Martha Shemtov

“As we travel with the March of the Living to witness places of tragic times in our history, and hear the stories of living witnesses, our survivors. You students, as the future generation, are the memory keepers and one day will be the storytellers.”

Martha Shemtov was born in Lvov, Poland on October 10, 1940. She was an only child. On June 22, 1941, when the Germans took over Lvov, Martha’s parents decided to move to Stryj, a smaller town, thinking it would be safer there. A few weeks after moving to Stryj, the ghetto was created, and they never left. After getting caught hiding in a neighbour’s house, the family was marched into town and loaded onto a train heading for Belzec. They managed to survive jumping from the moving train, and they found their way back to Stryj. In 1943, at age two and a half, Martha was sent to live with a Polish woman and her grandmother. There she was raised as a Catholic child. She stayed with them until her father came to get her after liberation in 1945. Martha’s mother was killed in 1944. In 1957, Martha went to live in Israel, and moved to Canada in 1963. Martha has three children and six grandchildren.