In the Mogilov ghetto, she saw the Nazis chop her four-month-old sister's head off with an axe and shoot her grandmother to death. The Nazis also did terrible things to Rozenstain herself.Thanks to Desert Peace for first bringing my attention to this.
"I have no one to talk to, no grave to go visit," she says. "I don't need money, I just need a little relief in my life."
But the fact is she does need money. Echoing Leopold Rosen, she says, "There are days I don't eat, but I'm used to not eating. My medicines I have to take, though."
She suffers from depression, anxiety attacks that don't let her catch her breath, a heart condition and osteoporosis.
"I need dentures that cost NIS 8,000, and special glasses that cost NIS 2,200," she adds. "Where am I supposed to get the money?"
Living alone, her two children long having left the house, she and her late husband cashed in his pension in 1990, when, she says, her husband's heart surgeon convinced them it would be better if the operation was done privately. "My husband died on the operating table," Rozenstain says.
Her landlord is now trying to evict her from the apartment, which she says she's been paying for on a "key money," or virtual ownership, basis since 1963. The eviction proceedings have forced her to borrow NIS 10,000 for a lawyer.
She lives on German reparations that come to about NIS 1,500 a month plus NIS 2,200 a month in Israeli old-age pension.
"But I know other [Holocaust survivors] who have it much worse, who go through the garbage bins for food," she says. "They make a big joke out of us."
Actually, now I'm thinking about it, wasn't it Abba Eban who first said, "There's no business like shoah business."