle (as well as Probelsa, Captiva Containers, and Playchef Kitchen) are all successful endeavors inspired by Hedy’s resilience, optimism and will to live.
A few months after returning from Auschwitz. Sighet, 1945
Hedy and her sons Gabriel and Robert. Sighet, 1957
Boarding “The Arcadia” on their way to Montreal. Bremerhaven, 1964
Hedy’s journey reminds us of a timely message: during the challenging times triggered by the pandemic bringing fear about our health, concerns about how the economic crisis will affect us, and discomfort due to the changes in our daily lives, let’s always keep in mind that people like Hedy had to overcome much more difficult situations during their lifetime, and we will certainly overcome our present challenges.
Hedy is currently 94 and still lives in Caracas, Venezuela. She has 5 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.Her memories are documented in her biography “Mucho más que un número”.
Hedy’s journey is a striking example illustrating how life and beauty can emerge, even from the darkest places.
6 days after the stroke. New York, 2004
Robert, Gabriel and Yoel during the early stage of Haielle. Caracas, 2014
Hedy, her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Miami, 2016