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baby pisetskaya

During the Great Patriotic War David, his wife and children evacuated to Tashkent where they survived the war. David Kalika's family perished in Uman. When the Germans came to Uman they lined up all Jews in a column headed by Lusik Brozer, the retarded son of the pharmacist, who carried a red flag. The Germans forced David's brother Samuel, a Jewish actor, to sing a song and the Jews marched to the spot where they were shot. They were killed near the railway station. We got to know this from our neighbors in the 1960s.
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Minia, her husband and their three children Motl, Favel and Chovele were killed by fascists in Odessa in 1941, during the Great Patriotic War [1].
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Rafael Genis

Golda was also very entrepreneurial. She had her own horses and came to the markets with a big cart and loaded it with all kinds of goods. Golda went from town to town, supplying goods to her customers. Golda and Liber had many children. Before the war, their elder daughter Entle worked as a nurse in Telsiai. When the war broke out, she joined the Russians and was a nurse in the lines. After the war she married a Russian officer and lived with him in the town of Pavlovsk, Rostov oblast [today Russia]. My cousin had a tragic death a couple of years ago. The details of her death are still unknown. What is not clear is why somebody would want to kill a lonely, sick and poor woman. Golda's other children: sons Abba and Meishe and daughter Aza - I don't remember the rest - were shot in Gargzdai in the first days of occupation.
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Grandpa Nakhman lived until the outbreak of the Great Patriotic War [2] and would have still lived longer as he was very robust, which wasn't common for people of his age. He was shot in Telsiai in the summer of 1941 along with many other family members.
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Another sister, Channa, born after Chaya Riva, owned a tiny store. She sold sweets, groceries, chocolate and herring. Channa gave a discount to Lithuanians - she didn't sell ten herrings for a lita - which was a common price - but 11. That is why she had many customers. I remember that the peasants came in the store with canisters, where they put the pickled herring juice. Channa also sold the bread, which wasn't gone during the market days. Father's sisters Chaya Riva and Channa remained single. Both of them perished at the very beginning of the Fascist occupation. They were shot along with other Jews of Rietavas in Telsiai.
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There were about 14 places out of town where Jews were executed. I don't know exactly where my kin perished. Father's sisters Chaya Riva and Channa also perished. And my brother Dovid, who was studying at Telsiai yeshivah, was shot in Rainai along with 300 rabbis. My mother and sister Tsilya lived a bit longer. One lady, who crept out from the pile of corpses told me about it later. They were in the ghetto in Telsiai. Lithuanians often went there to hire people. One of them wanted to take Tsilya and save her that way, but my sister clung on to my mother and didn't agree to part with her. Then a furious Fascist shot both Tsilya and my mother.
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On the day when the war broke out, my brother Liber and his wife Ida with their baby daughter - about two months old - came to see my parents. The lady said that she noticed the tail of the column, where Liber and Ida with the stroller, were walking. The Fascists took the stroller away and it was rolling on the curb. My brother darted after the stroller and the German shot him right away, then they shot the baby.
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I couldn't recognize my town, as all buildings were burnt down, including our house. A Lithuanian lady had used the foundation of our house to build her own there. I went in. We had a long conversation. She told me about the execution of local Jews, about the deaths of my kin. As it turned out my parents and Grandpa Nakhman were denounced by the neighbors. They were those Lithuanian guys, who were my friends, who came to our house. All my kin, Grandpa Nakhman, Father, Liber with his family and Isroel, were shot in the first days of the occupation of Telsiai.
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Knowing the Fascists' attitude towards the Jews, and reading the military press, I understood that Lithuanian Jews, including my relatives, were exterminated. When we were liberating towns and villages in Ukraine, the local people told us about executions of Jews in ghettos and camps, about the atrocity of the Fascists. I saw horrible pits, the places where Jews perished and understood even more that I remained alone. My task was revenge. I went in every battle to take revenge and exterminate as many Fascists as possible. In summer 1943 I undermined four enemy tanks and every burning tank was a monument for my kin.
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Janina Duda

And a ghetto was created in Vysotsk. We moved out from our Jews and lived maybe 100 meters from that ghetto. When 1942 came, the liquidation of the ghetto started. One night, dogs barking, noise, shouting, shots. They surrounded the ghetto. Someone watched this happening and told me: there were pits dug in the ground, they all stood naked on the edge of these pits, because their belongings would be sent to the Reich and then one physician shouted to the Germans – ‘you will be held responsible for this and so will your descendants.’ They shot them all anyway.
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Alexandra Ribush

Aunt Vera worked at the 1st Medical Institute, which was evacuated to Kislovodsk. Unexpectedly we got into German occupation there. All adults were executed.
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Henrich Kurizkes

I went to work as a pioneer leader [29] in a pioneer camp during the summer. The camp was located about 15 kilometers from Tallinn. I was to start on 15th June. We had just settled down, when on Sunday night of 22nd June 1941 we heard the roar of the artillery cannonade. It never occurred to us that it was a war. We thought it was another military training exercise. Then at noon, on 22nd June, we heard the Molotov [30] speech on the radio, and he said that Hitler's armies had attacked the USSR.

