Silberberg Family Memorial Award

The Silberberg Memorial Award was so named to commemorate the family of Helen Glazer (née Silberberg), many of whom perished in the Holocaust. Helen Glazer was Lloyd Howard's grandmother, whose parents, Label and Roisa Silberberg, lived in Lodz, Poland, where they had 11 children. The eldest three, Helen included, left Poland for the United States well before the Nazi invasion. The first to perish in wartime was one of Helen's siblings, a girl, who starved to death during World War I. One of her sisters escaped the coming Holocaust and survived by winning a beauty contest in the late 1930s, with the prize being a one-way ticket to Palestine. One of Helen's brothers took refuge in Siberia with his wife and children and thus survived, thanks to a large sum of money Helen had previously sent, in the vain hope her entire family would avail themselves of the funds and get out in time. Sadly, that was not to be. While Label died of cancer prior to the Nazi invasion, Roisa, along with Helen's five remaining siblings, with their spouses and families, all perished in the Holocaust. One sister, whose infant child the Nazis had just tossed into a fire in the Lodz Ghetto, ran into it after her baby and died. This story was told to the brother who returned to Lodz from Siberia immediately after the War in search of surviving family, of which there were none. With Helen's brother being threatened by squatters, who had taken over his house, he and his family left Lodz and eventually settled in Canada.

The donor, Lloyd Howard, is ever grateful for the generosity of his grandparents, Helen and Max Glazer, and that of his parents, Jerry and Florence Howard, who was Helen's daughter. In great measure he owes who he became professionally to Helen Glazer's largesse, thanks to the financial provision she and Max made available in support of his education by transferring one of her shares in a limited partnership to him, his sister and his two cousins, at that critically important time in his life. He went on to receive his PhD from the Johns Hopkins University in 1976, after which he was appointed to the University of Victoria, where he taught Italian language, culture and literature at both the undergraduate and graduate levels until his retirement in 2016. During the 39 years of his tenure at UVic he served as chair of the Department of Hispanic and Italian Studies for a total of 15 years between 1989 and 2015, twice as acting dean of the Faculty of Humanities, and a three-year term as director of the medieval studies program. His research focuses primarily on Dante's Divine Comedy, which has resulted in numerous articles and two monographs. He is currently professor emeritus of ltalian studies and adjunct professor in the Faculty of Graduate Studies. 

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