Gita Abramson of Kaunas, Lithuania

ROOM 4: FACES OF THE GHETTO
 

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First-Hand Account

 

This narrative has been excerpted
from "The Horrible Days: The
Story of 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...

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..."
 

 

 

 

 





 


 

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