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Group portrait of the Betar Zionist youth group in the Eschwege displaced persons' camp.

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 59810

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    Group portrait of the Betar Zionist youth group in the Eschwege displaced persons' camp.
    Group portrait of the Betar Zionist youth group in the Eschwege displaced persons' camp.

    Overview

    Caption
    Group portrait of the Betar Zionist youth group in the Eschwege displaced persons' camp.
    Date
    1948
    Locale
    Eschwege, [Hesse-Nassau; Kassel] Germany
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Lola and Walter Kaufman

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Lola and Walter Kaufman
    Source Record ID: Collections: 2002.54.1

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Biography
    Lola Kaufman (born Lea Rein) is the daughter of Yidl Yehuda Rein and Dwojre Aschkenase Rein. She was born October 4, 1934 in Czortkow, Poland, where her father was an upholsterer. The family lived together with Dworjre's parents, Nachman and Ekke Aschkenase, who owned a tinsmith shop in the center of town. After the Soviets took over eastern Poland in 1939, the family business was nationalized. Deprived of their source of income, Yidl found employment as a baker. When the Germans invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, hundreds of young Jews fled the area. Itcie and Gedalia Aschkenase, Lola's maternal uncles, were inducted into the Soviet army. The Germans occupied Czortkow on July 6, 1941 and four days later, some 200 Jews were killed in a pogrom, and an additional 300 Jews were killed in the prison courtyard in August. Yidl Rein died in the ghetto in the summer 1942. During the mass action that took place in the ghetto on August 28, 1942, 2,000 Jews were rounded up and sent to the Belzec death camp. Another 500 children, sick and elderly persons were shot in Czortkow itself. Dwojre, her mother and Lola evaded the deportation by hiding in the ghetto. Dwojre, who was employed as a cleaning woman for the Germans had a special permit to leave the ghetto. On Purim day, February 19, 1943, a German soldier shot and killed her, her cousin and two other Jewish women. After her daughter's death, Ekke initiated contact with a Ukrainian woman, Zacharchuk, who delivered milk to the family before the war and arranged for her to hide Lola. Lola, wearing a dress sewn and embroidered by her mother, sneaked out of the ghetto and hid under a bridge on the Seret River, where she waited for her rescuer. Mrs. Zacharchuk hid Lola for two or three months under a bed until her son-in-law ordered Lola out of the house. In the middle of the night, she brought Lola to her sister in a nearby village. Lola was placed in a dugout under a cellar of a barn where she joined three other Jews who were hiding there. Food and space were extremely limited and Lola's only occupation was killing lice. Six months later, in March 1944, the Soviets liberated the area. The hidden Jews left their hideout in the middle of the night so the rescuer's son and neighbors would not know they were there. Though approximately 100 Czortkow Jews managed to survive in hiding, none offered to care for eight-year-old Lola. She joined a crowd of refugees walking eastwards, but after a while she passed out from exhaustion. A Soviet Jewish soldier took Lola to the military barracks and fed her, but after the army moved on a few days later, Lola had to beg for food again. Another Soviet soldier took Lola to Gricev, some 50 miles NE of Czortkow, where a Jewish man, Sergey and he wife Dora took her in. Lola spent a year with them until her maternal uncle, Gedalia, who at that time was living in Lvov, found her after an extensive search. Gedalia had lost his wife and daughter during the war. He remarried in Lvov and took care of Lola. In fall of 1945 Gedalia and his new family left Poland and crossed into Germany, where they settled in the Eschwege displaced persons camp. Three years later they immigrated to the U.S. Lola met her future husband and fellow survivor, Walter Kaufman, in 1951, and the two were married on May 2, 1953.
    Record last modified:
    2008-09-03 00:00:00
    This page:
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