Jocheved Kuzda Kasher

Born: January 30, 1930

Lodz, Poland

Jocheved, or Jadza as she was called at home, was born in the industrial city of Lodz, Poland's second-largest city. Before the war, one-third of Lodz's inhabitants were Jewish. The Kuzdas kept a traditional Jewish home and placed importance on their children's education. Jocheved had two older sisters, Sarah and Regina.

1933-39: Jocheved was 9 when the war broke out in September 1939. Instead of starting school, she stayed at home listening to the bombs exploding. Her father and sister tried to get to Warsaw, hoping that it would be safer than Lodz. But Warsaw was also being bombed, so they returned home. She was happy that at least her family was reunited.

1940-45: In 1940 the Nazis set up a ghetto in Lodz. After four years there, Jocheved and Regina were deported, via Auschwitz, to a munitions factory in Germany. Then they were force-marched to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where Regina died. On liberation day Jocheved was sitting on her bunk. With Allied troops near, the Nazis began shooting in the air. A stray bullet hit her in the foot. She was so exhausted that all she could think of was getting something to drink, but there were rumors that the Nazis had poisoned the water.

Jocheved was 15 years old when the war ended. She immigrated to Palestine with a group of orphans from Bergen-Belsen.