web analytics
October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Holocaust Heroines: Hilda Pistiner


LBJ-042712

When I first saw Hilda Pistiner I believed she was a German tourist. Later, when I met her personally and found out she was an Israeli born in Bukovina, I labored under a second mistaken assumption: I believed she had been a pioneer in pre-State Israel, her fresh youthful blond looks untouched by the Holocaust. How wrong have I been!

Not only is she a Holocaust survivor, but a bona fide Holocaust heroine.

Hilda Schauman was born on January 12, 1933 in Moldova Solice, Romania. In describing her childhood, Hilda admits to having been a pampered (“spoiled”) child of wealthy parents. She had the prettiest dresses, expensive toys, pets, and fun vacations in the countryside. Her indulgent parents provided everything she wanted.

At the beginning of the hostilities in Romania, and the persecution of Jews by Romanian authorities in 1938, the beautiful pampered girl was only seven-years-old. Her father was abruptly taken away, their business destroyed, their home ripped apart, and they themselves, mother Yetty and little Hilda, deported to a ghetto in the nearby city.

Under the impact of starvation, at the mercy of the bitter winter elements, and the attendant disease epidemic, Mother Yetty became ill, and eventually lost her ability to care for herself and her daughter, resigning her autonomy.

Amazingly, little Hilda stepped into the gap, overnight turning into a young woman with the determination to help both of them survive. Ignoring her fears, she left the ghetto in search of food and other essentials. Her cunning and physical stamina grew throughout the years, and eventually she started helping others with food and lodging.

The excruciating torment in a series of hellholes, from Bukovina to the Ukraine, during the years of 1941 to 1944, matured eight-year-old Hilda into an eleven-year-old heroine. Her valiant struggle helped her mother and a number of other Jewish victims of persecution to survive.

After WWII ended and Holocaust survivors were striving for a milieu of normalcy, Hilda joined a Zionist youth group, and trained for life in Israel. In 1948, months before the establishment of the State of Israel, Hilda followed the urgings of her Zionist heart, boarded an overloaded illegal ship called “The Pan York,” and sailed for Eretz Yisrael, leaving her beloved mother behind.

Yetty and Hilda had earlier discovered that in 1942, on his thirty sixth birthday, her father, Shmuel with his parents and seventeen-year-old sister Suzy had been by Romanian Nazis on the bank of the River Bug.

The distraught young widow married a man similarly bereft. His young son, Jackie Pistiner, preceded Hilda in his aliyah to the Land of Israel. A year later the two, Hilda Schauman and the nine years her senior, Jackie/now Yaakov/ Pistiner, were married. By then Yaakov had taken part in the War of Independence and held a job working for the Israel Electric Co. Hilda had completed a nursing course and was working in the medical field.

When, some time later their parents arrived in Israel, the young couple managed to help them obtain proper housing while they themselves lived in wooden barracks. In 1952, Hilda and Yaakov became parents to first-born son, Aryeh, followed by the birth in 1952 of their second son, Alon, and nine years later, to their third, Yoav. In the meantime Hilda had added social work to her nursing skills and undertook extensive field work among problematic youth. She also devoted her time and energy to volunteering among these groups, primarily immigrants from the former Soviet Union, and later Ethiopia, earning honorary distinctions from various governmental authorities.

Hilda Schauman Pistiner, the pre-teen Holocaust heroine, now mother and grandmother, still continues her life-saving activities on a large scale.

(About her latest social achievements to benefit fellow Jews – will talk about those in a future column).

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Holocaust Heroines: Hilda Pistiner”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at a government meeting.
Proposed Conversion Bill, Change in Local Rabbinate Power Nixed by Netanyahu
Latest Sections Stories

Sadly, there are mothers who, due to severe depression are unable or unwilling to prepare nourishing food for their children.

Michal had never been away from home. And now, she was going so far away, for so long – an entire year!

Though if you do have a schach mat, you’ll realize that it cannot actually support the weight of the water.

Social disabilities occur at many levels, but experts identify three different areas of learning and behavior that are most common for children who struggle to create lasting social connections.

Sukkot is an eternal time of joy, and if we are worthy, of plenty.

Two of our brothers, Jonathan Pollard and Alan Gross, sit in the pit of captivity. We have a mandate to see that they are freed.

Chabad of South Broward has 15 Chabad Houses in ten cities.

Victor Center works in partnership with healthcare professionals, clergy, and the community to sponsor education programs and college campus out reach.

So just in case you’re stuck in the house this Chol HaMoed – because there’s a new baby or because someone has a cold – not because of anything worse, here are six ideas for family fun at home.

We are told that someone who says that God’s mercy extends to a bird’s nest should be silenced.

Our harps have 22 strings. This gives musicians a wide musical range and yet stays within Biblical parameters.

More Articles from Prof. Livia Bitton-Jackson
LBJ-101014-Michal-Fried

Michal had never been away from home. And now, she was going so far away, for so long – an entire year!

Over the years there has been no shortage of reporting about Devorah Halberstam, Ari’s mother. Even in Israel, thousands of miles from the Halberstam home, there have been frequent references in the media to Ari’s mother. Do you know why?

When Hitler entered Prague in March 1939, many Czech Jews managed to escape to Palestine, including Alice’s twin Mariane and her families.

Hannah believed that one must learn about the evils of the past so that they aren’t repeated.

Who is Rachel Azaria? Would you have guessed that this dynamo is a religious, 35-year-old woman, mother of four children, ranging in ages from ten years to eight months?

The relatively young Eitam battalion has become instrumental in IDF Southern Command’s Division 80’s efforts to keep up with the ever-changing security situation in Sinai after the fall of the Mubarak regime – and the entry of terrorist elements to the region.

Eishet Chayil is a hymn customarily recited on Friday evenings before sitting down to the Shabbat evening meal. It is a twenty-two verse poem at the conclusion of the book of Mishlei, describing the woman of valor as the ideal wife and mother.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/jewess-press/impact-women-history/holocaust-heroines-hilda-pistiner/2012/04/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: