Assia Levinski

Born 1928 - Kazlu-Ruda, Lithuania

Assia, the daughter of Leon and Chaja Levinski, lived with her parents and younger brother Monia in a small village in Lithuania. Assia's father was a lumber dealer. Assia was a member of a large, loving, close-knit extended family. Her grandparents lived on a large farm a few miles outside of town. Both of her parents had attended high school in Marijampole, the closest city. Marijampole's 2,545 Jews earned their livelihood from trading in agricultural produce and from small industry. The Jews of Marijampole established the first Hebrew high school in Lithuania. A small farm which trained youth interested in pioneering in Palestine was established outside the city.

Assia was a thirteen year-old schoolgirl in the summer of 1941, when the Germans invaded Lithuania. Assia and her family were forced to leave their home. Along with all the Jews of the surrounding area, they were confined to an overcrowded, sealed-off ghetto in Marijampole. Over 7,000 people endured great hardship. There was inadequate food, medicine, and sanitation.

At the beginning of September 1941,Jews were forced to leave the ghetto. In groups of 500, they were marched by members the Einsatzgruppen, special mobile killing squads, and their Lithuanian collaborators, a few miles outside the city. Anyone trying to escape was immediately shot. Forced to stand along already prepared ditches, they were massacred. Assia was thirteen years old.

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