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TRANSNISTRIA

I want to ask you , my dear Philip, that you should please not disclose the name of that person who I relieved of his entanglement in Yedenitz, Basserabia, Roumania. In every family there are good people, and also bad ones. I don't wish that the decent ancestors be burdened by the shame of those who are bad. Shlach lachmecho al pnai hamayim, is said by our people; with the mitzvah, good deed that I took that man, his wife and children out of trouble, I had the great fortune to be rescued from lying in a forest, ninety per-cent dead, waiting to be thrown into a mass grave where all the dead and some of the living were being thrown.

I can see the relationship between taking him out of his entanglements. He comes to me and asks me "What is wrong with you Asiu?". He tells his son T. "Go get the rucksack", as I told you. He was like an angel from heaven come to rescue me from the Angel of Death, from that death. I had thought about how a person could change themselves so, and become a Bal Tchuva, a master of repentance, with a good heart, and with maasim toivim, good deeds.

We were in Basserabia in Ataki, it was called. We were on a hill, and thrown into the water by the Transnistria. I was, with G-d's help, thrown into the water up to my neck, and stood there that way while they threw big rocks at us; they shot at us. Those people who remained standing on the hill, it was a steep slope; many were able to stop themselves by grabbing almost anything, a piece of vegetation, and stopped mid-way down were pelted with rocks or shot.

That's how I survived; by standing there the whole night; until an angel of a general came along to see what what was going on. He asked "What's going on here?" He gave the order to halt immediately. He said in Romanian that nothing else should be done. He ordered rope to be brought to be thrown down to those who were still alive, who were hauled back up the slope. He had to continue along on his mission, with his army unit; and we were left vulnerable again.

Transports of train wagons full of people were brought Kchoile ayo, they kept bringing and bringing and bringing. There were many too, like us, who had been driven on foot, like sheep to the slaughter, to death.

I began to see how they were taking many people away on wagons. From far away I could hear lots of shooting, and gevoldes, hysterical screaming. I knew it wasn't good. They would take full wagons and these wagons would come back empty.

It was dusk, and a horse and wagon came along, driven by a young Romanian, and just as he passed by, I turned away from the column, from all those standing and waiting to go to their deaths, and I jumped up on this wagon, and I'm going with him. As I got up on the wagon, I made the sign of the cross, and said "Thank G-d, I'm rid of these people!"

He asked me what I was doing, and I explained to him how I had had been taken, with my horse and wagon, which had been taken away. He replied that he had been luckier, that the people he had on his wagon had been taken away to be shot, and "I was left with my empty wagon, so I turned around and took off".

"Oh", I said, "You did the right thing, because they took my wagon and my horses!". So I ask him where he's going. He replied that he was heading for such and such a place, and told me a story. I tell him a story too, and I see that as we're riding along, not far from where we were, about two hours away, he stopped at a well to water his horses. There was a hollowed out tree, there.

I looked up and saw another transport of about fifteen hundred people, some on wagons, mostly walking. I could see how they were being led up a hillside, it looked like preparation to stop for the night. I jumped in among these people; he didn't see me leave while he was watering the horses.

These people were being led by, their names should be erased, Jewish police, one of whom had been appointed Captain. He was responsible for all these people, and if one person was missing he would be shot, and all his family would pay for it; he was therefore obligated to see to it that all were accounted for.

I made inquiries to see who this Captain was, who the President was, and asked where they were going. He replied that they were going to such and such a place, ending at a place called Ataki, which was the last border town before crossing the Dniester to Mogilev [Ed. note: The Dniester River was the boundary to Ukraine; Mogilev was place where a major work incentive was keeping many Jews alive. The work was centered at a foundry headed by an engineer named Jagendorf.]

On this side was Ataki, then the River Dniester, and Mogilev was on the other side. That's why it was called Transnistria, which means across form there. There was no bridge there because the Russians, as they fled, blew up the bridge so that the Germans couldn't easily cross. In spite of that the Germans were able to cross on temporary bridges and floats. Trucks and autos were able to cross to get the military across.

I told this President what had been occurring there, how people were being led, and that he should do everything possible to resist going there. He started to make inquiries with the Romanian officers, and money was collected from all sides, form those who still had. At this point I had nothing, no money, nothing; I had only my soul.

I warned him to give what they could or face death. These officers were bought off, and we stayed there several days. It was asked "How long can we stay here? We need to keep moving."

