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Published on Apr 4, 2012
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In July 1941, the German Army entered Kishinev. The Gelbelman family fled but was caught. They were marched to Domanevka and then to Bogdanovka where they were incarcerated in pig pens. On December 21, 1941, the German soldiers set the pens alight and shot anyone who attempted to escape, including Esther's older brother. Their mother was badly beaten and died at the 15-year-old Esther's feet. The survivors were then dragged to a giant pit to be slain. Suddenly, the murdered brother's fiancée told the German soldiers that she had gold. Esther's life and that of the fiancée were spared, and they were taken for hard labor as lumberjacks. Her twin brother was murdered. Esther married after the war and immigrated to Israel in 1974.