By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent
MARIUPOL/BUDAPEST (Worthy News) – A Jewish woman who survived the Holocaust has died decades later after pleading for water in a freezing basement in the besieged Ukrainian port city of Mariupol.
The Jewish organization Chabad.org reported that her daughter shared the news after arriving with the rest of her family at a safe location. Several authorities, including the Auschwitz Memorial, confirmed the death of 91-year-old Vanda Semyonovna Obiedkova.
She was ten years old when the Nazis occupied Mariupol and killed thousands of Jews in a single day, including her mother.
She survived in a basement then and died weak and frail in a basement in the same city 81 years later.
Unable to access water, electricity, and heat, the family was “living like animals,” her daughter Larissa recalled in published remarks.
Vanda was reportedly 10 when German troops entered her home city in October 1941.
Larissa said while her mother evaded capture by the Nazis, Vanda’s mother was among thousands of Jews who were taken away from Mariupol and executed.
Referring to the current situation in the city, Larissa was quoted saying: “Mama loved Mariupol; she never wanted to leave.”
She was among as many as 20,000 people who have died amid relentless Russian attacks in Mariupol, according to Ukrainian authorities.
With the death toll rising, Ukrainian negotiators say they’re ready to hold talks with Russian representatives in Mariupol to save the lives of those stuck there.
Ukrainian officials, including President Volodymyr Zelensky, have made direct appeals to the international Jewish community to take action in response to the Russian invasion.
Synagogues are among religious sites that have been damaged by Russian strikes, which also hit beside Kyiv’s Babi Yar Holocaust memorial site. Before the Russian invasion, there were up to 200,000 Jews in Ukraine, according to experts. But that number is fastly declining amid the death and destruction of Europe’s most significant military conflict since the Second World War.
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