“What use is it?” she responds. “How old do you think I am?”
“We left Odessa for Kazakhstan on one of the last two ships. I was just 11. We watched the Nazi’s bomb the other ship right out of the sea. It was a nightmare. We just as well could have been on the other ship, and I wouldn’t be here to tell the story.
“It was in Kazakhstan that I met my husband, in 1948. He was 20. I was 18. After the war, we moved back to his hometown, Rostov. I’ve been here ever since.
“In a few years, I’ll be 90,” says Shaindel. Tears appear in her eyes as she continues. “Five years ago I lost my husband. We were together for 63 years. I never thought that he’d go first.”
“My grandfather, Yeshaya, was a Rabbi. When I think of my ancestors and I think of my descendants, I realize that nothing is left of our heritage and it breaks my heart.”