91-year-old Holocaust survivor dies in Mariupol

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As a child, Wanda survived the Nazi roundup by hiding in a cellar. Of all places, it was in a cellar that the Ukrainian woman died 81 years later.

A 91-year-old Holocaust survivor has died in the heavily contested south-eastern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, according to the Jewish community.

"At the age of ten, Wanda Semyonova Obyedkova survived the Germans by hiding in a basement in Mariupol. 81 years later, she died in a basement in the same city while hiding from the Russians as a result of the terrible war," the Auschwitz Museum announced on its Twitter channel. News of the woman's death went viral on social media on Wednesday.

According to the report, Obyedkova had already died on 4 April. Her daughter Larissa reported that she and her husband had subsequently had to bury the 91-year-old in a city park while the city was being bombed. The couple was then able to flee Mariupol. Much of the news from the city is delayed because there is no internet and rescued people cannot communicate with the outside world until they are in a safe place.

Obyedkova was born in Mariupol on 8 December 1930 and was ten when the SS rounded up the local Jewish population to murder them on the outskirts of the city after the Wehrmacht invaded Mariupol. It is estimated that between 9,000 and 16,000 Jews were killed, including Objedkova's mother.

Little Wanda survived the Nazi roundup by hiding in a cellar. When she was discovered later, friends of the family were able to convince the SS that the girl was of Greek descent. The child was thus saved from execution


Bruce Jacobs

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