Alicia My Story

The main character in this story is a Jewish girl named Alicia. When the book
starts she is ten years old, she lives in the Polish town of Buczacz with her four brothers,
Moshe, Zachary, Bunio, and Herzl, and her mother and father . The holocaust experience
began subtly at first when the Russians began to occupy Buczacz. When her brother
Moshe was killed at a " Boys School" in Russia and her father was gathered up by
German authorities, the reality of the whole situation quickly became very real. Her father
was taken away shortly after the Russians had moved out and the Germans began to
occupy Buczacz. Once the Germans occupied, they moved the Jewish population of
Buczacz into mass ghettos. Alicia and the rest of her family had to share a house with
several other families which had also been driven out of there homes. The only source of
income in this situation was to sell things at the marketplace, and even there, Jews were
forbidden. Alicia went anyway and sold what she could for food and money.
One day her brother Bunio disappeared from the ghetto. Alicia and her family
found out later that he had been taken to a work camp, but that they could send food
packages to him. Shortly after this, Alicia was taken into custody by German officials and
put on a train to another work camp. Alicia managed to escape from this train by jumping
through a small window. She found her way to a river which led her back to the ghetto.
By this time several people in the ghetto had been feeling the effects of the impoverished
conditions. Starvation, Typhoid, and other diseases, were beginning to take its toll on the
people who lived in the ghetto. Then one day, Alicia found out that her brother Bunio had
been killed in the work camp. A boy had escaped so they lined up all the boys and shot
every fourth one
As time progressed, Alicia began assuming more responsibility for the daily tasks
of the family such as going out and trading for more food in places other than the
marketplace. While this was going on, Zachary and a few other boys from the ghetto had
been forming a sort of resistance. One day Alicia was informed that her brother had been
hanged. After Zachary?s death, Alicia was befriended by a woman named Bella. She met
many good friends in the ghetto including a future friend as well as savior, Milek
Months later, Alicia and several other people were rounded up and sent to a prison in
Chortkov. Here the conditions were very poor. Every day more and more people were
taken out and shot. On the inside of the cells it was a cesspool of germs and diseases.
Every morning the jailkeepers would go around the cell and kick people to see if they
were still alive. One of these times Alicia was taken for dead and put onto a wagon with
other bodies. The driver of the wagon found her, nursed her back to better health and
then brought her back to the ghetto.
During this time, before, and after she returned to the ghetto attempts to rid the
ghettos of Jews were called "actions". To escape being caught by the German police who
took part in the actions, they built large bunkers to hide from their captors. After several
of these actions, the Buczacz ghetto had been emptied by more than half. At this point the
time came to move to a new ghetto.
Alicia had been in this new ghetto only a short time when another action occurred.
This time Alicia was captured and brought to a mass grave with a multitude of other
Jews. Just when Alicia was about to be shot Milek took a gun from one of the shooters
and began shooting other officers. Alicia took advantage of this opportunity, as she had
many others, and ran for her life. She ran fast and far until she found herself coming into a
town which was surrounded with tilled fields. She discovered she could work in exchange
for a small amount of food. She worked hard in these fields and was able to let her
mother in Buczacz know that she was safe. Alicia was reunited with her mother and they
returned to this community where they lived for about a year. She also found out that her
youngest brother Herzl had been taken away and killed Alicia would work at these fields
and get food, she would bring