Another survivor and her family

Holocaust survivor speaks of suffering

By GAYDA HOLLNAGEL of the La Crosse Tribune

Published — Thursday, February 12, 2004

Holocaust survivor Nesse Godin travels thousands of miles each year to keep the promise she made to women who helped her survive persecution in Nazi concentration camps.


Telling the story of the Holocaust has been her life’s work, said Godin, who came to the United States in 1950 with her husband, two children and her mother. Godin said her husband also is a survivor. The couple’s third child was born in the United States. She also has seven grandchildren.


Her story begins with her pre-war life in Siauliai, Lithuania, where her parents owned a small store that sold dairy products. The city came under Soviet rule in 1940 and was occupied by the German army June 26, 1941, four days after the invasion of the USSR.

… By August, the Jews that remained were forced to move into a ghetto, and it was from there that her father was selected for deportation to the Auschwitz concentration camp, where he was killed.

Godin, a teenager at the time, said she survived the ghetto, the Stuffhof Concentration Camp, four labor camps and the death march.

Her mother and two brothers also managed to survive, and the family eventually was reunited, except for her mother and one brother who wasn’t able to leave the Soviet Union until after their mother died.