At the end of 1941, Lyudmila (Lusya) Blekhman, born in 1929 in Miropol, Ukraine, escaped from a killing pit where the Jews of the nearby town Ostropol were shot. She had fled to Ostropol after her parents had been murdered in their hometown. After a number of hardships, she found a place of refuge under an assumed identity with a Ukrainian family, employed as an apprentice in their bookbinding business. In June 1942, after the murder of the Jews of Starokonstantinov, the son of the Ukrainian bookbinder returned with a scroll of parchment from a Sefer Torah (Genesis 54-55) that had been left there. The bookbinder cut the tough parchments and asked Lyudmila to glue them to the inner cover of a Russian New Testament.
In 1964, the bookbinder's wife gave the book to Lyudmila.