Oral History

Nina Kaleska describes the formation of the ghettos in Grodno

Nina and her family were confined in a ghetto after the Germans entered Grodno in 1941. Her parents and then her sister perished after deportation to the Auschwitz concentration camp. Nina survived in the camp for two years. As the Soviet army advanced in 1945, Nina and other inmates from the camp were transferred first to the Ravensbrueck camp in Germany and then to the Retzof-am-Richlin camp. Nina was liberated in May 1945, during a forced march from the camp.


They had two ghettos in in Grodno. The upper ghetto and the ghetto in..not very far from where we lived. And very shortly the entire, the entire Jewish population of Grodno was being uprooted from their home. And that I remember very distinctly and with great pain. We had some beautiful china. We had a very lovely home. Wasn't rich but it was beautiful. The Germans would come in and simply at the whim of a wisp, just like that [snaps fingers], remove the most beautiful china and just throw it against a wall to break it, for fun, and started to taunt and tease. And you didn't really have to be old or young to recognize that this was the devil in the flesh.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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