ABOUT THE AUTHOR
You may know her as Ask Ella in The Canadian Jewish News, Ella Burakowski had been writing an advice column in The CJN for over 25 years. Ella worked in all aspects of the national weekly newspaper, until after 40 years, on April 17, 2020 she ended her career as the Operations Manager when Covid-19 forced the closure of the paper.
Ella was born to Holocaust survivors, Shoshana Gold and Fishl Burakowski, who met after the war in Foehrenwald, a displaced person's camp in Germany. Together they smuggled on an Aliyah Bet ship to make a new life for themselves in Israel. Ella and her older sister Sarah, were both born in Israel, before the family moved to Canada.
Married to Marshall Cohen for 32 years, her high-school sweetheart, she assists Marshall with his real estate company in Toronto, Canada.
Volunteering in her spare time, Ella administers web-based groups for two causes she is passionate about: Trigeminal Neuralgia and Loeys-Dietz Syndrome. Her real-time online diary written after having brain surgery for Trigminal Neuralgia, has been read and downloaded over 50,000 times. She is also a professional listener on 7 Cups of Tea, an on-demand emotional health and well-being service.
When I was 14, my mother died in front of me of a massive heart attack. When she died, she took with her every story, every experience of how she survived the Holocaust. She took with her the reason she used to scream in the night, the reason I was different than the other kids. There was so much I didn’t know.
It wasn’t until I became an adult that I was interested in the story of how she survived, but it was too late to hear it from her.
My Uncle David Gold, my mother’s brother is still alive today at the age of 85. I felt compelled to write my family’s story while he was still able to describe the events my family endured during one of the most horrific periods in human history.
Writing Hidden Gold has allowed me to reconnect with my mother and walk in her footsteps through the darkest time in her life.
As a 2nd-generation survivor, I am all too aware that we are a unique link to the past and the future. Very soon there will be no one left to directly tell these harrowing stories of survival. By writing Hidden Gold, I am passing on this remarkable story, in the hope of teaching and influencing for the better, the next generations.