“Zipora and Dov (Braka) Cohen were a young couple at the outbreak of World War II. Before the war, the couple had suffered from a miscarriage. With the German invasion into Lithuania, the couple unsuccessfully tried to escape to the Soviet Union, and found themselves back in their home in Kovno. It was not long before Dov and Zipora were evacuated from their home and into the ghetto established in the city. Some six months later, on January 18, 1942, their daughter Hinda was born, named after Zipora’s mother.
At the end of November 1943, the couple was moved to the Aleksotas labor camp in Lithuania, where they worked under grueling conditions, assigned to exhausting tasks. During the day the men and women would leave for work and only the children would remain in the camp, with a handful of adults and elderly people. On March 27, transportation vehicles arrived at the camp. The adults were told to leave for work through a different gate, so that they would not be able to see the vehicles that had arrived. At the end of the day, when the men and women returned, they discovered that all of the children had been deported to concentration camps in the East. Later, they learned that their children had been sent to Auschwitz, where they were murdered. Dov and Zipora went to their daughter’s bed and found one of her shoes, along with the mittens Zipora had made for her. Dov etched the date on the bottom of the shoe and swore to preserve it for posterity.
Dov and Zipora asked their families to deliver the items that had belonged to their small daughter to Yad Vashem. Indeed, after their passing, their granddaughter donated the artifacts to the Holocaust History Museum at Yad Vashem.