Where was there to go; to our deaths? Anyway, what happened there was that we started moving further back, and back; money was given so that we wouldn't move forward. We kept moving back and back.

We bribed the officers to go anywhere but Ataki, to survive. Whoever could went other places, and we ended up in Yanpol, Frishpu, in another region, also on the other side of the Dniester.

There troubles started, oh! People fell like flies, from hunger and cold; without shoes, without clothes, with nothing. How we survived that winter G-d only knows, only one G-d knows!

We were in the Ukraine, in Bershat. I remember a winter night that was so cold! We were outside, in the lager, the concentration camp. It had been a kolchos, like a kibbutz, a collective farm. As I told you those people who had gold teeth were hunted to remove their teeth.

Where else were we? In Obidofka, I came into a house that was packed with people. I was told "You can't be here!"

I asked why not and they asked "Where will you sleep?" I asked to stay the night by standing by the door, because the floor was totally covered with people. I asked an elderly man to just stand at the door, just stand at the door. In the middle there was a pail, for those unfortunates who had to relieve themselves. Sick people; they coughed and they sneezed. Here was a dead one, and there was a dead one, and G-d helped me to stay there all night.

There were several guys that I knew from back home. One died, then the second one died, the third one died, and two or three...four, four of us remained. We came to this lager in Obidofka, where there were already more Jews, and the first winter was a very very bad, awful winter, very very bad, it was no good.


BERSHAT

Some said in Bershat it would be better. How to get to Bershat? people conferred amongst us, and there was a very fine Yeed, Jewish man, he had been twine-weaver. He gave us the advise to get to Bershat, because there were more Jews there, and an obshine, a courtus gemein.
It was long way to go, maybe two nights to get there. The way we got there, sick and weak; and we had to get by their checks for the sickness called Typhus. We were already sick, and G-d helped us to get to Bershat.

This was a new chapter: we came across a bridge there, and wherever we went no one would let us in. As we went along, we ran into three maidlach, young women. I heard them speaking in Russian, and one said something in Yiddish. I asked "Do you speak Yiddish?" because we didn't understand Russian.

She says "Yes, we speak Yiddish." We told them where we were coming from, and so on. One of them started to cry, and they started to speak in Russian. They led us to a Tsotsia, an Aunt, who was told who we were, where we were coming from etc. These young women started to beg their aunt.

The men had been shot. There were no men left, only women. The begged to take us three boys in. She agreed to take us in, but not in our condition, because we were rife with lice. People were very wary of lice, because they carried Typhus.

She led us into a house, terribly cold. She said "I have an empty house here, and you can make a fire here, but do not come into the other house."

She went up in the loft, went up to bring some clean clothes, underwear, and some pairs of pants, and a coat, and gave it to us. She brought water, and we bathed. We were like humans again. She brought us food. This one brought some food, and that one brought some food; they were wonderful Jews there in the Ukraine, wonderful Jews. This was in Bershat; dear Jews. We stayed there for some time, given food, and everything was O.K.

In Obidofka we stayed quite a long time in a full house of people. A family from Czernovitz by the name of Bernstein was there; a mother, a father, two sons and two daughters. The man was a carpenter.
They were all in the same house.

First this one died, then that one, and another and another. Near this house was a large shed. We went out and they showed us that this shed was full of dead people, all from that neighbourhood. Wagons went around to pick up these dead people. The wagons had sled blades in the winter. Dead people were thrown up like straw, hay.

We stayed there, and there was no food. They had come from Czernovitz with a rucksack of items like clothes, shoes, shirts. This lager or concentration camp was comprised of Jewish houses where the men had been shot and the women remained. These wagon-sleds went by all the houses, and wherever there were dead people they were thrown up. After a while neither wagons nor sleds came, and what was to be done with all these corpses? This very large shed was used for this purpose.


ELIE

I was with my dear friend Elie, who still lives in Montreal today, and I pray that he continues to live for many years. He has been in wheelchair for sixteen years now, and thankfully his mind works very well, and he worked on writing the Yizkor book with me. He helped me to remember the names of about seven hundred people in our Stetl; we were like one family.

