[Cz-L] a bit of (personal) history

From: Lucca Ginsburg <lucca99_at_netvision.net.il>
Date: Sun, 15 Feb 2004 09:02:33 EST
To: czernowitz czernowitz <Czernowitz-L_at_cornell.edu>
Reply-To: lucca99_at_netvision.net.il

I have a very bad relationship with dates and figures in general, but
endeavoring to pass on information, I look things up from time to
After the beginning of World War II against the Red Army, German
units in cooperation with the Rumanian army, entered Czernowitz.
This was precisely on 5th July 1941.
The years that followed were hard to say the least. We were
practically ruled by Nazi's. My mother sewed on yellow stars on coats
and blouses and whatever we had to wear. There was a curfew, no jew
allowed after 5 o'clock on the streets of the city. Children did not
go to school, nor did we have any books available for further
education. Homes remained in the dark after nightfall, lest a ray of
light would be seen from the outside...

One day I looked out from the window of our second floor apartment
and saw my father on the street on his way home. A German soldier
accosted him, they exchanged a few words, then the soldier pulled out
a gun and shot at my father. I started to scream which brought my
mother to the window. We nearly jumped out when common sense won out,
and we ran down the 2 floors to the street. My father as well as the
soldier had disappeared. The street was full of blood, my father's.
An onlooker told us that he had seen an army car drive off.
My mother and I ran to the German Commando, located then at the
famous hotel "Schwarzer Adler" in the hope to find out what happened,
but we were not admitted inside. We spent the whole night in front of
that building when finally at 5 o'clock in the morning my father was
led out by 2 Germans. He had bandages on his head, hands and feet and
was deathly pale.
The Germans brought a car around, we all stepped in and started to ride home.
"Don't mention this to anyone, said one of the Germans, it was just

My father was badly wounded and plagued by nightmares all the rest of
his life. While inside the Commando, it was openly discussed whether
he should be killed or not. One German officer took pity on him.

My father's right hand was incapacitated for the rest of his life and
it was lucky that he was left-handed, otherwise he would never
practice his profession as a dentist again..

Those were terrible years. We were completely cut off from the outer
world, no newspapers, no radio (strictly forbidden) no telephone, no
mail. We did not even know about the concentration camps abroad, and
what was happening to family members and friends! In a way, we were
helpless prisoners. Food was scarce, the winters were brutal, our
future one big interrogation mark...

This period reached its end in 1944, precisely on 22.3. when the Red
Army returned to Czernowitz.
I will tell about this at a later date. Memories are so painful, they
almost cause physical hurt!
Received on 2004-02-15 09:20:36

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