Transnistra
(Ukraine)

Surviving Transnistria – A Memoir

Written by
Hilda Frenkel

(Unpublished)


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Acknowledgments

Project Coordinator

Charlotte Tomic-Mowerman

 


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Transnistra (Transnistria) is a region of the Ukraine between the Dniester and Bug Rivers

 

Introduction

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you - Maya Angelou.”

I stepped off of the city bus on my way to collect my first unemployment check after losing a job behind the candy counter of the small movie theatre in Astoria, Queens. In front of the bus stop was the sign with the name of a dentist: Dr. Bershad. That name suddenly hit me, and I started to cry in the middle of the street. A stranger walked up to me and said, “Are you all right?”

I looked at her and mumbled, “I'll be okay. Thanks for asking. I'm just remembering something from a long time ago.”

It had been ten years since my liberation by the Russians from the hell of Transnistria during World War II.

All through these years I tried to keep my memory of these times in the camp suppressed because I was preoccupied with surviving sweeping changes in my life. During this time, in 1946 I had gotten married Then I moved to Paris in 1948 and had two children in 1949 and then sixteen months later in 1950 I moved to America with practically no money.

We struggled to survive in America without speaking English or getting any assistance in finding employment for me or my husband.

I worked and spent all of my time with my family and tried not to think of the darkest days of my life in the concentration camp.

I was obsessed with keeping the household going with minimal amounts of money. By the time my older children Charlotte and Michael went to college, they insisted I start writing my memoir.

Hilda Frenkel


Chapter 1 Childhood in Romania
Chapter 2 War Breaks Out in Europe
Chapter 3 Germans and Romanians return to Bukovina – June 1941
Chapter 4 Bershad
Chapter 5 The Liberation of the camps in Transnistria by the Russians – April 1944
Chapter 6 The Wedding

 


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