I go to him weekly and see him. He is in his wheelchair and always happy to see me, and we remember all these things together. A very wonderful man, who has a beloved wife named Goldie. If not for her, he would long be in another world. She cares for him and prays to G-d that he remains alive for many long years. She works very hard with him. Four people come over to help; take him into the bath, put him in bed and take him out. Money is paid, and they are not very rich people, bust she does what she can; a soul made of gold.
This is the Elie I was with there.

Elie and I were asked to go pick up dead people to place them in this shed. We were practically naked and barefoot, without much to wear. There wasn't much to eat; so people went to the fence that surrounded the camp. Non-Jews came there to sell things and the buy things like a good suit, a shirt, some shoes; whatever anyone had could be sold for a piece of bread. For food, everything was given away.

This Bernstein family was with us; and after a few weeks, I said "Give me some of your things and I'll go and see what I can sell."

It became known to me from Bernstein that there was a spot where his relative had exchanged a suit for some honey, and some prunes. He had been asked "Max, what have you done, giving away a whole suit for that?"

He told his father "Tatte, who needs these things?" So they gave me something to take out there too.

Instead of condiments, I brought back a Bit , sixteen kilos, of potatoes. I didn't have the strength to carry all that, so I took Elie and brought these potatoes. We made a fire to cook up these potatoes. This is how we lived.

Elie and others would ask "How are we going to live through this?"

I said "G-d will help us to survive."

Soon enough we didn't have anything else to sell. The father, Mr. Bernstein became ill. A daughter came a kicked him to get him to go to work. He said "I cannot. I'm sick!"

The son-in-law was a really fine man, he reproached her "Sabina, why use your feet;don't your hands work?" He was telling her to hit her father. I had never seen or heard of anything like that in my life.

He was lying on his deathbed and said to me "You know, take whatever you can of these items to sell." He had a blouse, a jacket, a shirt, I don't know what else from the valises and rucksack he had. I went out and brought a piece of bread, and I was able to also eat this way. G-d help him, after a time he died. His wife was very sorrowful. She had not realized how sick he was.

We stayed there, and this is how we lived for a long long time. I would take the clothes off the dead people; a pair of pants or a coat. One would have to be very careful for lice. One louse-bite could give you Typhus and kill you.

One day we had a couple of pairs of pants. They were stained and Elie tried to clean them as best he could with a corncob, scrubbing and scrubbing them. We found a non-Jew who said he would give us cornmeal. We accompanied him into a far dorf, suburb, and he gave us a small sack of meal. We got back and how did we make a fire? We stole a bit of wood from here and from there, a door or a window from abandoned houses. This is how we survived for a long long time.


WORK

G-d helped and Spring came. We were able to get a bit of work. One day they were looking for workers, so they took me, and Elie, and a few others to work for some Germans. My shirt was completely tattered; I couldn't where another because they were infested with lice. I had a pair of shoes that M.H. had given me. We were dragged to work for these Germans, and when they saw us they started cursing "We asked for workers, not stinking Gypsies. What are you bringing us? Better to shoot them and get it over with."

Selner asks, because he didn't know German, "Ches puniu? What is he saying?" So I said "He said that you should give us some clothes and feed us."

So he says "O.K.", and they led us away from there, and when he returns he tells how the Germans had ordered clothing (Laughs) and food. The other one says "Food we have, but we have no clothing." Well, we were satisfied with the bit of food they gave us. And we left.

That's how we survived, gestuchit, they say in Yiddish. They gave us food that time. Another time they came to look for people to work. Wherever they caught a man, he would be dragged off. They caught me one time, and Elie and dragged us away. They sent us to a lager in Roumania called Piutiora. What I saw in that lager was terrible, terrible. I cannot tell you the inhuman things that I saw.

There was a kind of, I don't know what you call it, it was so hard, and that is what was given to eat. I saw people eat other's excrement. I was there two days, and ran away. I stood out on a field and didn't know where I was. I didn't know where I was. Should I go left or right?

I asked some non-Jews, as I already knew a bit of Russian, where Bershat was. They told me where it was.

When I got to that lager I went to every corner of it to see how I could escape, every corner. I got out at night, in the rain, under the barbed-wire. I lay there thinking "If they shoot me they shoot me. It probably would be better to be shot than to live such misery. I crawled out of there, and G-d helped me to get out of there.

Another time I'm not sure how I got into this, I was caught, and put up on a truck and taken, I remember to a place Czefirnofka, that I already told you about: it was horrible. I escaped from there too, and again found myself out in the countryside not knowing where I was going to or where I had come from. Germans came by and questioned me. I started to speak German telling them I was Russian deserter, and perhaps they could take me. These Germans took me on their truck (laughs).

