Chutzpe un Draystkayt

Ekstein, Elka


A teenager with chutzpah and tenacity in the Holocaust.


Elka (Helen) Fomin, one of thirteen children, grew up in a hard-working family in Grodno, Poland. Elka′s survival is another miracle of the Holocaust: daily risking her life to smuggle food for her family in the Grodno Ghetto; jumping from the train transporting her and her sister Sonia to a death camp; walking to the Bialystok Ghetto; hiding there before being transported to Stutthof and then Auschwitz; working as slave labour in appalling conditions. Still a teenager, she was courageous beyond her years.

In 1947 Elka married Yosl Eksztejn in Warsaw. They lived in Sweden before migrating to Australia in 1951. The amazing events of her life are told with astonishing simplicity, yet her spirit shines through and is an inspiration for all