Genya Koren, a Holocaust Survivor – The Story of Her Life
Genya was the smallest child among seven children to the Sobel family – Avram (auditor of accounts), Aharon (auditor of accounts, served in the partisans in the 2nd. World War), Yossef (a lawyer, married+2 daughters), Israel (engineer, married to Sara +a boy & a girl), Haim (single) and Herman ([Hank], a medicine student, born in 1912). The four elder brothers were married and lived in Stryj and in Drohobycz. The father, Yitzchak, was an auditor of accounts and the only Jew in the small town Kajimayja (in Lvov) that worked in the oil mines. The mother, Rachel, the daughter of Hava and Haim Froindlich, was a housewife. The family that included Genya, the two single brothers and the parents, lived in a villa and rented one of the rooms to an Ukraine. The Ukraine shared with the Sobel family the basement in order to store vegetables in the winter season. The basement included a secret room. As a matter of fact, in this secret room the Sobel family was hidden when the Germans invaded Lvov. In 1941 or 1942 the anti Semitic Ukraine reported to the Germans about the hidden room, the Germans broke into the secret room in the basement and took all the Sobel family to the Ghetto. One day Genya escaped the Ghetto with some children in order to find potatoes in the closest forest. When she came back, she found out that her parents and her two brothers were no longer alive. From time to time came close to the Ghetto the Christian girl Nadia. Nadia was the daughter of Stefan and Buzinka from the village Medaynook. Stefan was the brother of Marusha [Maria], the governess of the Sobel children. One day, when Nadia came close to the Ghetto, the Germans shouted at her and ordered her to stop, she got scared and started running – the Germans shut her and killed her. Nadia`s aunt, Marusha, took Genya`s picture and put it in the Christian identity card of Nadia. Marusha and her brother came to the Nazis in Lvov Ghetto, showed them the identity card and claimed to rescue Genya because she`s Christian and not Jewish. Genya`s life were saved thanks to the wisdom and courage of Marusha and her brother. Marusha and her brother moved to another village with Genya that pretended to be Nadya for three years till the war was finished. Marusha and her brother saved also the life of a Jewish family that was hidden in their basement. At the end of the war the Jewish family was taken to USA with a relative and Genya moved to Krakow in Polska where she learned how to be a nurse. In Nov. 1947 Genya was married to Bernard Koren (1906-1991) from Stanislawow, who lost his first wife and two little children in the holocaust and fought with the Russian army against the Nazis. In 1948 Marusha and her brother died from the typhus disease. In 1950 Genya immigrated to Israel with her family. She lived in Herzelia with her four children – Rachel, Isaac, Zvika and Frida.