The ones I lost (Holocaust)
Pictures our interviewees let us scan, showing us family members murdered by Germans
Photo taken in: Velykyi Bereznyi, Zakarpatska oblast, Ukraine – 1930s Interviewer: Ella Levitskaya
My sister Helena, left, and brother Leopold, right. During the war I was in a forced labor battalion. When I was released and returned home to Velykyi Bereznyi, neighbors told me that the Germans had taken my whole family to Auschwitz in 1944. None of them returned. Helena put these photos under the floorboards of her house before the Nazi invasion in 1940, and we found them while renovating in 1948.
Photo taken in: Odessa – 1939 Interviewer: Ella Levitskaya
My sister Rulia’s sons, Naum (top) and Efim (bottom). In 1947 I went to Odessa to find Rulia. Her neighbor told me Rulia was shot by Germans. A teacher took the boys in, but someone reported her for hiding Jews.
Photo taken in: Pidhaitsi – 1930s (then Poland, now Ukraine) Interviewer: Unknown
My sister Sarra, wearing her Purim [a festive Jewish holiday in the spring] costume. She and I were members of the Zionist organization Hashomer Hatzair, where we took classes and celebrated Jewish holidays like this. In 1946 I learned that my family had perished. Sarra and my parents had moved to Skalat at the beginning of the occupation and were killed when fascists liquidated the Skalat ghetto.
Photo taken in: Kharkiv – 1941 Interviewer: Ella Orlikova
My aunt Ludmila, her husband Arkadiy, and their daughter Valentina. In 1941 we were all forced into the Kharkiv ghetto. My mother, who was Russian, begged Arkadiy to leave Valentina with her, but he refused. When they were marching us out of the ghetto, a German soldier shot my grandmother and I escaped under a fence. Later we received a note from my aunt saying Valentina had been shot, but then so were my aunt and uncle.
Photo taken in: Odessa – 1920s Interviewer: Nicole Tolkachova
My aunt Ida Zaltzberg. She was born in 1901 and studied music at the Odessa Conservatory. She was a beautiful, well-dressed, and bright woman. In 1941, when she was 40 years old, Ida was killed alongside her husband and stepdaughter in the ghetto in Odessa.
Photo taken in: Chernivtsi – 1941 Interviewer: Ella Orlikova
My husband Srul Nisman. We were married in 1941. Refugees from Poland and Romania had told us about the horrible German attitude towards Jews. Because I was pregnant, we wanted to evacuate, but it was too late. After the Germans arrived, one came to our door. They were ordering men out of their homes. Srul gave me our marriage certificate, his ring, and his pen. He knew that he wouldn’t be coming back.
Photo taken in: Uzhhorod – 1928 Interviewer: Ella Levitskaya
My mother, Hermina Roth, with her three children. Standing next to her is my sister Ella, sitting on the left is my brother Stepan, and I am standing below Ella. During the war I was recruited to a forced labor battalion, and my parents and siblings were deported to camps. Ella survived the war in Bergen-Belsen, but the rest of my family was murdered at Auschwitz.
Photo taken in: Zhabiye – 1938 Interviewer: Ella Levitskaya
My sister Mariam and her husband David Shtein. This was my mother’s copy of their wedding portrait. They lived in a small village called Zhabiye and did not evacuate during the war. We later found out that when the Germans arrived in Zhabiye, they shot all the Jews in the village, including my sister, her husband, and their 11-month old son.
Photo taken in: Serebrinets – 1936 Interviewer: Unknown
My grandmother Surah Abramson with my sisters: Tamara, in her lap, and Sonia, standing. During the war my grandmother didn’t want to evacuate. She remembered the Germans from World War I and be- lieved they would not harm Jews, so she and her daughter Nehama stayed in Mohyliv-Podilskyi. Germans shot my grandmother in her yard in 1942. Nehama survived by hiding in her Ukrainian neighbors’ cellar.