Elizaveta Bershadskaia was born in Chernyatka in 1927. Her father was a barber and was also born in Chernyatka. Her mother was born in Bershad and worked as a seamstress. She had two brothers and a sister. She moved to Bershad at the age of 13, and spent much of the war in the Bershad ghetto. We interviewed her on July 18, 2002 in Bershad.

Other Interviews:

Jewish Professions
Getting Ready For Sabbath
How to Get Food
Our House
Mama's Mamaliga


Bershad, Ukraine

Red Army soldiers liberated Bershad on March 14, 1944. They found approximately ten thousand people alive in the ghetto. One of the survivors was Elizaveta Bershadskaia. In this clip, she describes what she remembers of her liberation, when "ours" arrived, she says referring to the Red Army. The final bombings and destruction that characterized the last days of the war destroyed much of the infrastructure that had managed to survive the years of occupation. The shtetls that were liberated by the Soviet army were very different from those they had left thirty-two months before: factories had been evacuated or destroyed, houses had been leveled by bombs, electrical networks had been disrupted, and power plants had been demolished. Most importantly, the population had been transformed: what had once been largely Jewish shtetls were now mostly Ukrainian villages.