Sokolow Podlaski, Poland
Itka was raised in a Yiddish-speaking, religious Jewish family in Sokolow Podlaski, a manufacturing town in central Poland with a large Jewish population of about 5,000. Itka came from a poor family. After completing her public schooling in Sokolow Podlaski at the age of 14, she began to work.
1933-39: Itka was a young woman, unmarried and living with her parents when war between Germany and Poland broke out on September 1, 1939. German aircraft bombed Sokolow Podlaski's market and other civilian targets before victorious German troops entered the town on September 20. Three days later, the Germans set fire to the town's main synagogue and looted the Jewish community.
1940-42: Over the next two years, the Germans imposed restrictions on the Jews, eventually ordering them to wear an identifying Jewish star on their clothing. On September 28, 1941, the Germans set up a ghetto and Itka and her family were among the 4,000 Jews concentrated there. About a year later, on the most solemn holiday of the Jewish religion, the Day of Atonement, the Germans began to round up the people in the ghetto. Those who resisted or tried to hide were shot. Itka and her family were herded into a railroad boxcar.
On September 22, 1942, Itka and her family were deported to the Treblinka killing center, where they perished. She was 25 when she died.