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I have an interesting story pertaining to my mother-in-law, Vera Cernetich. Her surname is, we believe, Finevitch, or some derivation thereof. She was originally from a town called "Chometinz," or some derivation thereof.

The reason we are fuzzy about spellings is that when she was 13 the German Nazi soldiers, retreating from their defeat in Russia, kidnapped her and sent her to Nazi Germany to work in the war factories as slave labour.

There were many Eastern European girls abducted during this time; most, like my mother-in-law, were placed in a "foster" homes. Vera was re-located to Munchen (Munich) along with 3 or 4 other Ukraine girls.

I was absolutely amazed when I heard this because there are not many stories about this despicable part of German history.

She was transported to Germany in a cold and cramped (railroad) cattle car, along with many others. She stayed in one of the holding areas of a concentration camp upon reaching German-held areas. She remembers the cold, the filth and the despondent people, most of whom were Jewish. They, unfortunately, stayed. She and other girls from the Ukraine, Georgia, and other Eastern European areas were shuttled off to foster homes where they lived and worked together in nearby war factories. Once the Allies defeated the Nazis and started the process of (there is a term the military used for this "recivilization" of Germany, but I'm not sure what it is), the countries involved began the healing process. My mother in law, along with her fellow abductees, met and married Allied servicemen, usually through the USO (Uniformed Services Office). USO's sponsored events for the G.I.s, such as dances and other get to togethers with local women. This is were Vera met and married Louis Cernetich; they were wed in Munich. We actually have a picture of their wedding day with him in his Army uniform.

Shane Vicknai


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