Zinaida Kolesnichenko

Zinaida Kolesnichenko was 16 when the Wehrmacht entered Odessa. At the same time, Tzila Nikolskia, a Jewish woman, witnessed the murder of thousands of Odessan Jews in nearby Dalnik. Tzila escaped, reaching a cinema in Odessa run by Tulik, a mutual friend of her and Zinaida. Tzila hid in the cinema, closed due the warwhile Tulik and Zinaida supplied her food. The situation deteriorated forcing Tzila to leave her cover.

After an extended period on the run, hungry, barefoot and covered with lice, Tzila managed to return to the street where Zinaida lived. Zinaida and her family took Tzila in and hid her in their tiny one room apartment, almost adjacent to a German supply unit. When the situation again became too dangerous, Tzila left their apartment and hid in parks and cemeteries. Zinaida brought her food, took care of her when ill and at night brought her back to the house where she could wash and change clothes.

After the war Zinaida married a Jewish man and they had a daughter named Svetlana. Zinaida moved to Israel a number of years ago together with Svetlana and her family. Svetlana volunteers in the Educational Center for Holocaust Survivors and Righteous Among the Nations in Holon. Svetlana’s daughter Tatiana is a geriatric social worker, a third generation devoted to helping others.