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Written Testimonies

Testimony of Chaya Chasman about her war time experience in Skuodas Testimony of Chaya Chasman about her war time experience in Skuodas YVA,O.71/66 A group of Jewish survivors from Skuodas: Top: 1)Eliahu Reif 2) Zivia Reif 3) the child Itshak'l 4) Yosef Chasman 5) Chaya Chasman; Below: Chaya Chasman A group of Jewish survivors from Skuodas: Top: 1)Eliahu Reif 2) Zivia Reif 3) the child Itshak'l 4) Yosef Chasman 5) Chaya Chasman; Below: Chaya Chasman YVA,O.71/66

Chaya Chasman (Reif), who was born in Skuodas, testified:
... The women and children were kept for another week in the synagogue without food or drink. They were guarded by armed “partisans.”
Afterwards, they were taken to the Demitravas estate between Kretinga and Drobian [Darbėnai]. Before the war, when Smetona was head of Lithuania, political prisoners lived on this property. The women and children suffered from the terrible conditions. They were forced to perform hard labor where they were living and also heavy agricultural work.
When they were beginning to kill all the women from Telsh [Telšiai] at the Goral [Geruliai] estate, they also killed all the women and children on the Demitravas estate. I learned about these things when I was in the ghetto of Shavli [Šauliai] from people who had been in Shkod [Skuodas] at that time.
Esther Zelkovich, whose step-father had strangled a Lithuanian, told me that she had personally witnessed this taking place.
Her whole family, her mother and her [other] children, were killed on the Demitravas estate. Esther fled from the ghetto and hid in villages, fields, and woods until liberation by the Red Army. She then returned to Shkod. There she received threatening letters from Lithuanians so that she was forced to leave the town.
Some of the Jewish youth who had escaped to the Soviet Union volunteered to join the Lithuanian Division, 50 percent of which was actually made up of Jews. Many of the latter fell in combat. A few of them returned to Shkod, where they wandered in shock through the streets of what had been their town but was now a hostile environment....