Jean (Giza) Chapnick was born in Chrzanow, Poland in the early 1920s and grew up in the nearby town of Mszana Dolna. Her childhood is filled with warm memories from her religious Jewish household, which she shares at

After the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, Jean’s family escaped east to Lutsk (now Ukraine) and the village of Torchyn. In Torchyn, she survived two “aktions” in 1942 in which the Einsatzgruppen mobile killing units and their Ukrainian collaborators murdered her Jewish neighbors.

Jean shares her memories of these killings, often called the “Holocaust by bullets,” in this video interview below and at

Stories Survive is made possible by the Goldie and David Blanksteen Foundation.