Surviving Transnistria – A Memoir

Written by
Hilda Frenkel




Project Coordinator

Charlotte Tomic-Mowerman


This material is made available by JewishGen, Inc. and the Yizkor Book Project for the purpose of
fulfilling our mission of disseminating information about the Holocaust and destroyed Jewish communities.
This material may not be copied, sold or bartered without JewishGen, Inc.'s permission. Rights may be reserved by the copyright holder.

JewishGen, Inc. makes no representations regarding the accuracy of the translation. The reader may wish to refer to the original material for verification.
JewishGen is not responsible for inaccuracies or omissions in the original work and cannot rewrite or edit the text to correct inaccuracies and/or omissions.
Our mission is to produce a translation of the original work and we cannot verify the accuracy of statements or alter facts cited.

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



“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


 Yizkor Book Project    JewishGen Home Page  

Yizkor Book Director, Lance Ackerfeld
Emerita Yizkor Book Project Manager, Joyce Field
Contact person for this translation Charlotte Tomic-Mowerman
This web page created by Lance Ackerfeld

Copyright © 1999-2021 by JewishGen, Inc.
Updated 22 Feb 2013 by LA

There have been visits to this page since 22 Feb 2013