Obedkova, Vanda Semenovna

Article

July 3, 2022

Wanda Semyonovna Obyedkova (Ukrainian Wanda Semenivna Ob'yedkova; December 8, 1930, Mariupol, Mariupol district, Ukrainian SSR, USSR - April 4, 2022, Mariupol, Donetsk region, Ukraine) is a Ukrainian Jew who survived the Holocaust in Mariupol basements and died in those basements during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Biography

Wanda Semenovna Obiedkova was born on December 8, 1930 in Mariupol. She was 10 years old when in October 1941 the city was occupied by the German army and roundups of Jews began. Soon the SS came to the family's house and took away Wanda's mother, Maria (Mindel), the little girl managed to avoid arrest by hiding in the basement. On October 20 of the same year, the Germans shot about 16 thousand Mariupol Jews, including Obedkova's mother and her entire family. Later, the girl was captured, but thanks to family friends, she managed to impersonate a Greek woman and escape. Then Obedkova's father, who was not a Jew, placed her in a hospital, where the girl lived until the liberation of Mariupol in 1943 by Soviet troops. In 1954, Obedkova married in Zhdanov, as Mariupol was then called, where she spent her entire life. In recent years, she lived with her daughter Larisa. In 1998, Obyedkova spoke to the USC Shoah in detail about her life and experiences during the Holocaust. Obyedkova, along with her family, actively participated in the life of the Jewish community of Mariupol and the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, she loved to celebrate Jewish holidays, including Pesach, and used medical care at the local synagogue. In 2014, at the height of hostilities in eastern Ukraine, Obiedkova and her family, together with the Jewish community, were evacuated to Zhytomyr, and after the fighting stopped, they returned home. After the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in early March 2022, Obiedkova and her family went down to the basement of a nearby plumbing store, and their house burned down as a result of shelling with all their property. The cassette of a 1998 interview with Obyedkova about the Holocaust was also lost in the fire. During the seven weeks of the invasion, they suffered from a lack of electricity and heat, as well as from thirst, since in order to go for water, they had to get past snipers who had settled nearby, in addition to daily bombing. About