Rahamim and Hilwah Madgdassi

My sister’s name was Ruth, and her nickname was Hana - sweetie. She had a lot of charm.

She had black hair and looked a lot like my sister Yael. She was smiley.

Ruth was as white as snow. I am blond as are and my siblings.

We were born in Mosul, Iraq, to our parents Rahamim and and Hilwah (later she changed her name to Yafa in Hebrew) Madgdassi, plus three sisters: Samia (Sima) Yocheved, and the brother Samuel, two years younger than I am, and Ruth who a few months old less than a year from when we immigrated in May of 1951.

We were brought to Sha’ar Ha’aliyah and we stayed there several weeks and then they wanted to take us to Pardes Hanna, but the grandparents and parents did not want to go. They said that they had waited for years in order to get to Jerusalem.

We lived in Castel transit camp, in shacks in Jerusalem. My sister did not feel well My mother went to her brother and they both went to the health clinic and were advised to take her to Bikur Cholim Hospital in the city. There she was told to return home to the rest of her children and return the next day. The next day, my mother came and did not see the girl.

They informed her that she had died, even though she was fine the night before.

They told her, “We buried her. Take your legs and go.” She persisted and they asked my mother how many children she had at home, and said, “Go home and have more children.”

Then after my mother was torn with pain and tears, my father and my uncle went to the hospital where they were told, "We buried her ourselves because you have no money for the burial.” But who told you we had no money?!

Two other sisters were born afterward in Israel.

Five years ago my house was broken into. They stole everything, including my ID, my wallet, and everything ... There were two passport photos of her when she was a baby in my wallet, I carried these pictures with me all my life.

I have only one picture left.

Yocheved Magdassi