Lisa Nussbaum

Lisa Nussbaum

Born: December 25, 1926

Raczki, Poland

Lisa was born to a Jewish family who lived in a town about three miles from the German border. Her family had lived there for generations. Lisa's father exported geese to Germany, and her mother owned a fabric store. The family lived with Lisa's grandmother in a large, single-level, gray stucco house. Lisa attended a small Hebrew school in Raczki.

1933-39: In 1937 I transferred to a public school. One day, in fifth grade during recess, some boys grabbed my long blonde hair. Others joined in and pinned me to a wall. They spread my arms, saying, "We'll crucify you like you crucified Jesus." I cried and told my mother I was afraid to return to school. War began on September 1, 1939. We headed east by horse and buggy. I took along a scrapbook full of my childhood mementos.

1940-44: By 1941 we were in the Slonim ghetto. That year Mother slipped my sister and me out of the ghetto. Hiding in the nearby forest, we stumbled upon a horrible sight--Jews being shot into pits. A forester found us and marched us to the line of those to be killed. We escaped to town, where a Christian woman hid us until the massacre was over. We returned to the ghetto to find Mother had been killed. In 1942 I escaped, and in 1943 joined the Jewish resistance in Vilna and then partisans in the Naroch Forest.

In the summer of 1944, Lisa was liberated when the Soviets took control of the area in which her unit was operating. She immigrated to the United States in 1947.