November 11, 1909Born

Born in Šaukėnai (Shukyan), Lithuania

Born in Šaukėnai (Shukyan), Lithuania

Aryeh was born to a relatively wealthy family in Shukyan.  The family owned the town lumber mill, a nice home and a fish pond.

June 15, 1940

Soviet occupation of Lithuania

Soviet occupation of Lithuania

On June 15, 1940 the Soviets occupied Lithuania and annexed Lithuania in August of 1941.

June 22, 1941

German invasion of Lithuania

German invasion of Lithuania

Operation Barbarossa, the Axis attack on the Soviet Union included an attack into Soviet occupied Lithuania.

July 25 - July 28, 1941

Shukyan Jews confronted

  • July 25 – Lithuanians demand 50,000 rubles in 24 hours or Jews expelled
  • July 27 – Rounded up in synagogue and sent to farm
  • July 28 – Massacre of 400+ Jews in forest 5km out of town
August 1941

All Jews from Shukyan sent to Žagarė Ghetto

All Jews from Shukyan sent to Žagarė Ghetto

All remaining Jews from Shukyan and surrounding towns are rounded up from the farms where they were working to Žagarė where they are settled in the ghetto.

September 1941

Escapes from ghetto

Escapes from ghetto

Aryeh escapes from ghetto along with approximately a dozen others and finds refuge in the forest around Shukyan, sending food and care packages back to the Žagarė ghetto.

September 1941

Jews that are in hiding convert

Jews that are in hiding convert

Most of the Jews in hiding around Shukyan are convinced to convert by the local Catholic Priest who promises to not identify them to the German occupiers.

October 2, 1941

All Jews in Žagarė ghetto are massacred

All Jews in Žagarė ghetto are massacred

About 3,000 Jewish men, woman and children are massacred in the town square.

November 1, 1941All Saints Day

Germans arrive in Šaukėnai looking for Jews

Germans arrive in Šaukėnai looking for Jews
  • Aryeh escapes into the forest ahead of the Germans looking for Jews
  • All the Jews that had converted are executed and buried in the Catholic cemetary
Early November 1941

Arrives at Šiauliai (Shavli) Ghetto

Arrives at Šiauliai (Shavli) Ghetto

Aryeh arrives at the Shavli Ghetto along with two others from his village of Shukyan.

He receives a job at the Frankel leather factory (outside of the ghetto walls).

November 5, 1943

Šiauliai (Shavli) Ghetto Massacre

Šiauliai (Shavli) Ghetto Massacre

“If there is a hell on earth, this was it.”

– Kalman Lurie

 

Large scale action in the Ghetto by Ukranian and Lithuanian sympathizers:

  • Gathered 579 children, 191 elderly, 26 handicapped
  • Brutally ripped children from parents and caretakers
  • All shipped to Auschwitz where they were all killed.
July 1944

Soviet Liberation of Lithuania

Soviet Liberation of Lithuania

The Soviet Army liberated Lithuania in July of 1944.  Masha and Aryeh come out of hiding in the forest and help support a group of orphan children in their studio apartment in Šiauliai.

Late November 1943 - July 1944

Escaped to forest

Escaped to forest

Escaped from ghetto and hid in forest for 6+ months.

Lived in barns, pigstys, charcoal pits and in the forest.

March 1946

Arrive at refugee camps in Italy

Masha and Aryeh travel as refugees to Italy with a final goal of emigrating to Palestine, where Masha’s older sister Elka already resided.

November 28, 1946

Shifra born in refugee camp outside Milan, Italy

Shifra born in refugee camp outside Milan, Italy

In a refugee camp outside of Milan, Shifra was born.