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!”
(Caution: True accounts, as related by the Survivor, may be difficult to read)
~ Pesiy ~
Pesiy (pronounced Pay-sah) was in a ghetto with her mother and sisters. She was three years old when they were first incarcerated. Her mother had managed to keep a little money and used it to pay the guards to let her go out of the ghetto and shop for food from the Ukrainians. They had no blankets at all, no winter clothing and it was below zero degrees Fahrenheit in the winter. Her mother also sneaked out to visit her Ukrainian friends who gave her warm clothes for her four children. They had no beds to sleep on so her mother “ripped the door off one room in the house” so the four children would have a place to sleep. She covered the door before they lay down at night.
Each time there was no food, again her mother sneaked out to find some. She would be gone all day. Pesiy remembers praying all day for her mother to return safely. That night her mother came back safe and Pesiy never forgot that God answered her prayer. She remembers praying for her mother every time she went outside the Ghetto. She knew then and knows now it was her prayers that kept her mother safe. She says she knows HaShem did that.
Two times her mother was caught by the German guards but they let her go both times, let her return to the Ghetto. However, eventually, her mother lost her life for this.
After they had been in the ghetto two years, her mother had a large pot of water boiling on the stove to make soup. Being the age of five, she grabbed the edge of the pot to see what was inside and spilled all the boiling water over herself. She was burned all over. The doctor in the ghetto did not have any medicine to give her, so her mother laid her out on the floor and that is where she stayed while she healed for the next several months.
As her skin healed, however, it pulled her legs up behind her. Since the doctor could do nothing, her mother broke something up to get sticks of wood. She then had someone hold Pesiy down while she forced her legs straight, tying the braces of wood to her legs.
Pesiy said she remembers screaming and screaming because it hurt so much. Her feet were also becoming deformed so her mother straightened and braced them as well. Pesiy says she can thank her mother today for her straight legs and feet; for being brave enough to do that.
Another relative, her aunt and her family, were part of the team that built Hitler’s bunker. Everyone lived in the open field nearby all winter while doing the construction. After finishing the bunker, all the workers were killed.
Pesiy was in the ghetto until she was seven years old. She remembers when the war ended. They received packages from the Red Cross and from Israel, with corn meal and beans, to improve their life.
She says today that she is an atheist, but does pray when she has a problem or is in trouble. She remembers how HaShem answered her prayers for her mother.