On my most recent trip, I went to visit Anna who had just lost her mother. As I was walking into her home, I was stopped cold in my tracks upon the sight of Anna hunched over her floor, sweeping the dirt away with a makeshift broom. Tears began to well up in my eyes as I watched her methodically moving the dirt from side to side.
What was breaking my heart is that Anna lives in an old converted barn with an unfinished dirt floor. She was literally trying to clean the dirt off the dirt floor. This poor woman was doing the best she could to keep her home in a liveable condition, but no matter how much she tried, she was getting nowhere.
Anna has endured a lifetime of pain and suffering, from living in horrific poverty to losing her beloved mother, who was a Holocaust survivor. Directly along the road from the dirt-floor ‘flat’ she is forced to live in, about 200 feet away, stands a large white government building. Anna told us that this is where the Nazis forcibly took her mother and tortured her daily for weeks on end during the occupation. Can you imagine the pain of walking out of your home and having to look every day at the torture chamber where your own mother was brutalised?
…200 feet away, stood a large white government building. Anna told me that this is where the Nazis forcibly took her mother and tortured her daily for weeks on end…
Our team has embraced Anna with the love of God and we assured her that we would be by her side. We invited her to eat Shabbat dinner at our Senior Care Centre and promised her that we would help to make her flat safe and warm. Tatiana, our Aliyah Co-ordinator has begun working with her to get her started on the process of moving to Israel.