On the 28th of Feb I received your letter and for that I am very much thankful to you!
I was born in 1925 in Kaunas. There I lived with my family. My mother died when I was 8 years old. I also had brothers. But they were shot at the start of the war. Before the war started I lived in my town [Mariampol]. As soon as the war started in 1941, I escaped deep into Russia. That’s how I survived that war. And returned from Russia in 1959. This was my life and that is how I survived.
The fate of the Jew who were left in Mariampol was terrible. Those who did not save themselves were all shot. And were all put in one grave. All together, children, men, women and elders. Everybody was undressed, naked, and shot. Then the hole was covered with lime. Those who witnessed this told us that after that, for 3 days, the earth in this grave was raising up and down and there was moaning coming out of the grave. On that place there is a monument for all the victims. There were more than 8000 people in this mass grave. This is the fate of the Jews of my town.
After the war, very few Jews returned to my town, but none of them were local. Today in my town there are only 6 Jews remaining. Such was the Jewish fate.
Such us our history.
NOTE: Mera is the last Jew living in Mariampol who was born and raised there. She cares for her severely handicapped daughter with the benefit of any social services or medical assistance.