With a throat choked with tears, Luba tries to share and has a hard time freeing herself from the difficult memories. Luba is an 86-year-old Holocaust survivor, currently living alone in a small apartment in Beit Shemesh. Luba was a little girl during World War II, but she remembers every detail about the hardship she had to go through in the Holocaust.
Her life today does not ease her difficult memories of that period. In the Holocaust, Luba was at the beginning of elementary school, 6-years-old. She never got to start first grade as the rest of her friends. Luba’s life story, referring to the Holocaust period, is dire, that whenever she starts talking about that time, her voice trembles.
The words struggle to come out, the eyes fill with tears, the heartbreaking memories stop her from telling, and the crying immediately bursts out of her. She remembers everything, the sights of the Holocaust reflected before her eyes.
“I am Jewish. I came from a Jewish family.” Life in Ukraine was difficult for Jews, known as the persecuted people. “I remember how the Germans started bombing, and my mother and I escaped by train. They crammed women, lots of children, clothes, and anything else they could smuggle into the caravan.” At one moment, the train fell and overturned because of German gunfire. “I remember the rollover of the train well, as a result of which my mother’s sewing machine fell on my feet and left her crippled.” Thus, Luba painfully shares her torturous memories.
Considering that she is disabled and that the Holocaust was over, only when she turned the age of 10 did Luba reach first grade. Luba shares the painful feeling she went through, “They were all little girls and, I’m grown-up but, that’s what it is.” Later in life, Luba continued her studies at a nursing school. She completed her higher education and received a nursing certificate.
31-years-ago Luba immigrated to Israel, and here she underwent five complex leg surgeries. To this day, she walks with the help of a treadmill. Luba lives in sheltered housing on the floor minus one, in a seedy small apartment. Luba consumes medicines that are not in the health basket, so she pays very high sums for them. Hospital visits are routine for her. Due to its complex health condition, it cannot use public transportation. Traveling by private transport costs a lot of money. The round trip from the hospital amounts to about 400 NIS.
In tears, she’s trying to explain: “Loneliness is so hard! If I had a wheelchair, I could go up to the yard to sit with friends, soak up some sun. At my age, it is hard to live alone. Luba’s financial situation requires her to think about what is better to buy. Should she buy medicine or Food? Should she save for a wheelchair she longs for or pays for taxis for the trips to the hospital?
Chasdei Naomi, who assists and supports Holocaust survivors, provided food baskets, shopping vouchers, and, of course, a wheelchair for Luba. Today, Luba can leave her apartment and sit with her friends in the sunny weather, that is, thanks to the wheelchair she received. The Chasdei Naomi organization supports thousands of Holocaust survivors and ensures that their lives after the inferno they went through will be accessible.
The association invites you to donate and be a part of its activities for Holocaust survivors. You can donate at the following link.