Rescued Jewish Children

Irena Aronovsky-Voschina-Savir

Father Hoped for a Good Outcome

Irena Aronovsky-Voschina-Savir

From: Smuggled in Potato Sacks
Fifty Stories of the Hidden Children of the Kaunas Ghetto

Solomon Abramovich
and Yakov Zilberg

My mother, Gabriella (Ela) née Sobovska, and father, Leon (Liolya) Aronovsky, were married just before the war. In the ghetto, my parents shared a flat with the Zupovichs. My mother became pregnant, but courageously, she refused to comply with Gestapo orders to have an abortion. I was delivered on 31 August 1942 by Dr Shlomo Aleksandr Nabrisky in very difficult circumstances. Later, Dr Nabrisky was to become the director of the maternity hospital in Kfar-Saba, Israel
I remember my mother telling many stories about these terrible times: there was no food, no bread and certainly no food for babies. I was fortunate to feed on my mother’s breast milk for a few months. When the Germans entered our house, she would hide me under the bed. Thankfully, I did not c
At the end of 1943, my father, who was in the Jewish police, heard about a planned ‘Children’s Action’. He decided that it was time for my mother to escape with me. One day, he arranged hat the Jewish policemen would create a commotion; the Germans went to investigate what had happened. At that moment my mother ran out through the ghetto gates with me hidden in her coat. A Lithuanian family hid us in their village. I still have letters that my father wrote to my mother, about his hope for a good outcome, but it was not to be: Father was murdered at the Ninth Fort for refusing to disclose the location of hiding places in the ghetto.
My mother survived the war. She married Dr Baruch (Boria) Voshchin, who had escaped from the ghetto and was hidden by Lithuanians together with Dr Nabrisky. My grandparents and my uncle and aunt were burnt alive in their hiding places, when the Germans liquidated the ghetto. From all our extended family only two of my uncles survived, having left Kaunas before the war.
In 1969 I came to visit my uncle Abrasha in England. I did not return to Lithuania, but left for Israel. My mother came to Israel with Boria in 1972. He died in a car accident in 1976. My mother passed away in 1984 at the age of 75, when my twins were 11 years old. Until retirement I worked as an anaesthesiologist and was director of the obstetric anaesthesiology unit in Kaplan hospital in Rehovot, Israel.

Rehovot, Israel, 2008

First published in 2011 by Vallentine Mitchell
London, Portland, OR

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