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This is a picture of my older sister Lisa with her former school friend and future husband Aron Muravin. The photo is signed “To my dear brother from your sister. Lisa. 17. VII. 46”.

In May 1941 Mama sent me and Lisa to Aunt Musia in Moldavia. Her husband and daughter lived in the town of Bershad. This was a Jewish town. At least 80% of the population was Jewish. I was three and a half years old, Lisa was 16.

On 22nd June 1941 the war began. Soon Bershad was occupied by Germans. They sent all Jews of the town to a camp. The camp was a part of the town, but fenced in with barbed wire. It was guarded by Romanian gendarmes. There was one gate and the guards there were armed with automatic guns. Police dogs were running along the fence. My sister, I, Aunt Rosa and her daughter shared a room with a few other families. We slept on the floor cuddling each other.

Lisa worked at the butter creamery. A Romanian guard fell in love with her and allowed her to take some pressed wastes with her. This was our food. In the summer we collected the seeds of some plant, I don’t know which one. We also ate goosefoot and hawthorn. It caused a headache, but that didn’t stop us from eating it. Every now and then there were raids in the streets, and the captives were either shot or sent to death camps. The Romanian guard told Lisa beforehand on what street there was going to be another raid. He saved our lives.

In 1945 the Soviet army liberated us. After the war Lisa was an apprentice at the weaving factory and then became an accountant at the same factory. The time in the camp during the war affected Lisa’s health and she died young, in 1966.

More Photos from Efim Pisarenko

Efim Pisarenko’s Family
      Efim Pisarenko’s sister, Broha Shapiro, and her fellow students
          Efim Pisarenko, his Brother, Misha Pisarenko, and their Neighbours
              Efim Pisarenko (1972)
                  Efim Pisarenko’s Father, Ekusiel Pisarenko
                      Efim Pisarenko with his second wife, Inna Pisarenko, and their son, Ruvim Pisarenko
                          Efim Pisarenko’s older sister, Broha Shapiro, and her school friends
                              Efim Pisarenko’s Mother, Basia Pisarenko