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Oral history interview with Liza Avrutin

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

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    Oral history interview with Liza Avrutin


    Interview Summary
    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.
    Liza Avrutin
    interview:  1992 May 20
    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

    Physical Details

    1 videocassette (SVHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Personal Name
    Aurutin, Liza, 1930-

    Administrative Notes

    The Bay Area Holocaust Oral History Project conducted the interview with Liza Aurutin on May 20, 1992. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum received the tape of the interview from the Bay Area Holocaust Oral History Project in December 1999.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this oral history interview has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 08:43:34
    This page:

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