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Oral history interview with Liza Aurutin

Oral History | Accession Number: 1999.A.0122.48 | RG Number: RG-50.477.0048

Liza Avrutin, born in 1930 in Odessa, Ukraine, describes her big family, which consisted of nine brothers and sisters; how even though her family was not very religious, Liza remembers various religious traditions such as all of the kids saying a Shabbat wish in front of the candles; her mother’s reluctance to leave before the Nazi occupation; her uncle’s evacuation to Tashkent where he and his family survived the Holocaust; the Nazi occupation in October 1941 and the summoning of Jewish residents on December 22; being taken with other Jewish residents to Slobodka (a section of Odessa) where they spent three months; a pogrom in Odessa on October 23-24, 1941 in which much of the remaining Jewish population was murdered; being sent with her family on cattle trains to Vaselinivska; the train journey, during which many passengers died including her father and her four-year-old brother, Boris; her mother’s psychological reaction to their deaths and her eventual death; being taken to Vasnisenska (Voznesensk, Ukraine), where they were sorted and sent to different places; being sent to Babini Balki in Krivoruchka, Ukraine; the lack of food and the death of many of the imprisoned people from starvation; the arrival of the Russians, who murdered all the civilians; being one of two survivors (Rosa Lifchitza also survived) who were rescued by the nearby villagers; waking up in Nadia Zhigalovna’s house with a bullet wound on the top of her head; hiding her Jewish identity by saying her name was “Lida” not “Liza”; changing her name to Valentina Ivanovna Panchivka; her life in the village and the sacrifices her new mother made for her; living with Nadia and her family until 1947; staying in close contact with the family that rescued her; getting married and immigrated to the United States; and changing her name back to Liza when she became a US citizen.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Aurutin, Liza
interview:  1992 May 20
1 videocassette (SVHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Jewish Family and Children's Services of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 20:13:09
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