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Little Girl Lost

The Azrieli Foundation | The Azrieli Series of Holocaust Survivor Memoirs


When the Nazis invaded her small town of Zduńska Wola, Poland, in 1939, sixteen-year-old Basia Kohn (later Betty Rich) escaped into Soviet-occupied Poland. Over the next five years, her journey took her thousands of kilometres from a forced labour camp in the far north of the USSR to the subtropical Soviet Georgian region and back to Poland. After the war, Betty and her husband fled from the Polish Communist regime and eventually immigrated to Toronto. Rich’s poetic memoir, Little Girl Lost, is “a montage of graphic snapshots and moments in motion… both testimony and a meditation on what it meant to her sense of self to endure and survive as a young woman growing into adulthood in exile.”

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Betty Rich was born Basia Kohn in Zduńska Wola, Poland, on June 10, 1923, the second youngest in a family of seven children. She spent the war years in the Soviet Union and after the war lived in Lodz, Poland, where she married her husband, David Recht. They fled the Polish Communist regime in January 1949 and arrived in Toronto later that year. Betty and David have two children and four grandchildren. David became a real estate developer and after his untimely death in August 1971, Betty took over management of one of his buildings and continued to work in mortgages and investments until her retirement.

 
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