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Irina Bainova

Alexander Litin

Vladimir Kogan

Svetlana Karneyeva

Victor Martinkov

Victor Artemiev

Lora Denisova

Irina Bainova


There lived a family in prewar Leningrad – the Shneidermans: mother Sonia, father Lazar and daughter Vilia. In the summer of 1941 mother, together with her 3-year-old daughter, went to Shklov, Mogilev region, to visit her parents. The meeting of the little girl with her grandparents was not long… The war crossed everything out. The mother, grandfather and grandmother were killed. At first, the girl was sheltered by a neighbor. However, later the neighbor thought: “What will happen to my own children if the Nazis find out I am sheltering a Jew?”

The woman took the little girl by the hand and brought her to a forest. There she built a hut, left some food for the girl and left. No one knows how long the girl lived in that hut – she did not know how to count days or hours. An old woman found her there and took her home. However, she was very poor and could not even provide enough food for herself.

Little Vilia was lucky again - she was given shelter by the Kolossovsky family. She was brought up by their 17-year-old daughter Zina. The Kolossovskys became her second family, even though they were aware their own lives were at risk.

Soon a German officer settled in the house together with the family. He did not know who the girl was – played with her and gave her sweets. Then a neighbor, a woman, came to the house and told him: “Why are you playing with her? She is a Jew!” The German officer just threw the old witch out of the house. She probably had given away many Jews and was later found hanged in the forest…

The war continued. Zina got married and gave birth to son, Shurik. The war was coming to its end. It was time for Vilia to go to school. So Zina took her to a market in Shklov to buy her some clothes. There Zina met an acquaintance of hers, who said the girl looked familiar to her. It turned out, the woman knew Vilia’s family and she had their address in Leningrad.

Soon Vilia’s father, who had fought in the war, came to pick the girl up. They left for Leningrad. She grew up, received education, got married and gave birth to two children. All these years she remembered Zina and her family, who saved her life risking their own. All the years she kept in touch with them. Soon Vilia decided to immigrate to Israel.

The first thing she did in Israel was to contact the Yad Vashem museum in Jerusalem. Zina and her family were awarded the title of “The righteous of the nations”. Unfortunately, Zina did not live until that moment. However, her husband Peter Milto came to Israel and planted a tree on the alley of the Righteous of the Nations, where each tree has its own name. Peter is no longer alive now… But a small red-headed girl Katy is playing near her house in Arad – she looks just like her grandmother in her childhood years.

Jewish settlements in Mogilev region

MogilevAntonovkaBatsevichiBelynichiBelynkovichiBobruiskByhovChausyCherikov Dashkovka DribinEsmonyGluskGolovchinGorki GoryGrozdianka Hotimsk KirovskKlichev KonohovkaKostukovichi KrichevKruchaKrugloye Lenino LubonichiMartinovka MoliatichiMstislavlNaprasnovkaOsipovichi RodniaRudkovschina SamotevichiSapezhinkaSeletsShamovoShepelevichiShklovSlavgorodStaroselieSukhariSvislochVereschaki ZaverezhieZhilichi

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