Riva Minska was born in Łódź, Poland to Avromele and Nacha Minska. Riva was born on the date of May 3, 1926. She was the fourth of seven children: Chanele, Yankele, and Mala precede her; brothers Motele, Moshiele , and Laibele follow her. Avromele Minska died shortly after Moshiele's birth. Avromele was Riva's father. World War II
Following the invasion of Poland, Riva's older siblings fled to Russia to escape forced labor. Riva, her mother and younger siblings are forced to live in the Ghetto Lodz, where younger brother Laibele contracts tuberculosis. On September 10, 1942, their mother was taken out of the ghetto during a Nazi raid, leaving Riva to care for her younger brothers. She adopts them to keep the family together, which lasts until Laibele dies and Riva, Motele, and Moshiele are rounded up with the other remaining Jews in the ghetto and sent to Auschwitz. Riva and her brothers are separated at the gates. After a week, Riva is transported to a labor camp in Mittelsteine. There she contracts blood poisoning from cutting her hand and is hospitalized, then deported to the labor camp at Grafenort for the remainder of the war. The camp is liberated by Russian forces. Post-war
After liberation, Riva returned to Łódź with friends from the camp. They found their former homes occupied by people who had acquired the homes after the Jewish removal and decide to flee after learning that Jewish survivors of the camps are targets for murder. They stay in an abandoned apartment with other survivors; Riva meets Moniek Senderowicz and the couple married five weeks later, they met by a small water pump while getting water for her small apartment, that she shared with new friends. The newlywed couple arranges to be smuggled to a displaced persons camp in Germany, where the couple gives birth to sons Laibele and Avromele. Also in the camp, Riva is reunited with her brother and two sisters (Mala, Chanele, and Yankele) and learns that the family's Russian...
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