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Golda (Olga) Bancic

Chisinau, Romania

Olga was born to a large Jewish family living in the Bessarabia province when it was still part of the Russian Empire. In 1918 the province was annexed by Romania. When Olga was 12 years old, she was arrested for the first time for having participated in a strike at the mattress factory where she worked. Despite her youth, she was put in prison and beaten.

1933-39: Olga was an active and vocal member of the local workers' organization. She had been arrested and imprisoned so often that she simply considered it an occupational hazard. In 1938 she travelled to France where she worked with French leftists, helping to ferry arms to the Spanish Republicans in their fight against fascism. Just before the Germans invaded Poland in 1939, she gave birth to a little girl, Dolores.

Europe 1933, Romania indicated
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1940-44: France fell to the German army in 1940. Olga found a French family to keep her daughter safe, and joined the armed resistance group, Franc-Tireurs et Partisans, to fight the Germans. She assembled bombs and helped transport explosives used to derail German troop and supply trains. On November 6, 1943, she was arrested during a Gestapo roundup. She was tortured but revealed no information. Even after she was condemned to death, they continued to interrogate and torture her.

Olga was transferred to a prison in Stuttgart where she was re-tried and again condemned to death. On May 10, 1944, her 32nd birthday, Olga was beheaded.

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