‘Your Help Is Saving My Life’

The Fellowship  |  January 5, 2023

Dunka, an elderly Holocaust survivor whose life is being saved with help from The Fellowship

Dunka, a Holocaust survivor who has spent all of her 92 years in Ukraine, has lived a long life. But she never imagined that in her old days, she’d relive the horrors of World War II all over again.

Dunka’s dog “Kotik” hears our car approaching and runs outside, curious to see the visitors. Soon after, Dunka appears on the doorstep with a huge smile on her face, calling out to us: “God bless you all. God bless The Fellowship.”

Born in 1929, “my childhood was full of tragedies,” Dunka remembers tearfully. “My only sister died of disease when she was just four years old. Soon afterwards my father passed away, leaving me and my mother. She became a widow at the age of 28 and never remarried. World War II began when I turned thirteen. This changed everything for us. For the first time in our lives we had to leave our village. What happened in the next years is blurred in my memory. I remember cold, hunger, and suffering. My mother did everything she could to provide food to survive. It was hard…”

And Dunka talks about the ongoing war in Ukraine. “I hear the news and cry. Innocent people are dying all over Ukraine. From time to time, there are loud explosion sounds in the area. I am too old to look for shelter, and where would I go anyway?”

The current war is almost too much for this sweet woman to bear, as she’s suffered two recent heart attacks. “It is a miracle that I am still alive. I walk very slowly and cannot lift heavy weights because my legs and hands are weak. As a result of the war, everything got so expensive, and my pension is not enough to support me. This is why your help is saving my life. The Fellowship never abandoned me, not even during the war when the roads were closed. God bless you for all you do, thank you for the food and your continued support.”

Renew your faith in the new year and help provide needy Jewish people around the world—people like Dunka—with lifesaving necessities and life-affirming hope.