Elina Shaked was born in 1949 in Oświęcim. Her parents Regina Grünbaum and Salomon Kupperman were also from the town. Regina, a prewar member of the Zionist Akiba youth movement , was deported to Sosnowiec in 1941. She went through a number of concentration camps, including Annaberg, Gross Rosen, Mauthausen, and Bergen-Belsen, where she was liberated in 1945.

As soon as the war started, Salomon, a member of the Hitahdut left Zionist party, escaped to the Soviet Union with his brother and remained in Siberia and Uzbekisthan for the duration of the war. Elina’s future parents returned to their hometown after the war. Having known each other from before the war, they had a religious wedding service in Wałbrzych in 1948 and were married again in Oświęcim in 1949.

The Kuppermans lived on 1 Parkowa St. and Salomon worked in the local chemical factory as a clerk.

Having completed six classes in Oświęcim’s Królowa Jadwiga primary school, Elina left with her parents for Israel in 1962. The Kuppermans took a train to Warsaw, then traveled to Italy, where they boarded a ship to Haifa. They settled in Holon, where Elina finished high school. Though settled in Israel, she kept in touch with her classmates and teachers from Poland. She worked in the Israeli army for 27 years and though currently retired, she still works part-time.

Elina lives in Holon with her husband Daniel and 2 children.

Elina with her mother, Regina, Zakopane, 1961. Elina Shaked private collection.
Elina (right) with a friend at ballet class, Oświęcim, 1960. Elina Shaked private collection.
Elina (fifth from right, in Krakow’s folk dress) with her class, Oświęcim, 1960. Elina Shaked private collection.
Elina (second right) during a military exercise in Eilat, 1970s. Elina Shaked private collection.
    Greeting card to Elina and     her parents sent from     Oświęcim to Israel by her     former teacher Jadwiga     Marciniak, 1971. Elina     Shaked private collection.
Membership card of the Union of Fighters for Freedom and Democracy (which included former concentration camp inmates) belonging to Elina’s mother, Regina, 1957. Elina Shaked private collection.

   A letter from the CEO
   of the Chemical Factory
   in Oświęcim, Jerzy    Olszewski, to Elina’s    father, Salomon    Kuppermann, then the    head of the Financial    Dept., in praise of his    excellent work and with    best wishes for further    career. Handed to    Salomon on the day    before his departure to    Israel, Oświęcim, 1962.    Elina Shaked private    collection.