From The Testimony Of Yosef Govrin- English -

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As I said, the liberation went on for two or three days Victory Day, the 9th of May, found us in Czernowicz. I had fallen ill, probably from lack of vitamins and calcium, and I was bedridden for abut six weeks. They tried to cure me, but I was very weak. However, on Victory Day I summoned up my strength and went outsideI walked in the streets of Czernowicz on the 10th of May to see the parade of soldiers, singing victory songs, but it was very faint singing

I had recovered, but I was still very weak. As I went to see the soldiers, I began to realize what destruction the war had caused. For me this was a very personal experience, perhaps because I had hoped, in all the years we were in the ghetto, that somehow my father was still alive. The devastation caused by the war and the fact that I was an orphan came home to me very forcefully on Victory Day. I saw the destruction that the war had wrought much more realistically, I suppose, than I had before. The destruction had been all around me day and night, but only on Victory Day did I notice it on the street where I was walking

to this day, Victory Day over Nazi Germany, instead of arousing all that triumphit was then, as a boy, that I grasped the full scale of the destructionand really, Victory day is engraved in my memory to this day as a day ofnot as a day of celebration!

From the testimony of Yosef Govrin, deported to various ghettos and camps in Transnistria and liberated by the Red Army in December 1944

The Anguish of Liberation, Testimonies from 1945, eds. Yehudit Kleiman and Nina Springer-Aharoni



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