Holocaust survivor dies in a Mariupol cellar cowering from bombs

Holocaust survivor, 91, dies shivering in a Mariupol cellar while cowering from Putin’s bombs 80 years after she evaded Nazis by hiding in a basement in the same city

  • A Holocaust survivor died while sheltering from Russian bombings in Mariupol
  • As the age of 10 in the same city, Vanda Obiedkova hid from Nazis in a basement
  • Her daughter said she asked ‘why is this happening?’ as she lay dying in the cold

Aged 10, Vanda Obiedkova survived Hitler’s Nazis, who were invading Ukraine, by hiding in a basement in Mariupol, though her mother was taken away and executed.

Exactly 81 years later, she died in a basement in the same city, once again hiding from an invading force – Vladimir Putin’s Russian army.

As she lay dying, in the freezing cold, and pleading for water, the Holocaust survivor asked her daughter: ‘Why is this happening?’

Reports say that she was forced to live underground for the last two weeks of her life, as she was ‘ill’, ’emaciated’ and unable to stand up.

Vanda died frightened and confused from the Russian onslaught in the city she loved.

Her family had to risk their lives to bury her, due to the relentless Russian bombing. 

A 91-year-old Holocaust survivor, Vanda Obiedkova,  died in Mariupol basement as Russian shelled the city, 80 years after evading Nazis by hiding in the same city

Vanda Obiedkova pictured with both parents, her mother Maria (Mindel), left, was killed in 1941 by the Nazis when Vanda was 10 years old

The southern port city of Mariupol in Ukraine (pictured), has been heavily shelled by the invading Russian forces

‘Mama didn’t deserve such a death,’ said Obiedkova’s crying daughter, Larissa, through tears, soon after escaping to a safe location.

She died on April 4, but only now has her shocking story emerged.

Larissa had ‘watched helplessly as her mother’s life ebbed away, remaining at her side until the last moment,’ reported Chabad.org.

‘After her mother passed away, Larissa and her husband risked their lives to bury Obiedkova, amid non-stop shelling, in a public park less than a kilometre from the Azov Sea.’

Vanda was born in the city on December 8 1930, and was aged ten when the Nazis stormed the city.

The Jews were rounded up and when her mother was taken away, Vanda evaded the SS by hiding in the basement.

‘She couldn’t scream; that’s what saved her,’ says Larissa.

In October 1941, the Germans executed between 9,000 and 16,000 Jews in ditches on the outskirts of Mariupol – including her mother and the girl’s entire maternal family.

Vanda was later detained but family friends insisted she was Greek, saving her life.

‘Her father, who was not Jewish, then managed to get her checked into a hospital, where she remained until Mariupol was liberated in 1943.’

Obiedkova married in 1954.

At the time Mariupol was known by its Soviet name of Zhdanov.

Vanda Obiedkova during her 1998 interview with the USC Shoah Foundation in which she shared her memories of surviving the Holocaust

Rabbi Mendel Cohen (pictured), Mariupol’s lone rabbi, said the whole of Mariupol has been ‘turned into a cemetery’

‘Mama loved Mariupol, she never wanted to leave,’ said her daughter.

In 1998, she recorded her memories of surviving the Holocaust with the USC Shoah Foundation in 1998.

She received a letter from letter from Steven Spielberg to Vanda, saying:

‘Dear Mrs Obiedkova,

‘By sharing your memories of surviving years of Holocaust, you gave generations a possibility to feel your personal link to history.

‘Your interview will be thoroughly preserved as the important part in the most complete library of recollections, memories ever gathered.

‘In the distant future people will be able to see your faces, listen to your voices, and learn about your destinies.

‘They will be able to listen, and learn, and always remember.

‘With deep respect,

‘Steven Spielberg’

Vanda ‘lived through unimaginable horrors,’ said Mendel Cohen, director of Chabad-Lubavitch of Mariupol and the Ukrainian port city’s lone rabbi.

‘She was a kind, joyous woman, a special person who will forever remain in our hearts….

‘The whole Mariupol has turned into a cemetery.’

Source: Read Full Article