True experiences of Holocaust Survivors we see and visit today, shared to fulfill their requests, “Remember us! Tell others of our experiences so we are not forgotten!”
(Caution: True accounts, as related by the Survivor, sometimes may be difficult to read)
~ Lydia ~
In 1942, at the age of 15, Lydia and her older sister were sent from their Russian city to one of the slave labor camps in Germany. She was young but worked very hard. She was forced to put in railroad tracks. It was a very scary time. They had hardly any food and very little rest. She worked at this job for 3 ½ years. [In slave labor camps of this type, a large majority of workers died from exhaustion. Ed.] During the war two of Lydia’s siblings died.
When the Americans liberated their camp they took care of Lydia and her sister. They were so thin, bony and skinny, that the Allies fed them for about six weeks. By the time they were released and made their way back home, they looked healthy again.
But when they returned to their home in Russia, they were checked by the Russians and they began to interrogate them. They were accused of going to Germany and having a good time and not being prisoners.
After the war Lydia’s mother took care of her and the other three siblings that survived. Her father had contracted cancer and died in 1953, which left the family without income.
Lydia married sometime after the war ended, but the Russians arrested her husband and put him in prison for ten years. He was accused of being a spy during the war, but was actually imprisoned for being Jewish.
Lydia gave birth to six children but only one son survived. He and his wife are musicians and lived in Moscow, but have recently moved to Israel
Lydia and her husband moved to Israel in 1994; nine years later he died.
Her son has not yet found work but since they have no children they take care of Lydia as much as they can.
Due to the harsh living conditions during the war, Lydia has problems with the circulation in her hands and feet and is in a wheelchair. She has had several surgeries. Yet, with all that has happened to her, the horrors of the war, and how much she has lost, she is an optimistic person and does not complain of her life.