Helena Zinger

This is my older sister Helena Zinger. The photo was taken in Velikiy Berezny in 1930. It is one of the pictures that she put underneath the floor in our house before the Nazi invasion in 1940. We found this photo during repairs of the house in 1948. My sister Helena was born in 1912. Her Jewish name was Chaya. There was no Jewish school in Velikiy Berezny. We went to the eight-year Ukrainian school. My sister Helena and my brother Leopold also went to this school. Boys and girls studied together. There were many Jewish children in this school and there were also Ukrainian and Hungarian ones. There was no anti-Semitism. We used to fight or argue, but there were never any conflicts about nationality issues. Helena got married in 1934. She had a traditional Jewish wedding with a rabbi and a chuppah in Velikiy Berezny. My father bought a house in Uzhgorod for the newly-weds. I had no information about my family during the war. I arrived in Velikiy Berezny where my neighbors confirmed that the Germans had taken my whole family to Auschwitz in 1944 and none of them returned. I went to Uzhgorod to obtain my documents, but I couldn't get any. Some other people lived in the house of my sister Helena. My sister and her family also perished in concentration camp. I stayed in the house of my distant relative and tried to have the house of my sister returned to me. My wife and me still live in this house. When we started repairs of the house in the 1950s I found a gift from my sister. We needed to replace the rotten floors. She must have put an envelope with family photographs under the floor before being deported to the concentration camp with her family. We found this envelope and I was very happy to get it since I didn't have a single photograph of my close ones.
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Henrich Zinger