Interview conducted in 2004 by Ella Levitskaya
Growing up in a religious family in Mogilyov-Podolskiy, Mrs. Leiderman draws a colorful picture of the town in which she has lived almost all her life. Although they were poor, her mother always tried to cook something special for Sabbath. On 22nd June 1941, the latter promised to take the interviewee and her siblings to the cinema, but the war thwarted their plans. They left for Chernovtsy, while her father was summoned to the recruitment office and went to the front. When the Germans started raids and mass shootings there, they returned to Mogilyov-Podolskiy, where a ghetto had already been established. The interviewee managed to sneak out of the ghetto and did cleaning for local housewives in exchange for food that she gave to her mother and siblings. Once she was captured during a raid and about to be taken to Pechora camp, but managed to escape thanks to an old Jew, who bribed a Romanian guard. Aged 14 after the war, she went to work to support her family: she first sold milk and then was a fish vendor at the central market. In 1952 she got married and founded her own family. In spite of all horrors and hardships, she has never lost her optimism. 14 pictures retrace her touching account.
Learn more about Sonia Leiderman here on the Centropa website.