I told them that I had family in Bershat, so they took out a map to see where Bershat was. "Oh!" he says. "That is very far from here". It was about a hundred or two hundred kilometers. So they took me part of the way. They had rifles and machine guns, and sat forward, and I sat at the back. I thought to myself "If I had one more guy with me, and maybe a bit more strength, I'd grab a machine gun and shoot and kill them all."

But they treated me fine and took me a long way. They let me off at night, and I went to a non-Jew, a farmer, and asked him where Bershat was.

As he told me how far Bershat was, and I saw a man sitting there, and it came to me that he must be a Jew because I heard him groan "Oi..."

When I heard him groan "Oi", I also gave a bit of a groan "Oi". The non-Jew had given him food, and they gave me food too. I started to talk to this Jew to ask him how it had been for him. He began to tell about such and such, and how to get to Bershat. (laughs) Going to Bershat was like going to Israel.

That man knew Polish, Ukrainian, and spoke with the farmer who made us a proposition. It would soon be spring, and he could use us to work around his farm. We promised to do anything, and stayed there for some time, helping him with his horses, his cows.


JAIL

All was going well, and I'm not sure who turned us in, but we were caught again. It was Spring. That season, and the following summer was a very difficult time. We got put in jail in Tulchin, and we were sent from one place to another to work. We ran away again, and got caught again, and worked some more. I stayed with this man all the while.

Sitting in this jail in Tulchin, other criminals were there too, non-Jews, who were brought food, but none for us.

One morning when summer was just about over, a man came in who spoke a bit of Ukrainian, a bit of German, and asked "Jude, Jude, Jude?!" , asking who was a Jew.

I raised my hand saying " I am a Jew, what would you like?"

He replies "Come! Come with me!"

I asked "Where are you taking me? I want to ask you a favour: I am so beat up, that if you want to shoot me, do it right now."

Says he "No, no no, give some money".

I could have given him a crenk, a curse (laughs). What money did I have? I had nothing! A handkerchief is what I had. So he took that handkerchief too. He said "Come!"

So I thought "I hope he takes me out to shoot me." So I tell him that they're not feeding me, I'm dying of hunger. "What else would you want from me?"

It was a beautiful day, and he led me out of this jail. We went on a path behind this jail, and we walk and walk. All of a sudden there is very large ditch to cross, and a fence. The fence was locked with boards, so he says "Go over there to ask for food!" I look through the boards and I see Jews standing there wearing Talaisim, prayer shawls, and praying outdoors. He repeats "Go, go ask for food."

I get across this ditch and approach these people saying "Yeeden, my fellow Jews, I've been holed up in this jail for several days. Perhaps you could give me a bit of something to eat."

They say "Don't you know that today is Yom Hakadosh" Yom ... Kippur, the day of Atonement ... [Ed. note: Yom Kippur is the holiest of all the sacred days ion the Jewish calender, a day for strict observance of fasting]. I did not know what day it was ... Yom Kippur.

The Jews started to confer amongst themselves, and this guard got agitated, standing there and waiting. "Come!" he yells, and leads me back to jail.

I lay there in that cell and cried so much... all day. In the evening I prayed every prayer that I knew by heart. I lay there crying and crying and crying. It got dark, and I heard the door opening, and yelling "Jude, Jude!"

"I am Jude!" I said.

I see something like a plate in his hand, covered with a towel, and he says "Come here and eat!" I took this plate, and in the dark I could feel the touch of pieces of bread. I ate and cried, and ate some more.

The next day I was sitting in this jail, and found that those on the outside had discovered that there were a few more Jews inside, and children as well, all sitting with me there in this jail. A guy come to the window, and I asked him to be taken out to go to the toilet. I was taken out, and all of a sudden, a soldier comes along, and brings a pail , covered with a cloth, with soup, you hear Philip. Soup, and a spoon, with pieces of bread. There was family there with a little girl, and a little boy, and we're sitting there.

One day and the next, and the third day; they keep bringing this to us. I asked a soldier to go over to this Jewish settlement and give them a slip of paper. "Give them a note, and you'll be paid." He agreed to go the next day.

Next day I saw him at the window, so I asked him for some paper, and a pen, and told him "You'll see! You'll get paid for this!"

