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Singing, Remembering, Sharing

February 22nd, 2022 – Shaul and Yulia (from Shamayim Ptuchim), who sing and play musical instruments, arrived with much love to sing for around 50 Holocaust survivors in Ofakim (at a club that hosts 134 Holocaust survivors, most of whom are evacuation survivors). They played new and well-known music and asked the survivors to sing along.

The elderly were blessed by the music and enjoyed the event, especially at this time when there are limited opportunities for interaction. Many survivors showed up with their medals pinned to the jackets, as the songs always bring with them many cherished memories. Each medal is associated with times and events in their lives that bring on different feelings, sometimes even tears.

One of the survivors of the Holocaust, Rosa Hanin, shared her story: “I was born in Leningrad. When the war started, I was 3. My father was at the front in Leningrad region, defending the city. He was killed in action on April 3, 1942. My younger brother died the same year from starvation. He was only two years old. I was the only one who survived, thanks to my uncle. He worked at a military hospital, and because I was often sick, I was hospitalized there. During one of such hospitalizations, our house was hit directly by a fascist bomb. My mother was sleeping near a wall that, fortunately, was not destroyed, but almost the whole building was, including the staircase. My mother had to be rescued by a crane that took her down from our floor. She was also hospitalized then.

Our building was so damaged that it could not be rebuilt. The municipality turned the area into a playground after the war, and we remained without any shelter. After my mother was discharged from the hospital, we were allocated a room in a shared apartment. There we lived for 900 days utill the siege of Leningrad was lifted.

After the war we, the children of Leningrad siege, were taken to Yevpatoria to recover. There we saw a completely different life. It was very hard to adjust and to believe that there would not be anymore bombings, cold, starvation and dead bodies around. We looked at our childhood with the eyes of grown up people. Out of our large family only I and my mother survived. My grandparents were murdered by the fascists in Vitebsk.

I lived in Leningrad until 1991, when my whole family (husband and two sons with their families) made Aliyah to Israel.”

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