This section features the true experiences of Holocaust Survivors we see and visit today. This is to fulfill their requests,
“Remember us! Tell others of our experiences so we are not forgotten!”
It was soon after the war began that Lonya was caught with many others in her town and taken to a Ghetto. She was small for her age of 15 yrs, looking more like a child of 10 years.
When she arrived in the ghetto the Nazi soldiers separated the young girls for manual labor and she was among them. They took them to a pile of large rocks and told them to carry them to the other side of the ghetto.
First they chose Lonya for something extra… they took rocks and broke all her fingers and all her toes. Then they told her to join the others and carry rocks. All day long she carried them with bleeding and broken fingers and toes. For the next several weeks it was difficult for them to heal as the soldiers kept having her work at different tasks.
A friend of their family outside the ghetto was told how badly she was being treated and decided to do something about it. He had a pass to do some work within the ghetto. Before he left he had her curl up tight in a blanket and he carried her out in his arms like a baby. He simply walked out of the ghetto with her and the guards did not question him carrying a baby out. In this way her life was spared.
When we met Lonya we could see her toes were deformed as they had not healed properly from being broken. Her fingers were better but several were crooked as well.
Even so, Lonya always greeted us with a smile and a happy attitude. Even when we found she had broken her hip, she simply used a walker and did not complain. When asking her about how happy she always was, in spite of her trauma, her answer was,
“Baruch HaShem! I love my God, Adonai, and He is precious to me. Elohim! He always watches over me!”
Sadly, Lonya has now passed away. But our memories of her always bring a smile. She was an amazing woman!