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Machla Weiner

Vachnovka, Ukraine

Machla was one of six children born to the Sandlers, a Jewish family in the Ukrainian village of Vachnovka. In 1912 Machla married Isaac Weiner, and by the late 1920s they had four sons and two daughters. Their oldest son died of scarlet fever in 1927. Hoping to find employment, Machla's husband moved the family in 1929 to the nearby city of Vinnitsa, which by then was part of the Soviet Union.

1933-39: In the early 1930s a severe famine swept the area. Machla's family survived, but times were hard. Isaac was a cattle driver before 1917, but in Vinnitsa he worked collecting taxes levied on merchants displaying their wares in the city's market square. He was also employed as a night watchman.

1940-41: In June 1941 Germany invaded the Soviet Union. The people of Vinnitsa panicked: Many thought the city was doomed. Isaac and Machla were sure that the Germans would be stopped at the border. Still, to be safe, they tried to get their children onto a train to the east. However, train passes were only being issued to relatives of Red Army officers and communists. One of these people offered their oldest daughter, Frida, a pass. As her train departed, Isaac threw his son, Moishe, on board.

Isaac, Machla, and their daughter Yeva remained. Machla was killed on September 19, 1941, in a mass killing near Vinnitsa. Isaac and Yeva were killed on April 16, 1942.

 

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