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Sura, the youngest daughter of Hershel and Fay Andrezejko, grew up on a farm in rural Poland. She lived in a small village, where the entire population was Jewish. Outside the village, the non-Jewish peasants were often hostile to the Jews.
Sura's older brother, Mordechai, left the village in 1938 for the United States. Sura remained in the village with her grandfather, parents, and older sister.
Sura's village, in the Bialystok region, was taken over by the Russians in 1939. Their lives were disrupted, causing much hardship, but no news about the mass exterminations carried out by the Germans in Poland, was permitted by the Russians. The Germans invaded Stawiski in July 1941, and immediately massacred most of its residents. Sura and her family were trapped.
German killing squads, called Einsatzgruppen, continued to massacre Jews in surrounding towns. The Nazis murdered more than 20,000 Jews during the first two months of the German invasion. On November 2, 1942, one of the most carefully organized and intensive round-ups of the war took place.
Sura and her family were hunted down by the Germans. They were taken, along with all the remaining Jews in the surrounding villages, to a military camp.
In January 1943, the entire camp, with its 20,000 inmates, was forced into sealed cattle cars. The Jews were taken to the Auschwitz death camp where they were murdered in the gas chambers. Sura was fifteen years old.