Rita Rubinstein’s life changed forever when her father was drafted into the Soviet army following the Soviet occupation of their hometown of Văscăuti, Romania in 1940. He never returned.
Life became more dangerous when Romanian soldiers, allied with Nazi Germany, retook Văscăuti the following year. Soon afterward, Romanian authorities gave Jewish people in Văscăuti 24 hours to pack whatever they could carry for an unknown destination.
For the next three years, Rita and her remaining family were forced to live in a clay hut in the Shargorod ghetto in Romanian-occupied Ukraine—where they endured overcrowding, extreme hunger, and a typhus epidemic before the Soviet army liberated them in 1944.
Rita Rubinstein, Holocaust Survivor and Museum Volunteer
Bill Benson, Journalist and Host, First Person: Conversations with Holocaust Survivors
Watch live at youtube.com/ushmm. You do not need a YouTube account to view our program.
After the live broadcast, the recording will be available to watch on demand on the Museum's YouTube page.
First Person is a monthly hour-long discussion with a Holocaust survivor that is made possible through generous support from the Louis Franklin Smith Foundation.