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The following is an extract from the translation of a letter from Vorne resident Rosa Olshvang to her uncle in South Africa. The full article can be found at

As soon as the War started, the Germans occupied Vorne within three days. The terrifying times started for us immediately. The stetl was burnt down and we were all taken away to Telshe to a concentration camp. There we suffered hunger and filth - you cannot imagine how terrible the people there looked. Afterwards there began even more terrible days, they began to shoot people every day. My father, Uncle Avram and Aunt Pesia's husband were shot dead on 15 July 1941 and the women and children they left to suffer for a further short time in the camp.

On 28 August 1941 they took us (the women and children) to be shot standing at the pit. At the time of the shooting my aunt, my mother's sister, and I succeeded in running away. My mother, Aunt Pesia and the children had already been shot dead. They used to order 10 to 20 people to undress and go to the pit and then threw grenades or shot with automatic rifles/machine guns. Somehow we ran away. A frightening time then started for us......many a time we regretted as to why we had run from the pits; better to have succumbed together with everyone rather than suffer so much..... Immediately the Russians freed Lithuania (July 1944) we came to live in Laukuva as my aunt was a Laukuver. We thought that perhaps we would find something there of my aunt's possessions. We found nothing there and also no Jews either.

Compiled by Paul Seftel
( from 2015

Copyright © 2016 Paul Seftel

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