Miriam Korber: November 8, 1941

Miriam Korber was eighteen years old when she started to keep her diary. The first thing she described was the experience of deportation at the hands of the Romanian government. Romania was allied with Nazi Germany during World War II and had similar anti-Jewish policies. Miriam and her family were deported from their hometown of Campalung on October 12th and, after a torturous journey, were expelled into the region east of the Dniester River. They were essentially dumped, along with thousands of other Jews, onto the riverbank and left to fend for themselves.

No provision had been made to feed or house the refugees, so the conditions were chaotic. Miriam described the situation.
“As soon as we arrived, some people were evacuated. There are camps in which people are gathered by the hundreds and from there they are driven away on foot. Therefore, we had to avoid the camps. We carried the baggage from the Dniester to a courtyard by ourselves, with much effort, and here we shivered for two hours until we found shelter. Thirty people, we stayed in one large room upstairs. With us were the Hausvaters, Horovitzes, Hellers, Segals, the Javetz and Tartar families. Quite an interesting gathering! We carried the luggage upstairs by ourselves and, exhausted, we slept our first night in Mogilev… The very next day after our arrival here, we started to sell off things…. With each thing we sold, we gave away a piece of ourselves. Who knows when we will replace what we were losing now.”

The next day, the Korber family left Mogilev and arrived in Djurin, where they were able to find more permanent lodging. Conditions were harsh and the family’s resources were dwindling, but at least they began to find some stability. Djurin would be Miriam’s home for the next 2½ years. Although it was not surrounded by walls or fences, it was still a ghetto and Jews were forbidden to leave on threat of death. Life would be a constant struggle for Miriam and she faithfully recorded the details in her diary. Fortunately, she survived and was able return home after the war.

Miriam’s story was featured in a 2005 MTV documentary entitled, “I’m Still Here: Real Diaries of Young People Who Lived During the Holocaust”. You may read more about Miriam’s life and about the film here.

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