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Alexander Bernstein

Karchai, Lithuania

Alexander was one of six children born to a Jewish family in the Lithuanian village of Karchai. His father was a farmer. In nearby Janova, Alexander attended public school and also studied Hebrew and Jewish history in a religious school. In 1925 Alexander moved to Siauliai to attend secondary school. He lived there with his older sister.

1933-39: Alexander enrolled in university in Kovno, and entered the pharmacology department. After completing his degree, he returned to Siauliai and took a job in a pharmacy on Vilnius Street. In 1939 Alexander married Jocheved Todress. Later that same year, Germany invaded Poland. Lithuania, at the time, was still a free nation.

 

 

 

1940-44: In 1940 the Soviets annexed Lithuania. A year later German troops took Siauliai and moved the city's Jews, including Alexander and his wife, into ghettos. Alexander was one of the very few pharmacists in the ghetto. Alexander and his wife were placed on the last transport out of Siauliai in July 1944. They were deported to several camps, but managed to stay together. However, at Kaiserwald, near Riga, Alexander and Jocheved were separated and sent to different camps.

In the spring of 1945, Alexander died in the Brabag-Schwarzheide camp from sickness brought on by starvation; he was 34. His wife, Jocheved, was never heard from again.

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