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

1940-44: By 1941 Lisa and her family were in the Slonim ghetto. That year her mother slipped Lisa and her sister out of the ghetto. Hiding in the nearby forest, they stumbled upon a horrible sight--Jews being shot into pits. A forester found them and marched them to the line of those to be killed. They escaped to town, where a Christian woman hid them until the massacre was over. They returned to the ghetto to find their mother had been killed. In 1942 Lisa escaped, and in 1943 she 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.

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