We returned to Tallinn where evacuation began and my parents decided to evacuate. Thank God, they didn't delay. Many Estonian and Jewish people didn't fear Germans as much as they did the Soviet power after the tragic deportation experience. This day played another tragic part in the life of Estonian Jews. Even before the German occupation, Estonians began to destroy the Jewish people. Estonia was one of the first European countries to report to Hitler that its territory was free, judenfrei, [31] from Jews. Hatred toward the Soviet power was so strong that it out-weighed all historical dislike of Germans by Estonians. The Germans were seen as liberators and rescuers, and Estonians were ready to fulfill all of their orders.

There were hardly any Jewish survivors in Estonia after the war. Even those who had been deported to Siberia had more of a chance of survival than those who refused to leave their homes. People thought that they would wear yellow stars, if the Germans wanted them to, and speak German and go along with the Germans. They all perished, but it wasn't until after the war that we heard about the Klooga concentration camp [32], mass shootings of Jews and other horrors.

Meanwhile my mother and father packed some belongings and we headed to the railway station. My father worked in the military supply store [department responsible for food and commodity supplies to military units and organizations of the town], and was to take care of transportation of its stock. My parents decided to go on separately rather than wait for one another.

Evacuation was organized from the very start of the war. There were freight trains at the freight station in Tallinn that moved on when they were full. We evacuated on 3rd July 1941. After our train crossed the bridge over the Narva River, the bridge was destroyed. We were told that all Estonians were to be evacuated to Ulianovsk where the government of Estonia had been evacuated [33]. We traveled for about three weeks. We had some food and clothes with us. We were lucky since some business organizations were traveling on our train and we could buy everything we needed from them: cookies, butter, tinned meat and fish. So we had sufficient food on the train.
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Isroel Lempertas

In 1938-39 pro-Nazi public opinion was streamlined in Lithuania. The teacher of arts, a Lithuanian, called upon fascism among youth. I do not know who of them did it, but each morning there were anti-Semitist posters in the lobby of lyceum, namely a Jew with a 'snoot', plaits, distorted appearance and clothes, with a humped back. Those posters were removed, but next morning they appeared again. I know for sure that two guys from that circle shot Jews, including their classmates in 1941 during one of Hitler's actions. There was a very beautiful girl in our class, the daughter of the director of Jewish bank, Kock Glikman. Many guys wooed her, including one of those guys. She did not want to go with him and he shot her with his own hands during one of the actions in 1941. Many people, at least our family, understood, that fascism would bring calamity to our country and many people looked up to USSR. I am not sure if my father knew about political processes and repressions carried out by Stalin in USSR [Great Terror] [13]. He had never talked to me about it.
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Neither father nor mother went to the synagogue. A big two-storied synagogue was not far from our apartment. Rabbi Mamjoffe was a very respectable man. He got along with father and he called on us. Father and rabbi had long conversations over a cup of tea. I do not know the subject of their conversations. I assume those were theological and philosophic topics. The surname of Mamjoffe was written on my birth certificate and I remembered his ornate signature very well. Rabbi Mamjoffe was atrociously slaughtered by Hitler's soldiers during the first days of occupation. When I worked with the historic archives after war, I came across that signature once again and I was concussed by my reminiscences from childhood. I knew a lot of people who were murdered- my classmates from lyceum and pals of my parents. But these were casual acquaintances and I was not touched to the quick. The preserved signatory of Mamjoffe really touched my soul. When I remember that man, tears come to my eyes.
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Nachman Elencwajg

My sister was the first to flee, to Brzesc. Then she wanted to go back, but couldn't because they arrested her and sent a hundred kilometers east, to Baranowicze [town ca. 400km east of Miedzyrzec, today Baranovichi in Belarus]. I never saw her again. She died with the other Jews when the Germans came in 1941 [11]. I learned later the Germans dug out mass graves out of the town there and shot all the Jews. My sister had a little baby girl, Cywja, whose photo I was presented with by some miracle, and who died with her mother.
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