At 101 years old, Roza holds the title of oldest person in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet Republic. And in those 101 years, Roza has seen and experienced so much during her century of life… and much of it has been tragic.
Born to a Jewish family in Romania, Roza fled – alone – to the Soviet Union when World War II began, hoping to escape the Holocaust and the fate so many of her loved ones faced. There, she hoped, her Jewish faith wouldn’t be reason for her to be persecuted… or worse.
But life in the Soviet Union proved no better for Roza. Once she crossed the border, Soviet authorities sent the young Jewish girl to Karlag, one of the largest – and cruelest – camps in Stalin’s network of forced labor gulags. There, more than a million sorry souls suffered Soviet persecution… or worse.
And there, poor Roza worked as a slave laborer, fed only starvation rations and left to the brutal conditions of the remote camp, for ten years.
When the Soviets finally released Roza in 1948, it took her many years to regain her health, both physically and emotionally. Roza at last married and raised a family, but in the years since has faced much more sorrow and loss.
Now 101, she was active until recently, when health issues and the global pandemic at last confined her to her bed. Her elderly daughter cares for her, but The Fellowship also helps, providing groceries, personal care supplies, and assistance with winter heating. After a century of hardship, the help you provide this forgotten Holocaust survivor gives her the peace, security, and comfort she never knew.