Chana and Margolia Weinryb

Chana and Margolia Weinryb

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This is a picture of my mother Chana Weinryb, nee Sztern, and my sister Margolia, walking in Zamosc. The photo was taken in the 1930s. When the war broke out my parents had bought a fairly big cart, loaded up some of the goods from the shop and their own luggage, of course, and gone east, to Aunt Lea. My sister Margolia had gone with them because on the day the war broke out she was still in Zamosc, where she had been spending the summer holidays. In Kovel they lived from selling the goods from the shop. They were even able to rent an apartment. When the Germans were approaching Kovel evacuation trains began to be put on at the station. People were going east in droves. I went to my parents and Margolia and tried to persuade them that we should all go together, but they didn't want to just drop everything immediately. They had no idea what might happen. My parents were older by then, and Margolia wanted to stay with them. They talked me into believing that nothing would be lost if they spent a few days packing and so on. I was younger. I sensed that something was going to happen. I decided to leave first, but I thought they would manage to leave in time and that we would meet up. Unfortunately they didn't make it. I never found out what exactly happened to them. I never found anybody who could tell me what fate befell them. They were probably in Kovel ghetto, and were most likely shot and buried in the mass graves in the woods outside Kovel. After the war I tried to get news of them. I hoped that they might contact me. But nothing like that happened. I went back to Kovel two years ago thinking that I might find some clues. I went to the site of the Jewish mass graves - all that stands there today is a small monument. But I was unable to find out any details. In the Jewish cemetery on Okopowa Street in Warsaw there's a whole wall commemorating people who were killed during the war. I put up a plaque there bearing the names of my family.
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Mieczyslaw Weinryb