The Horrible Days: The
Gita Abramson Bereznitzky
as told to and translated by
Regina Borenstein Naividel
"Before the liquidation
of the Ghetto, we, the surviving members of the organization, stayed
in the Ghetto in a hiding place...On July 13, 1944 the Germans
discovered our hiding place. They ordered all of us to leave and to
stand up in lines of four people in a row, and told us that we would
be led to work...I quickly threw away my coat with the yellow star,
got up and continued to run.
While I was running, a young Lithuanian
ran after me and told me to stop. I thought that this was my end. He
came running up to me and asked me whether I knew a woman named Sara
and where she was. I answered him that I did not know her and
continued running. In this moment, I saw that Nina Finkelstein was
running with me, and both of us turned in the direction to Mania's
house. Mania was waited for us at her door, so that she could take
us immediately to her hiding place, which was under the steps
leading to her house. All this happened on July 13, 1944...
photo, left: Gita Abramson Bereznitzky
While standing in the
row, I decided I would escape given the first opportunity. Each of
us had one bottle of water, and a loaf of bread, but I gave this
away. I didn't take it so that I could run more quickly. While
running, I heard a shot, and at that moment I threw myself into a
field of tall potato plants......In the same night, Lucy Zimmerman
came to us; she had run from Alexot. All of us were very happy to
have escaped and to be together. We slept over night and the next
morning, one of us saw two German soldiers through the window.
We crept into the hiding
place, but Lucy went out through the door. (She looked Jewish). She
crept through the fence into Mania's garden and hurt her foot.
Later, she went to the Ghetto and saw that the Ghetto was burning.
All this we heard only later.
While there, the Russian collaborators
recognized her. She was a very good looking, dark-haired, Jewish
looking woman. Her foot was bleeding. They approached her and asked
her for her documents, but unfortunately, she did not have any
documents. She pointed to the house and told them that she lived
there. When they came back to the house, Lucy asked Mania for the
document, and said that Mania was her sister. 'Mania, you are my
sister' she cried, 'give me the passport, help me.' We were lying in
the hiding place, and heard all that was being said above our heads.
Mania called in one of the soldiers and offered him money, but he
said that the older one was the commander and if he would take
money, he also would agree. Unfortunately, when the second one
entered the house, and heard that she offered him money, he shouted
at her and said 'you are a Jew too and you have to come with us.'
Mania also looked Jewish. Mania with her little son, Lucy and the
soldiers left to the Ghetto. They were already standing against the
wall waiting to be shot, when a Lithuanian neighbor of Mania's came
after them and swore that she was not Jewish. Then, a German
approached her and asked her for her passport. Mania answered that
it was in her house in the cupboard. The German soldiers, Mania with
the child and Lucy came back from the Ghetto to the house. The door
of the cupboard was pulled open and Mania showed the Germans her
passport. The Germans said to her: 'Sorry, dear lady.' Afterwards
they left with Lucy to go back to the Ghetto. Lucy was shot
afterwards. Lucy had called: 'Mania, you are my sister. Give me the
passport.' Until today, I can hear these words in my ears, but
nobody could help her. This was the end of the second day after the
escape..." next, Ephraim Gruzin