Photo taken in:StutthofYear when photo was taken:2004Country name at time of photo:LithuaniaCountry name today:Lithuania
This picture was taken in 2004 by the gate of the concentration camp Stutthof, when former inmates from Baltic States visited it. I am the first on the right in the cloak, the second to the left is Mina. She lives in Vilnius. Riva Shmukler is in the center. She lives in Kaunas. I don’t know the rest.
I can say that my fate rewarded me for my ordeals and destitution. I have lived a wonderful life with a caring and loving husband. In 1991 I had a heart attack and it was hard for me to recover. Unfortunately, I had to stop working. My husband Sholom also quit his job in order to look after me. He didn’t let me do anything, not only hard work. He didn’t even let me cook. He bought everything and cooked himself. In general he took very good care of me. We dreamt of moving to Israel, but doctors recommend me not to do it because of the hot climate. In 1997 my Sholom died. He had an easy and sudden death without ever being a burden to his children.
I have been living by myself since that time. I have wonderful children and grandchildren, who remember about me, are warm and kind to me the way I have always been to them. A couple of years ago my son insisted that I should be operated on my heart. I am quite well. I have been to Israel only once. It is too hot there. My daughter flies to see me every year. We are very close, like best friends.
I find it a positive development that Lithuania finally gained its independence. Moreover I even envy Lithuanians, as they are living in a free country. We, the Jews, will never be kindred and close to them, even now Lithuanians treat us as strangers. But now for the first time in the postwar years, Jewish life has been revived. I am a member of the Jewish community, I attend all holidays there, I made many friends. A couple of days ago we celebrated Rosh Hashanah in the best restaurant in town. Now I am getting ready for Simchat Torah. I never break the tradition. I always make it a holiday for my children and grandchildren.
I will never forget the horrors of the war. I take part in all the events of the community of former ghetto prisoners. We go to the places of the Jewish catastrophe. We went to Stutthof and other camps, I had to go through. We commemorate our kin and hope that such a catastrophe will never happen again.