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Eva Gredinger

Vertujeni, Romania

Eva was one of three children born to Jewish parents in Vertujeni, a Bessarabian town that was 90 percent Jewish. Eva attended a public school. Her family was religious, attending synagogue every day. Eva's father made his living as a kosher butcher, preparing chicken according to Jewish dietary laws.

1933-39: In 1936, when Eva was 15 years old, her family moved to Vysoka, where she later got a job as a seamstress. Vysoka was very different from her hometown. There were only about 15 Jewish families in Vysoka and Eva believed that people were less tolerant of Jews. While there were not any fights, tensions ran high.

1940-44: Eva married in 1940, the year the USSR annexed Bessarabia. Her husband was drafted into the Red Army a year later when Germany attacked the USSR. Eva, pregnant, remained in Vysoka and was deported with the town's Jews by the Romanian army, allies of the Germans. The Jews were marched for days without food or water. One day in a forest, the soldiers raped some of the girls. In the Vertujeni transit camp, Eva gave birth on the floor, without a doctor. A week later, during a march to Transnistria, her baby died.

Eva was liberated in 1944 in a labor camp in Transnistria. After the war, she returned to Bessarabia, where she was informed that her husband was missing in action.

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