Hannah Lewis, 80, saw her mother being shot by a Nazi killing squad at a labour camp in Poland in 1943 when she was six
An innocent little Jewish girl watched from the doorstep of a Polish farmhouse as her mother was marched into a snowy field, forced in front of an open well and executed in cold blood. That was seventy five years ago.
Hannah still believes her mother saved her life by walking out the house to the waiting soldiers without looking back, meaning they did not search for her.
Hannah's mother, Chaya Szczuryk, left, Hannah as a baby, centre, and her father, Adam, right
Hannah, who was barely six years old, waited for her mother to come back. When she failed to, and heard shouts and commands from outside, she decided to go and look for her.
The little girl stood on the icy doorstep of the farmhouse and saw that a Nazi killing-squad had lined up some Jews on the edge of a well. Her mother was one of them.
She recalled, ‘[My mother] was in the front row. There were probably two or three rows and she was to my left. I couldn’t understand what was happening. I decided I would go to her like I would always go to her, and get hold of her hand.
‘As I was deciding how I was going to get down the steps, they were lined up. Someone barked an order and they started to shoot. I saw her fall. I saw the blood on the snow.’
Hannah's father, Adam Szczuryk, left, and her mother, Chaya Szczuryk, right, before the War