So he says "O.K."

He brought some paper, and a pencil, and I wrote that they had brought more Jews in and by this time there were about twenty-five Jews in there. They had been told that they were going to be sent to Piutiora. Oi vey! Oh my! I told them to be careful to not fall into that place because it means death. "To death; you must not go there."

They started to cry, and I wrote, that there are so many of us here in jail, so many kids, and they started to bring us food. We continued to sit there until suddenly people started to get dragged away.

From this community, there had been given heavy bribes. It became known that the food that had been sent was paid for with hidden diamonds... I can't talk because I start to cry... diamonds were given so that I could have a bit to eat...

This is how we lived there. I got away from there when we were taken out to work. I ran away, and ended up in Tulchin. I was in lager there when I found out exactly what had happened: the Jews had given money to the local authority.

I told the locals that those people who remained in that jail were destined for Piutiora, and money was collected to buy them out. If I had not been able to say precisely where to find these people they would have been taken to their deaths; simply to their deaths. What happened to them after that I don't know.

After that I was caught again and again.

G-d helped me to get through the following winter, which was 1942.

The following year 1943 was the year I ended up in Bershat, where those girls helped to get us clothed, and everything was fine and good.

Once an order came, that all the dwellings that we inhabited were going to be commandeered. We were all to be evacuated, and everything that we had was taken. If there was a pillow it was taken, so we had to sleep on bare planks. These thieves got up in the loft and stole everything!

These people living there were sweet people, they had warmed water for our baths, given us clean clothes when we were sick; and had everything stolen from them. These civilians, Ukrainians, stole from everybody.

I got very sick with Typhus. I had a pullover that was lice-infested; it was so cold, and the window was broken, so I stuffed the window with this pullover, and I found myself talking to the lice "You'll all freeze. I'll show you yet; you'll freeze."

I was terribly hungry. There was one little sack of garlic, and if not for that garlic, I'd be dead today. I ate this garlic, and felt a sweat come over me. It was cold in the house by I got so hot that sweat poured off me from this garlic. It was the only thing to eat.

After about three days this woman came along with a kerchief over her head, and brought three little rolls. I said "G-d alone sent you with this."

She said "Children, I cannot help you. Everything has been taken from us."

I got so awfully sick with this Typhus. I lay there and lay there. Somehow this woman brought us something every day. She brought a bit of soup...


OUR GOLDEN POT

Eventually I started coming back to my old self, and began to go out to work. Work was found here and there. Spring came and I'd go to farmers to beg if I could do something for them. One agreed to have me start on some digging. Where did I have the strength to dig? I don't know, but I did, and helped him out in the fields too.

Summer came and it was brighter. I went out with a guy; there was a family by the name of Shtadler, and he knew the language. "The mayor here has said that he could use some people for work in the forest."

There were two-man saws to cut the trees. Now, during this time I had found Elie in Bershat. I took him as a partner to work with Shtadler. He had two daughters, one's name was Rose, and I forget the other's. He had a son who also came to the woods. The job was to cut trees and chop off the branches, and our pay was as much wood as we could carry out on our shoulders. I was barefoot, and we worked hard.

It was six or seven kilometers back to Bershat, and we'd carry this wood back to town to sell it, let's say for a bread. As soon as I got my hands on this bread I ate it! When we got back to the woods in the morning I was hungry again!

My leg got infected. I had been hit with the butt end of a rifle, and pus had formed. My leg got swollen. There was a Dr. Menchler there from Ciudin who I went to see. "Dr., what can I do here?

He said "You need good air, lots of rest and good food."

I replied "Herr Dr., I had plenty of air (laughs); I work in the woods and I have an excellent appetite, but I have no food, and I cannot rest."

"How can I help you my dear Moses? Maybe you can help me?"

"How can I help you?"

"My feet are frost-bitten, and I cannot walk. Perhaps you could carry me to a farmers, and we could get food."

"I can barely carry the wood on my shoulders; how could I carry you?"

One day carrying wood in the forest, my foot hit a rock. My ankle was badly twisted, and I couldn't walk. I took some rope, and bound it tightly, and continued along. I heard a snap! My foot was back in place!

We worked for quite a bit of time like that in the woods. One day I told Elie "I am sorry but I won't be returning to Bershat. I will be staying here."

"What are you doing? How are you going to stay here overnight", he said.

