This is me with my husband to be Ilia Olkin in a Kaunas park. Ilia broke his leg and was walking with a cane in 1939.
The last year of peace before the war brought me joy and love. I met a wonderful Jewish lad. We fell in love with each other. Ilia Olkin was born in 1919 in the Lithuanian town Panemune. His father, David Olkin, was a pharmacist. He had his own pharmacy in the town. Ilia’s mother, grandmother and three younger sisters lived in Panemune as well. I can’t remember their names now. All of Ilia’s relatives perished during the German occupation. We started seeing each other and spent almost all our time together as Ilia also lived in the hostel. Soon Ilia became the leader of the Komsomol organization of Vilnius University. He was one year my senior. He was working at the chair and dreaming of post-graduate studies. Ilia came to Skaudville with me and asked for my hand in marriage. My parents liked him very much. Having met my parents, Ilia introduced me to his. Thus, the first year of my first true love had passed.
In late May 1941 my brother was demobilized. He came to Skaudville. Having passed our exams, Ilia and I were on the verge of going to my town to see my brother and discuss our wedding, but fate dictated different things. In the night of 22nd June Vilnius was unashamedly bombed. The Great Patriotic War had begun.