I was born in May of 1942, in Holoby, Poland. When I was 13 weeks old, my family fled to the forests. After I became ill, my father convinced my mother that my only chance for survival was to place me in a farmhouse with a note saying I was the child of an unwed Polish mother. I was given to the Yarmolyuks, wealthy Ukrainians who baptized me Maria and protected me for 2-1/2 years. Later, I became deathly ill. Learning that my parents were alive, the Yarmolyuks offered them a chance to see me. Together, my “two mothers” ran to a nearby Soviet Army hospital for help. My mother Zelda took me away but stayed in contact with my rescuers.  We honored them with a tree at Yad Vashem.   ​

Holoby, Poland

Marsha (Masha Leikach) Tishler