Batya Kramer (nee Sosinsky) from Ashdod
Translated by Agi Romer Segal
Donated by Betty Sherwood
My earliest memories stretch back to my childhood years, when the Tarbut school where I studied was established. Later we went over to the Polish school until 1939 when the Russian military liberated our area. Then evening courses were formed and we all began to learn Russian.
In 1939, my mother died and we 5 children were left. The only fortunate thing for us was that Father became everything for the family both a father and a mother. And so we continued until the outbreak of the war between Germany and Russia. Then a bundle of woes began and in 1941, when there was word that the Germans were at the gates of Dolinhov, many of the youth began to consider leaving Dolhinov. We, unfortunately, had the privilege to receive the murderers in Dolinhov and it did not take longer than a week before someone already betrayed Yosef Katz, who was chairman of the quilter's association, and also Chaim Pressman and Lodze Edelman. They were immediately led on the road to Vileyke and were shot there.
Our father, Raphael Sosinsky, was in hiding and every evening I used to go with my brother to update my father. The police would come every night and pretend they were searching our house.
Later the Judenrat was organized which dealt with all the Jews in town. The Judenrat sent my brother, Yosef Sosinsky, to the Germans who worked with the telephones to be an interpreter. He worked there at the time of the first slaughter and on that day he had travelled
with a German from work into the town of Dolhinhov. When they arrived in town, they met a Christian and asked for news of the town. He told them that the situation was not good; Jews were being slaughtered and burnt. Yosef went until the new market and noticed that near the synagogue Moshe Pearlmutter was already lying shot, in his tallit. The German then immediately turned his horse around saying to Yosef, You take my cloak and go by the side roads to Zar and I will go into town to see the situation. The German tried to find anyone form our family in the marketplace near the church there was nobody. When the German returned to Zar, he told Yosef that there was no one from his family.
I and my brother Hanoch and my sister Simele were in hiding by Bandarenko in Fune and Yosef came to us that same day to tell us that none of our family had been in the market because my father Raphael and my brother were hiding in a hiding place between two walls that stretched from our house to Moshe Kasovsky. Together with us in Fune were Chava Brunstein and her brother, Yosef Kuznitz, now in America.
The entire family of my aunt Mechle and her children survived the first slaughter. They were hiding in the hiding place which had been made in our home. Two or three days later, we started to go back into town. When we reached the hospital, we entered and met Dr. Kotler. He had sent a peasant into town to see what the situation was. The peasant had returned and said that it was quiet in town. We went. When we reached the town, a shiver enveloped us for we did not meet a single living being and it seemed as if all of humanity had been shot; only we remained. We saw bloody streets, broken houses, etc. When we had left Zar for Dolhinov, my brother Hanoch stayed with Yosef. When I went with my sister in the direction
of our house, we were dressed as two shikses [Christian girls] and when we entered the house, we found my father and my brother Yidl. Then we went to my Aunt Mechle and found the whole family. However, many relatives perished in the first slaughter.
After the first slaughter, the ghetto was organized on Slobodker Street. The German fellow who had travelled with Yosef on the day of the slaughter told him a few days later, Yosef, in any case, all the Jews will be made kaput. Take my revolver and go to the Partisans. And so it was. He received the revolver and left in the direction of the Partisans in the woods.
Gentiles saved us and the whole family from the Ghetto and took us to Karalin where Niezobitavsky's palace was. We were there until the Germans found out there were Jews there. Miraculously, we got word that they were coming to search. We were still able to escape to the woods and until nighttime across the river. Later we joined up with the Partisans in the forest where my brother Yosef, Avraham Friedman and others were.
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