“Maybe, maybe the storm will pass over us and not touch us…”
In 1941, the “non-aggression” agreement between Germany and the Soviet Union (known as the Malenkov-Ribbentrop Pact) came to an end after just two years. The pact had allowed both countries to carve out spheres of influence in Europe and gave each a free hand to each to carry out their conquests — until Hitler, having bought the time he needed, launched an invasion against his “ally.”
Some in Orheyev (Orhei), Moldova hoped for the impossible, that the onslaught they feared might not come, but for most, it was a debate between fleeing for their lives or, at least, dying in their own beds.
But for those determined to flee, the unhappy question was summed up in the title of this chapter of Orheyev’s Yizkor book: “Where Does One Run to ?!”
Riva Milshteyn-Rozenfeld’s account describes the attempts to get somewhere to safety that met obstacles at almost every turn. Her journeys with her children were marked by exhaustion, hunger and misery.
“The best and the richest pages from my life story were torn away…and a new leaf, a leaf with inhuman humiliation, from indescribable bitter hunger, hardship and mental anguish and rivers of tears…the page from…homelessness taking shape in my heart.”
Silver Spring, MD
Researching: DRACH, EBERT, KIMMEL, ZLOTNICK
Towns: Wojnilow, Kovel