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Studio portrait of two Jewish friends in Goloby, Poland.

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 29164

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    Studio portrait of two Jewish friends in Goloby, Poland.
    Studio portrait of two Jewish friends in Goloby, Poland.

Pictured are Lifsha Kuris and a friend.


    Studio portrait of two Jewish friends in Goloby, Poland.

    Pictured are Lifsha Kuris and a friend.
    Circa 1940 - 1941
    Goloby, [Wolyn] Poland
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Marsha Leikach Tishler

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Marsha Leikach Tishler

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Masha Leikach (now Marsha Tishler) is the daughter of Motel and Zelda Leikach. She was born on May 20, 1942 in Goloby, near Kowel, Poland. Her father was a cattle dealer, and her mother worked in the family's general store. The town was under Soviet control from September 1939 until the German invasion in June 1941. After the Germans took control of Goloby, they established an open ghetto. In August 1942, when Masha was only three months old, the family fled to a nearby forest. Motel left Masha at a farmhouse outside the village of Majdan along with a note saying that she was the child of an unwed Polish mother. The town elder recognized the infant's blanket and immediately knew her identity. However, he kept it secret and placed the child in hiding with his sister and brother-in-law, Vasilina and Aleksander Yarmolyuk, who had no children of their own. Assuming her own parents had been killed, they adopted Masha and baptized her Maria.

    Most of Masha's extended family perished during the liquidation of the Goloby ghetto. Motel and Zelda managed to survive by hiding in the forests and were liberated by the Red Army in late 1944. Masha was then severely ill and near death. Upon learning that Motel and Zelda were alive, the Yarmolyuks contacted them to ask if they wanted to see their child one last time. When they arrived to see Masha, Zelda suggested that she and Vasilina seek medical attention for the child from a Russian hospital unit nearby. The medicine they procured, indeed, saved the child's life. Shortly afterwards, Motel was conscripted by the Soviets for a labor battalion, but Zelda came again to see her child. The Yarmolyuks were preparing to flee from the front and asked Zelda to help look after Masha while they gathered their belongings. Instead, Zelda fled with the baby. Aleksander found her, and he and his wife contacted a judge. Learning that they had no legal claim to the child, they agreed to let Zelda and Motel keep the baby. Zelda offered the Yarmolyuks the opportunity to leave Poland with them as honorary grandparents. Though tempted, the Yarmolyuks decided to remain in their home, now part of Ukraine. The two families remained in touch until the deaths of Aleksander (1960's) and Vasilina (1979).

    The Leikach family left Goloby and made their way to Italy with the help of the Bricha. They lived for four years in DP centers in Cremona and Trani. While in Cremona, Motel worked at an ORT warehouse. Zelda gave birth to a second child, Kalman Isaac on March 8, 1949, and in November of that year, the Leikach family immigrated to the United States and settled in Baltimore. In 1990, Yad Vashem honored Aleksander and Vasilina Yarmolyuk as Righteous Among the Nations.
    Record last modified:
    2004-03-09 00:00:00
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