Holocaust survivor, 91, dies while sheltering from Russian shelling in Mariupol basement
20th April 2022

A BRAVE Holocaust survivor has died while sheltering from Russian shelling in a basement, in the besieged city of Mariupol.

After surviving the horror of the Nazis, Vanda Semyonovna Obiedkova, 91, died after spending weeks in the freezing basement with no water or heating.


The 91-year-old was forced to move into the shelter with her family when Russian forces started bombing the city at the beginning of March.

And Obiedkova who was left bedridden had to spend her final weeks suffering in cold with limited supplies.

Her grieving daughter Larissa said her mum spent her last days comparing the invasion to the Nazi occupation of the city in 1941.

She toldChabad.org "Mama didn’t deserve such a death. There was no water, no electricity, no heat—and it was unbearably cold.

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"Every time a bomb fell, the entire building shook. My mother kept saying she didn’t remember anything like this during the Great Patriotic War [World War II]."

Alongside her husband, Larissa was able to bury her mum in a local park, amid non-stop shelling.

Obiedkova, was only 10 years old when the Nazi entered Mariupol but was able to evade SS by hiding in the basement.

However, her mother was taken away.

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Obiedkova survived as her dad was able to get her checked in a hospital until the end of the war.

She later married in the city after the war, where she stayed her whole life.

"Mama loved Mariupol; she never wanted to leave," Larissa said.

Chabad-Lubawitch rabbi Mendel Cohen said she was an active member of the Jewish community adding: "The whole Mariupol has turned into a cemetery.

"Vanda Semyonovna lived through unimaginable horrors.

"She was a kind, joyous woman, a special person who will forever remain in our hearts."

The port city of Mariupol, home to more than 450,000 people, has been under constant attack from Russian forces since early March, with satellite images showing the devastation to 95 per cent of its residential areas.

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Russia has given Ukrainian troops at the Azovstal steel plant an ultimatum demanding a full surrender.

But hero Ukrainian forces are not expected to surrender with their leader Captain Sviatoslav Palamar, of the National Guard Azov Regiment vowing to take on Putin's army with bayonets when their ammo runs out.


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