The family carried bags of clothing on their backs as they slogged through the clay mud, one plodding foot at a time.
The roads were full of cadavers from previous convoys. They walked through various towns and villages. After three days, the survivors, by now emaciated and exhausted, reached a shanty town where the inhabitants lived in absolute squalor. A de-facto ghetto, the town, under the local command of Ukrainian and Romanian collaborators, was where many Jews died of starvation, freezing, diseases, slave labour, and shootings.
Felicia’s family found shelter with a local Ukrainian Jewish family. They survived by exchanging their clothing for food. A pair of pants got them a dozen eggs, while a nightgown garnered a bag of beans. Gasoline was an item of great value, as Felicia’s mother needed it to delouse Felicia’s hair.
Of the Jews of Dornei who were deported in October ‘41, two-thirds perished by May of ‘42. In all, Felicia Carmelly lost thirty-six family members.
In 1957, Felicia’s family applied to immigrate to Israel. The two years that Felicia spent in Israel were the best of her life; she felt welcomed and learned to live without fear.