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Chinka Schwarzbard Felman

Ostrow Mazowiecka, Poland

One of six children, Chinka was raised in a Yiddish-speaking, religious Jewish family in the town of Ostrow Mazowiecka, where her father was a wine maker. In 1910 she married Ephraim Isaac Felman, and a few years later the couple moved to Sokolow Podlaski, where Chinka helped her husband run a grain business. The Felmans had seven children, two of whom died in infancy.

1933-39: Chinka's husband died in 1935, and she took over the grain business with the help of her children. That same year, her oldest daughter emigrated to Palestine. When the Germans attacked Poland on September 1, 1939, her son Fischel left to serve in the Polish army. On September 20, German troops entered the town and soon after, set the main synagogue on fire. In November her son, Mendel, fled to Soviet-occupied Bialystok.

1940-42: Chinka remained with her two youngest children, 17-year-old Sarah and 14-year-old Moishe. The Germans had confiscated the family's grain business. On September 28, 1941, the Germans set up a ghetto and concentrated the town's Jews there. About a year later, on the most solemn holiday of the Jewish religion, the Day of Atonement, the Germans began to round up the people in the ghetto. Those who resisted or tried to hide were shot. Chinka, Sarah and Moishe were herded onto the boxcar of a train.

On September 22, 1942, Chinka, Sarah and Moishe were deported to the Treblinka extermination camp. They were gassed shortly after arriving.


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