At our monthly Stories Survive Speaker Series, hear Holocaust survivors share their life stories in their own words.

On April 15, Fran Malkin will share her history.

Fran Malkin was born in Sokal, near Lvov, Poland in 1938. She grew up in an orthodox family.

In 1939, Russia occupied her town. Under Communist rule, her family’s properties were taken away and strangers occupied their home. In spring 1941, Germany invaded Poland. When they came into Sokal, they required all Jewish able-bodied men between the ages of 16-60 to report to the town square for labor. 400 Jewish men, including her father, were taken to a brick factory and shot. Fran was two years old.

The family was later forced into the ghetto. In the fall of 1942, the family went into hiding. They were among sixteen people who were hidden for two years in the hayloft of a barn by Francisca Halamajowa, 13 in the hayloft over the pigsty and 3 in a hole under her kitchen. Fran’s uncle kept a diary of their experiences, which his sons later translated from the Yiddish into English.

Fran came to the United States in January 1949, when she was 10 years old.

In 2007, Fran returned to Sokal (now Ukraine) along with Francisca’s two granddaughters (who live in Hartford), two other survivors, and the filmmaker Judy Maltz who made a film of their experiences called No. 4 Street of Our Lady, based on the children’s memories and her uncle’s diary.