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A hearty congratulations to volunteer Garry Fabian who has been awarded an Order of Merit by the German Government!

Garry has been awarded this high honour as result of his ability to “turn tragedy into teaching.” Despite the horrors, which Garry and his family endured during the Holocaust, he has been able to return to Germany to  educate successive generations of Germans on lessons of the past.

Recently, Liberal MP Tim Wilson addressed the Australian parliament following the presentation to Garry of the  Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, known as the Verdienstorden.

Over 8 visits to Germany, which spanned over the last 30 years Garry  has spoken to schools, community groups and a couple of teachers colleges in Stuttgart and surrounding areas, in Berlin, Braunschweig and in April this year conducted a zoom session with a school in  Heilbron. According to Garry the reception he received was always very welcoming, and on each occasion, after the formal address students came up to him and told him that while they are learning about the Holocaust to be able to talk to someone who was there, “a Zeizeuge”, gave them a much clearer understanding of what actually took place.

Garry is a survivor of the Theresienstadt Ghetto where some 15,000 children under 14 were incarcerated over a 4 year period. At the end of the war, around 150 survived.

Garry arrived in Melbourne in 1947 with his family. Both his daughters Carole Fabian and Vicki Lustig are also volunteers at Courage to Care, in fact Vicki is our Treasurer.

Gary has also published his autobiography, A Look Back Over My Shoulder, narrating a life deeply affected by the Holocaust but not defeated by it. If you are interested in purchasing Garry’s book, please let us know and we can put you in contact with him.

We continue to be inspired by Garry’s selflessness and resilience and congratulate Garry on this award.

Read more about Garry’s achievement here.

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