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LEV BRAVERMAN

I was born in the city of Kovno (Kaunas), Lithuania in 1929. My father was a physician and my mother worked in a textile factory.

In June 1941 the Germans occupied Lithuania, and my entire family – my father, mother, eight year-old sister and I, aged twelve, were confined in the ghetto, together with all the Jews of Kovno. My brother was also born there.

All the residents of the ghetto went through several extermination Aktionen [roundups], and in the children's roundup of March 27, 1944, almost all the children of the ghetto and the surrounding camps were murdered, including my brother and sister.

In June 1944, as the Red Army was drawing nearer, the Germany army withdrew to the depth of the country in confusion, and dragged the few Jews that it had not previously managed to murder with it. On the way, at Stutthof camp they took off all the women. I remained without my mother.

My father and I and the other men were brought to Landsberg camp, a sub-camp of notorious Dachau near the city of Munich. Ten days later they separated us, 131 boys, from the men and sent us to Auschwitz-Birkenau camp. During the trip, inside Poland two boys jumped off the train. One remained alive and hid with a Polish farmer, and the second was apparently killed when he jumped.

I wrote a description of the group's life in Birkenau, of the day-to-day life (also of other nations) in Russian, in my book "Trapped", which I wrote in Vilna in 1971.

The book was translated into several languages, including Yiddish, English and Hebrew. The Hebrew version was translated by Moshe Kravetz, a comrade in suffering in Birkenau.

Close to 100 of the group of 131 boys perished in Birkenau. Those who remained were dispersed in Buchenwald and Bergen-Belsen camps, and the majority were transferred to Mauthausen death camp, including me. In April 1945 we were transferred to Gunskirchen camp, and the American army liberated us on May 5.

 

From 1946-1948 I completed my high school studies in Lithuania. From 1948 to 1954 I studied medicine and until 1973 I worked as an internist and cardiologist in Vilna.

In 1953 I married a physician, and we had two children. Our daughter is a pediatrician and our son is a mathematician. We have six grandchildren.

We immigrated to Israel in 1973. At first I worked in the Nahariya Hospital and then as a family doctor, until my retirement
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