Saving Henny Zill

Alan J. Schwarz
9 min readFeb 16, 2021

Albert and Henny Zill left Nazi Germany with the clothes on their back and were happy to be alive. They landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia and then took a train to Montreal and from Montreal they were met by members of the Canadian Jewish Congress who took them to a hotel. After a night of solid sleep they took the final leg of their trip to Toronto.

A representative of the Congress was assigned to them and went with them in the country to find a farm. They found a dairy operation and with the help of the Canadian Jewish Congress they bought it. Albert got to work right away. He started milking cows and took different jobs from people to supplement their income. Henny never missed a morning of milking the cattle, and prepared meals in her spare time. She knitted sweaters and hats which she sold at the Farmer’s Market.

After a couple of years on the farm they were approached by a man and his wife from Toronto who wanted to buy their property. Albert asked double what they paid for it, and was amazed when they got their price. They immediately paid off the loan and bought another farm ten miles east of where they had been located.

Albert worked very hard to expand his herd and made deals with the local dairy to ship more milk. In the meantime, he delivered oil for a local company and helped construct new barns. He worked nineteen to twenty hours a day. He explained to Henny that he had to secure their future so they would never have to worry about money. Albert didn’t take a day off in four years. He slowly bought more farms and began hiring locals to milk for him. He and Henny built a strong presence with Albert paying cash for his farms, he never wanted to be indebted to the banks.

As the years went by, Albert and Henny never had children. When asked about it Albert said that Henny was his main focus and he just never had the time for kids. He continued to work at a torrid pace.

When Albert was seventy he was sorting cattle and he had a pain in his chest. He stopped and went into the farmhouse. He told Henny he didn’t feel right and she suggested that he take it easy for a couple of hours, the cattle could wait. He undressed and lied down and Henny went to make him a cup of tea. He yelled from the bedroom ‘’Henny, I will always Love you.’’ When she came back into the room there was a smile on…

Alan J. Schwarz

Alan Schwarz loves life. He is the founder of JAMS Productions, a television production company based in Toronto . His passion is writing.