Anna – Kherson, Ukraine

I received your letter from Nov 2, 2004 and everything was delivered intact. I am very grateful to you for your help…

My parents, my grandfathers and grandmothers all were born in Ukraine. More than 200 years ago, my great grandparents moved to Kherson, Ukraine (a province) from Lithuania. My parents were peasants (from peasant stock).

I was born and grew up in a Shtetl. That’s where I graduated from Jewish school and Jewish pedagogical school. I worked [as a teacher] for 35 years. In 1938, I got married and 1939 I brought into God’s world a son. Now he is almost 67 years old. When in 1941 the Great Patriotic War started, my husband was drafted into the army and sent to the front, and on the Feb 2 1942 he was killed defending Leningrad.

On Aug 12, 1941 we had to flee from the Nazis because they were moving very fast towards us. Our father gathered all of us (there were 4 sisters-hree of them have already died and I am left alone.) We had to cross the Dneiper River, the Don, and the Volga-three big rivers. All those who did not move with us died. From my village, on Sept 16 1941, in one day, 1785 were shot. We had a big Jewish region and in total in this region the Nazis killed 15,000 people. In the village of Bobrovy Kut, and other villages, the Nazis threw live people into the wells. In our region there were 34 Shtetls. And that kind of fate met all those who could not leave like us on foot trying to save themselves from the Nazis.

Every year on the day of the anniversary of the people who died we gather to give our respects to the memory of our relatives and those who were close to us. In that mass grave, there lie 3 of my aunts, two cousins (males) and 3 female cousins. Such is my short biography…

I congratulate you with the coming of the New Year, health and happiness to you for many years.

Anna

Anna - Kherson, Ukraine December 2, 2004

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