Nechama Werdiger has had a long and fascinating life. Growing up under the Soviet Union’s harsh antisemitism, she endured the war years as a child in Uzbekistan where thousands of Jews sought refuge from the Holocaust. She and her family managed to escape to Poland and France before arriving in 1949 in Australia. Through hard work, a strong sense of family and unswerving faith, she and her husband Nathan (Nossom) built a successful new life in Melbourne.
Generous, wise, kind and caring, Nechama will inspire you with her life story.
“… During the recollections which have come together to form the basis for this memoir, it occurred to me that I’ve really lived two lives, divided by time and space. I think of them as BM and AM – ‘Before Melbourne’, and ‘After Melbourne’.
“In ‘Before Melbourne’, as I’ve tried to reconstruct my childhood in the 1930s and 40s, it’s the story of growing up under the Soviet Union’s harsh antisemitism, and enduring the war years in Uzbekistan’s two cities of refuge from the Holocaust for thousands of Jews, Tashkent and Samarkand. Then it was escaping in fear to Poland, and from there, with my parents and two brothers, arriving in Paris as refugees, which could have been where my family settled, and which would have meant a very different Nechama’s Story.
“But in 1949, I came to Australia. And at Station Pier, the ‘After Melbourne’ story began. Here, three years after my arrival, in the city where I’ve lived the greater bulk of my life, I was blessed to find my beshert, my soulmate, my life partner, Nosson. We were married for sixty-three happy and treasured years, until his passing in 2015. Together we built a family, which became a tribe, and with God’s help, is on its way to becoming a dynasty …”