8 April 2016

Published April 6, 2016 by rochellewisoff

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Genre: Interview

Word Count: 99


            “For I’m gon’ tell you,” says Sonia, a colorful and imposing presence at 4 feet 8 inches tall. “It happened slowly. Not all at once.

            “The soldiers line up rabbis in the street and made us watch them rip out their beards by the roots. Then they shot them.

            “I’ll never forget. In front of me they slaughter babies. I’ll never forgive.  

            “Silence kills.” Her intense brown eyes dig trenches in my heart. “I tell you what is not in history books. As long as God gives me power, I will speak for them.”


This interviewer will never forget. 

101 comments on “8 April 2016

  • This is so horrific the tales that can be told.. I just read one of Svetlana Alexievich books.. They are filled with all kind of horrific stories… from what used to be the Soviet Union. The most horrific thing is how there are people dreaming of those times all over the world…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Jenny,

      As Sonia said many times, “You can’t imagine. People don’t know.” I really don’t have any perception myself, I just feel the need to keep the memory alive. Thank you.




  • Dear Rochelle, I can only imagine how it felt listening to the details of such horror, but I can never imagine nor fully understand what it must have been like to witness it. I’m amazed you could put it down in less than a 100 words.

    Liked by 2 people

  • Rochelle, your words bring tears to my eyes… the voice in your write reminds me of Miss Sarah… She was so beautiful. She always called me her “wee Sarai”. She shared with me her life during the holocaust…Oh, such horrors… such faith she had… I only hope that as I write, I keep her stories alive, especially her depth of faith. Thank you for the memory this wet, cold day.

    Liked by 1 person

  • There’s much most people don’t know. There have always been vicious people who give savage wild animals a bad name. You can see it sometimes in children who are cruel. Those children have always worried me. Some people don’t seem to have a moral center. If they’re not helped when young, they become worse and worse. In some parts of the world, and in some political situations, they get their chance to use that cruelty to further their plans to get ahead. We’re fortunate if we’re never at the mercy of those evil people. Good piece, Rochelle. —- Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Suzanne,

      I recently read a book about Hitler as a boy. I’m not sure what went wrong there. Even more baffling is how a boy who basically had no friends could dupe an entire nation.

      Thank you for your comments. They mean a lot.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Oh wow! This brought tears to my eyes! It kind of reminds me of the interview I did with my grandpa when I wrote a story based on his experiences on D-Day. That time period and what was endured during that time breaks my heart for them. I rejoice in the fact this woman has the conviction to share what some try to say never happened. But it did and she is living proof of that!

    Liked by 1 person

  • So many ways to read those two words, “Silence kills”. What frightens me is how easy it is to be silent. Even against the comparatively minor horrors we witness in “the West” today, and the comparatively small dangers we’d face in confronting them, silence is always the easier path. Thank you for speaking up, and for encouraging others to do the same.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jen,

      It’s hard to come away from a conversation with someone like Sonia and not feel convicted. It’s easy and “safe” to remain silent and hard to take a stand. Whenever the muse moves, or the opportunity arises, I will share these stories. My own small way of reminding. Never again!
      Thank you for your encouraging comment.




  • Gripping story, Rochelle and well written. Talking about such horrible events is a tough road, but silence must be worse. I imagine it would so hard to hang on to that despair and not be able to voice it to anyone. That must have been quite an experience to have had this interview.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Amy,

      ‘Quite an experience’ is a bit of understatement. Her story is gripping and she’ll tell anyone who will listen. As she says, she feels it’s her mission to speak for those who can’t. It was an honor in any case.

      Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • When I was still in high school, my class interviewed an elderly man who survived the Holocaust. His stories would never be in a history book either, but I will never ever forget what he told us that day. I hope you get to tell her story someday. More than just these glorious 99 words.


    • Dear Melony,

      This is actually a shortened version of a longer interview I did with her. It’s published in a local paper. Sonia also speaks to school classes. She’s made a difference in so many lives.

      Thank you.




  • I pray God gives Sonia many more opportunities to speak as their advocate. Rochelle, you always impact me with your writing…100 words or an entire book! Carry on, friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Chris,

      It always thrills me when you show up to comment. I know we don’t connect often, but it’s my hope that perhaps one of these days Troop 499 will meet for a hug and talk through the night sessions.
      Thank you for your sweet words my dear friend.




  • That was a deeply moving story, one that’s about something that’s so unspeakably awful, it haunts and horrifies me afresh every single time I hear about, or read, about yet another life that was broken.
    Beautifully distilled, tightly-paced story, Rochelle!


    • Dear Vijaya,

      The interview actually lasted three hours and it’s difficult to determine who interviewed whom. She’s a lovely lady and not the least bit shy about sharing her experiences. Thank you for your affirming comments.


      YFBM Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Mike,

      The chilling thing in all of this is how subtly the Holocaust came into play. At one point she noted that highly cultured people didn’t believe it could happen…all the way to the gas chamber. I do feel fortunate…and wary.

      Thank you.




  • Dear Jackie C.,
    Were you sitting on a pillow in that photo with Sonia? Enough with the short jokes already. The horror of witnessing such brutality and senseless slaughter would have to give a person nightmares for a lifetime. God Bless her, and I’m happy you got to interview her. Keep telling the world.

    Pants on Fire

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear POF,

      There are a few adults in this world–granted, not many–who are shorter than I. Short jokes don’t bother me, I’ve heard them since kindergarten where I was called Small Fry by my classmates.

      As long as there’s bref in my body I’ll keep telling.😉

      Thank you and shalom,

      Jackie C.


  • Dear Rochelle,
    Speechless. What a powerful piece of history told by one who saw. I can’t imagine witnessing such things and not losing one’s mind.
    Once again, dear Rochelle, you’ve done it once again.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Very moving! I’ve read a lot about it. At one stage, my son was too much into reading the disturbing accounts of holocaust and Auschwitz…had done full research on it. No one can/ should forget!

    Namaste! Shalom!!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Wonderful interview. It is a reminder of how hate can transform any society – cultured or uncultured. These are indeed words to remember ‘Read! Know the history. We are only visiting this universe for a short time. Respect each other.’.


  • Dear Rochelle,
    Bit lost for words…that’s so heartbreaking and a good reminder that we never really know the full/real horrors of what goes on, Only what we’re shown.
    Thank you and apologies for late viewings, time is not on my side right now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Heidi,

      No need to apologize. I’m late getting around myself this week. I see that you’re up to your dance togs in SpamALot.😉 I’ve had a rather trying week myself.:/
      Thank you for stopping by to read and comment.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle
    The problem with my hand and arm remains unchanged.
    It has been diagnosed as a trapped and/or damaged nerve, as yet unidentified.
    Tests continue, as does the near paralysis of the hand.
    Please forward my apologies for non-response to your other contributors.
    Thank you, m’lady


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