81 years ago, on June 24, 1942, Nechama Drober became an eyewitness to the first deportation from Königsberg. Her uncle Arthur is abducted with his family, teachers, schoolmates and friends, including her best friends Ruth Marwilsky and Rita Jordan: “We were not among those who were to be taken away. Nevertheless, we accompanied them to the collection point. […] Everything happened so fast that we can’t even say goodbye to our loved ones.” The Jewish men, women and children were deported to the Maly Trostenets extermination camp.
Nechama Drober (*1927) was born Hella Markowsky in the East Prussian capital Königsberg into a Jewish family. She was an eyewitness to the two major deportations in the summer of 1942, in which she lost her closest friends, relatives and schoolmates. She witnessed the conquest of East Prussia by the Red Army in early 1945. Subsequently, her father Paul is deported to Siberia, her mother Martha and her five-year-old brother Denny starve to death. Hella Markowsky fled with her sister Rita via Lithuania to Kishinev, where they lived until they left for Israel in 1990.
Photo credit: © Nechama Drober