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A Mother’s Courage

A Mother’s Courage
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Macmillan
Published: September 7, 2023
ISBN: 9781035025008
Country of publication: UK


A Mother’s Courage is Holocaust survivor Malka Levine’s powerful and moving tribute to a woman who refused to give up hope so long as her children needed her.

Malka was two when the Nazi invaders forced her family into the Jewish ghetto in Volodymyr-Volynskyi, a small city in present-day Ukraine. It was the first step in a campaign of mass murder. Of the 25,000 Jews in the city in 1939, only 30 would survive. Malka’s father was shot in the first pogrom. Her mother Rivka kept Malka and her two older brothers alive through eighteen awful months, as the Nazis systematically killed the inhabitants of the ghetto. Malka was frightened, constantly hungry, traumatised. In the midst of the inhumanity, a few kind people risked their lives to help. A Wehrmacht officer saved them from being shot and a Polish dressmaker gave them sanctuary when the SS went hunting for victims.

Then Rivka persuaded Mr and Mrs Yakimchuk, Ukrainian farmer and his wife, to hide her and the children. If discovered, they would all have been executed. The Yakimchuks dug a pit under their barn, and there Malka’s family stayed through a terrible winter and into the summer until the Red Army came. At the end of the war, Rivka was forced to draw on her strength yet again as she set out to create a new life for herself and her children.

Malka Levine, who lives locally, has written her family story

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