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Dosia Szabszevicz

Lodz, Poland

Dosia, her older sister and parents lived on her grandfather's estate in the town of Ozorkow, eight miles from Lodz. Dosia's parents were secular Jews. They spoke both Polish and Yiddish to each other, but only Polish to their children. Dosia's father worked as an accountant, and her mother was active in organizing charity events for several of Ozorkow's Jewish organizations.

1933-39: A few days after Germany invaded Poland in 1939, I saw the Polish army retreat through Ozorkow, carrying their wounded on wagons and horses. We knew the war had started and that for us Jews there was no choice but to hide. So the whole family gathered at my aunt's house. Looking out through the window blinds we saw the Germans arriving on horses, trucks and motorcycles. They were so happy and triumphant, those young soldiers.

1940-45: In 1942, after my whole family had been forced into the Ozorkow ghetto, my mother, my sister and I were transferred from there to the Lodz ghetto. When my mother came home from work one day feeling ill, we were afraid that, like many others in the ghetto, she'd die. Someone told me that she'd get better by eating a lemon. So my sister and I took half of our weekly bread ration--one loaf--and exchanged it for a lemon. We fed it to my mother, but soon afterwards, she died in my arms.

Dosia was deported to Auschwitz in 1944. She was transferred to a forced-labor camp, and from there to the Bergen-Belsen camp. After the war, Dosia emigrated to Palestine.

 

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