SynopsisRebeka P. was born in Bender, Romania [now Moldova] in approximately 1918. She recalls growing up in Chișinău. She describes her family. She describes the Jewish community. She describes her early education. She recalls increasing antisemitism starting in 1933. She describes the Soviet occupation. She recalls how her father’s business was confiscated. Rebeka intended to go to university at this time but instead took a job in the agricultural department. She recalls people being taken for forced labour. She explains how Romania allied with Germany and talks about bombardments of the city. She describes her escape with her parents and brother by train going east into Russia. She describes German planes bombing them and injuring her father. She describes reuniting with her mother in Almaty. She describes moving to Dzhambul [now Taraz] for her mother’s health and joining other Jewish refugees from Poland. She describes meeting her husband and marriage. She explains buying food on the black market and bartering. She recalls her brother’s mobilization to work in coalmines. She describes finding work in an office. She recalls the conditions in the town and describes the Jewish community. She recounts her brother’s enlistment into the Russian military. She describes how she learned that the war was ending. She describes having her first child and registering her family as Polish citizens. She recalls her mother’s refusal to leave. She describes antisemitic harassment upon returning to Poland. She recalls crossing into the US zone in Germany. She describes living in Schwarzwald then the Kassel Displaced Persons camp. She recalls her fear of leaving the barracks and interacting with German civilians. She describes their immigration to Canada with the assistance of her husband’s relatives. She describes visiting her brother after the war and difficulties communicating with family in the Soviet Union. She reflects on her survival and luck.
RightsVancouver Holocaust Centre Society for Education and Remembrance | Holocaust Documentation Project | The University of British Columbia | Consent to Record and Retain Records on file
NoteTestimony was simultaneously recorded on video and audio cassette.