I made myself a shelter of branches, about a meter off the ground. I used grass and leaves to make a kind of a bed, and lay in there.

At night I got friendly with the others that worked in the woods. I had a fire going day and night.

I saw that when the non-Jewish farmers went home to, it was like a kibbutz, a collective farm, leftover from the Russians. Having been what they call a yingle frum dem dorf, a child of the town, I knew about how things grew.

I went out at night, at that time I saw the leaves of the potato plants starting to get full. I got very tiny potatoes, very young but excellent. I told Elie to bring me a pot if he could, and a bit of salt.
After quite some time like this I felt like a mensch, a human being, again.

Since I couldn't carry wood anymore, I sought another way to make a living. At the beginning, there was a well, a very deep one, but there was no string or chain to pull out the water. The well was very deep, built up with rocks, all the way down. I had a string for a belt on my pants, so when the farmers arrived I asked them for a bottle.

They asked "Where are you going to get water?"

"Give me your bottle" I replied.

I got a bottle from this one, and a bottle from that one, and started making trips, with bottles tied to my sides. I crawled down these rocks to the bottom, and the water down there was a cold as from today's fridgidaires, cold and fresh. I brought it up, and they loved it! They ate there, a piece of bread, a piece of pork, a bit of onion. They would give me bits of this to eat, and I was simply overjoyed, and satisfied.

Elie had brought me a pot that had a hole on one side (laughs). "No problem!"

I took a bit of cloth to bind the hole, set it on its side a bit, put it on the fire filled with fresh water a little potatoes, and made a soup that Elie was so happy with!

Later there were beans, and this pot was our golden pot! We needed spoons. So he brought spoons from somewhere. I always kept this spoon with me.

If others were cooking something, I could take out my spoon and ask for a taste. Elie also had his spoon, and this is how we lived.

My foot however got really swollen, and I could see that I must do something. On one side of the forest there was a small stream. The were many herbs growing.

I remembered that the town barber always had a big jar filled with these herbs. I had asked what the purpose of these herbs was, and had been told that they were to absorb blood in use with sick people.

I sat down next to this steam on a nice day and put my foot up on a rock. I had others help me to pack the foot up on all sides with these herbs. This is how I healed myself.

Later I learned how to sharpen saws, and became familiar with the locals, and worked there through the spring.

One day about a half-dozen Russians arrived, partisans. The Germans were more afraid of these partisans than the front itself. They would ambush trucks, kill the Germans, and steal their arms. They would don the uniforms of the officers to hoodwink others. They were very feared.

One of these fellows spoke to me in Russian. I had picked up a bit of Russian, and told him about the lager, the camp in Bershat, and so on.
He asked "Do you speak Yiddish as well?"

"Yes I do."

"Listen here", he says "I'd like to send this with you to my wife in Bershat. If you betray me, I'll cut out you tongue with this knife." He gave me a letter with an address I learned off by heart. I took some branches to sell in town. By this time I had papers to go back and forth to the forest.

I came in to town to inquire about this woman. I found her and gave her the letter. In return she gave me a pair of pants, and a coat, perhaps a shirt too as I remember, and gave me a letter to return.

He was very happy to receive a reply from his wife. I'm not sure, maybe he had children there too. He had been made a partisan by the Russians. He watched troop movements, counted armies, bombed trains. These partisans did tremendous work there. After a few times I didn't see him again.


I MADE A LIVING

When fall came I returned to town. When they saw me they called me "Tavo". I had a long beard and looked completely different. I now had to find another way to earn a living. I figured that a good way to get by was to learn how to be a barber. I went to the local barber to see if I could by a razor.

I had no money, but agreed to a kind of a mortgage (laughs); to pay a little weekly from my earnings. I got razor, and a belt to sharpen it, and something to stop bleeding if there was a cut.

I took Elie aside and told him "If I am going to be a barber, I need to learn how." Poor Elie got lathered up, and by the time I was finished with him, his face was sliced up.

"You'll see" I told him, "You'll eat bread yet!"

A day later I asked him to sit down for another session. "Not today, please wait a day or two." I cut him up again!

I went out into the country, and saw a farmer sitting on a log. "Parik-macher? Barber?" he asked.

"Yes. Parik-macher." He led me into a dim little house, a sits down. He had a small mirror. Soon blood started to run from either side. In this dim light I could see that it wasn't working too well, and he could too, in his mirror.

