The Germans came to Zhetyl in June, 1941. My father and his older brother, Dov, were killed with a group of 120 prominent Jews when the Germans first came. The Jews of Zhetyl were put into a ghetto.
When I was 4½ years old, I saw the Germans kill my mother and my 6-month old baby brother, Yechiel, during a mass killing in the beginning of 1942. They were shot into a mass grave. “I have to live with this memory all of my life.”
We were all taken to an old Jewish cemetery for a selection. We were standing in a line. The Germans took twenty of us at a time. From the twenty they selected trades people to live, to go to the right and the others to be killed. My mother pushed me to be with my uncle who worked in a mill. My uncle said I was his daughter.
Afterwards, we went back to the ghetto. I then went to stay with a Christian family for a short while. They were my father’s friends who took care of our farm. At night, my uncle used to come to them to get food. A neighbor discovered that they were hiding a Jewish child. They took me to the Lipiczanski forest to join my sister, brother and uncle.
My uncle, my aunt, my brother Chaim and my sister Riva and I lived for three years in hiding in the forest. We were protected by the Partisans. We lived in an underground bunker. Chaim is now the Chief Rabbi of Berlin, Germany.
My uncle, aunt, their son, and I were in a DP camp in Germany for three years. We then went to Israel in 1949. I married my husband, Sam Biegun, in November, 1954.
I was a student in Israel and later worked for Keren Kayemet, Jewish National Fund for Israel. My sister and brother were living in Canada. In 1959, my husband, our baby daughter Batya and I moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba. After the war, my sister and brother were taken in by sponsors to live in Winnipeg. We later moved to Windsor.