04.08.2013 – Chance encounter reunites Moldovans

By JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH

Elderly patient and volunteer at Kaplan Medical Center realize on Remembrance Day they grew up in the same part of Moldova.

Hospital bed
Hospital bed Photo: Wikicommons

A 101-year-old patient at Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot and a 92-year-old volunteer in the orthopedics department who met on Sunday, the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, realized that they both grew up in the same place in Moldova before the Holocaust.

Lisa Lingo, an outstanding volunteer at the hospital, has been giving emotional support to patients for the past 27 years.

She was assisting Sarah Vingizack – an engineer in her younger days – cope with temporary disability after falling, fracturing her hip and undergoing joint replacement surgery.

While conversing about their past they were moved to find out that they both were raised close by in the same part of Moldova. When the Nazis captured the area, both fled to survive.

The two elderly women agreed that the secret of life after they survived the Holocaust was “work and correct breathing.”

Vingizack said she went to live in the Ukraine as an adult and worked as an engineer at the Odessa Technical College.

When the Germans invaded, she fled with her son Gennady to Uzbekistan, and both escaped their clutches. She returned to Moldova after the war and came on aliya in 1994.

Following her successful surgery, she will undergo rehabilitation at Kaplan.

Lingo was born and raised in Kishinev. When the Nazis arrived, they set up a labor camp where she was taken at the age of 17.

“I survived the camp by dragging stones for building the railway, having to do very hard physical work and while surrounded by infectious illness.

“God wanted me to get out of there alive, and after I settled in Israel, I started to work in Kaplan and remained an orthopedics department volunteer for another 27 years,” Lingo said.

The hospital staff were moved by the encounter in which the two survivors hugged like sisters.