"The light is no good" I said. We went out out into the sunlight. I was lucky to have this thing to stop bleeding, and that he was a very patient person. I shaved him, and washed him up, stopped the bleeding. He gave me half a bread, some onions, some pork. In went up to town to give some to Elie, and to the person I had loaned the razor from.

Little by little I became a barber. I made a living, and we able to eat. This was in Bershat.


A STORY THAT COULD NEVER BE

I have lived through so much. What we went through in Russia; the first year, the second year, the third year. We survived terror, and it is honestly a miracle that I am still here, alive, to tell all these things that took place.

What you see on "Schindler's List" is only a portion: but this is not to be told.

People, a normal person, if you tell them this, they would tell you that this is a story that could never be. There was nothing good, only bad...bad, bad. Our enemies, Emach Shmo, may the Lord erase there names, were awful bandits who murdered our Folk,our people. Even today there are enough enemies who hate Jews all over the world. Look at what is going on in Europe, in Russia, all over the world. There aren't any Jews left there and they still hate us.

I am not a young man anymore. I am a Gibor, a strong man, over eighty years already, and G-d should help us all to be healthy; and that I should live many more years. As long as I stay alive, I will do my best to tell you the story.

The years pass quickly, and I tell myself that as long as I am healthy enough to remember all this; thank G-d, I wrote the Yiskor book, and remembered all the names of the people in our Stetl, little village, as if they were my own family. I wrote them all , and sent all the names in to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.

Be well, children, and thank you for everything and G-d bless you.


EPILOGUE

Osias and Ruthie later ended up in the lager called Moghilev. I arrived in Moghilev in September 1943, where I re-joined Osias and Ruthie, and Harry Held (son of my sister Dora who died of Typhus in Moghilev).

Other lagers I was taken to were Jmerinka, Tulcin, Jabokritz, and the Piciodora death camp. We passed through many places: Marculessti, Jampol, Krijopol, Jaboknita, Obodowkra, Chertfinovka, and many others, too many to remember.

Netty's family at that time were still in her birth-place Radautz, in the south of Bucovina. Radauti was 60 kilometers from Czernovits, the capital of Bucovina, and 44 kilometers from Ciudin. Her family was deported on October 12 , 1941. They arrived in Transnistria to a place called Jabocritz one month later. They were hidden until 1944 when they were liberated by the Russian army.

Moghilev was also liberated by the Russians in April of 1944.

How we survived was through hard labour and miracles.

We met in Radautz in August 1946, and were married there on May 8, 1947. We lived in Bucarest, Roumania until April 12, 1950.

We came to Israel in April 1950, and stayed there until May 1951.
We travelled to Paris, France, and stayed there until August 1951. We came to Canada on August 17, 1951 and have been in Montreal since then. With G-ds help we will be there for many more years.


The massacre in Ciudin occurred on July 5, 1941. The names of our family killed that day were:

Faivel Moses
: my father
Bertha Raucer (nee Moses) : my sister, and her husband Shie Raucher and daughter Koine (5 years old)
Herman Moses : my brother , his wife Betty Moses (nee Gross) and their son Marcel Moses (6 years)
Gusta Moses : My sister (18 years old)
Blima Raucher: my mother's sister, her husband Aaron Raucher, daughter Clara Feingold and 2 children
Mariase: my mother's sister, her husband Aaron and three children
Mindel and David Rudich : my mother's brothers and children Jacob Ester, Feige
Jacob Rudich: my mother's brother and his son Sigmund, his wife and children.
Pepi Moses: my brother Osias' wife.
The bodies were buried in 5 mass graves in Ciudin.
The perpetrators of the murders were the Romanian army squads and civilians.
I read through their names as if I were walking now among their graves in a cemetery. Here they lie! Our mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers and their children, grandfathers and grandmothers, men and women, boys and girls, shot to death, burned, burned, slaughtered, smothered, buried alive. Through your images I relive your fates.
I will never forget you.


A Monument to our Shtetl

Beloved and dear martyrs of Ciudin!

With this Yizkor-book I erect a gravemarker and bring you a proper Jewish burial. Your names will be recorded in Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.

Beloved and dear martyrs!
Your names are recorded in our hearts and memories - we will never forget you - until the end of our days.

With a painful heart and eternal sorrow, you will forever remain in my thoughts.

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