~ Sonya and Sulya ~
Sonya and Sulya are both from the Ukraine and were in the same ghetto, Vinnitza, together. She was 4 years old when it was formed. The day the German soldiers came marching into town, she was so scared she ran and hid, and was afraid to come out. All the Jews lived together in one block. The Nazis enclosed the area with barbed wire and no one was allowed to leave.
A lot of Romanian and Hugarian refugees, trying to escape the Germans, were then caught and settled into their town. They were placed into the Jewish homes, crowded in until there were 5-6 people in each room.
The Nazi headquarters was established inside their block. During the winter, when food was very scarce, the German soldiers would break into anyones house and take whatever they wanted. if someone was keeping chickens for eggs, the soldiers just took them. They did not care that people were starving.
Eventually the German soldiers were replaced with Romanian troops. These soldiers were more cruel. In the winter they would stop anyone walking in the street and take their boots from them. The Romanian soldiers were known for repeatedly raping the women. Sonya had an older sister who was a teenager and very beautiful. Their parents hid her in the basement of their house for the entire four years. For her safety they did not allow her to come out. Today her sister is in Israel.
Sonya also had two older sisters, forced to work scrubbing floors and other hard work. Every night they came home exhausted. Ukrainians beat them daily although some others gave them bread.
Everyone was cold, starving, had lice and lived in constant fear for four years. Looking back Sonya says they lived in such inhumane conditions she wonders how they lived through it.
Sulya does not say much about the war except to ask, “Where was God?”
Sulya and Sonya moved to Israel and their son, grandchildren and great grandchildren are all here.