Born: ca. 1898, Kaluszyn, Poland
Raizel lived with her husband, Mojsze, and their three children in the small, predominantly Jewish town of Kaluszyn, which was 35 miles east of Warsaw. By the 1930s, Mojsze owned a grocery store, a restaurant, and a gas station, all of which were located together on the heavily traveled main road. The family lived in rooms in the same building as their business.
1933-39: Every day I prepare the roast goose served in our restaurant. We have a bustling business, as many truck drivers stop here for a quick meal on their way into Warsaw. My mother-in-law helps out in the kitchen, and my daughter, Chaie Sura, is a cashier. My son Abram drives a truck to pick up supplies, while my other son Majlich pumps gas at the station. It's truly a family business until war breaks out and the Germans occupy Kaluszyn.
1940-44: Acting under German orders, the town mayor has chosen Mojsze to be on the Jewish council. Mojsze, in turn, has chosen our son Abram for the Jewish police and our son Majlich for the Jewish sanitation committee. As for me, I still work some in the restaurant, baking bread and brewing tea, but other food is scarce. I also help sometimes in a communal kitchen where I prepare food for the poor Jewish families in town. Both my mother and Chaie Sura often work with me.
On September 25, 1942, 44-year-old Raizel and more than 3,000 other Jews were deported from Kaluszyn to an extermination camp, where she perished.
Copyright © United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC