Margolia Weinryb

This is my sister Margolia Weinryb. The photo was taken in Zamosc in the 1930s. I had three sisters, Margolia, Sara and Rywa, and one brother, Mojzesz. Margolia was the eldest. She was born in 1902. She went to the state grammar school in Zamosc, and towards the end of the 1920s she left home to study in Warsaw. There she graduated from the Free University of Poland [a private university], the faculty of natural sciences and mathematics. After that she taught in the Tarbut school on 2 Nalewki Street in Warsaw. She didn't manage to emigrate to Palestine because the school administration was always asking her to stay on just a little longer. Margolia had the most gentle character of all my sisters. She always looked after me. The family even used to say that she never got married because she devoted too much time and attention to me. She was like a second mother to me. When I finished grammar school my sister Margolia persuaded me to move to Warsaw to go to school there. She had been there for a few years and was earning a living as a teacher, so she could support me. I came to Warsaw in 1933 and moved in with Margolia. I started studying at the State School of Construction. After graduation from that school you could go straight into the second year at Warsaw Polytechnic. 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. 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.