Women of Valor: Partisans and Resistance Fighters
Aida Brydbord - Footnotes
4. Dr. Olia (Olga) Goldfein, born in Pruzhany in 1889, received her medical training in Geneva in 1913, after being excluded from Russian medical schools by the numerous clausus (quota). She served in a Moscow hospital during World War I and then returned to Pruzhany, where she established a flourishing medical practice among Jews and Christians. Under Russian occupation in World War II she was appointed director of the city hospital. She and her husband were on the first transport to Auschwitz from Pruzhany. She escaped from the train at Linovo, nearby, and made her way back to Pruzhany in spite of a head wound caused by a German rifle butt. Dr. Goldfein sought refuge in the convent at Pruzhany and was warmly received by Sister Dolorosa, whom she had once cured of a serious illness. The Mother Superior, however, ordered her to leave the convent.
Dressed as a nun, accompanied by Sister Dolorosa, Dr. Goldfein reached Sister Dolorosa's home in a faraway village, where she worked as a nurse for the duration of the war. After liberation by the Red Army the women returned to Pruzhany, where Sister Dolorosa was expelled from the convent. They then went to Lodz, where Sister Dolorosa settled. Dr. Goldfein became a medical officer in Marshall Zhukhov's army. After the war she was reunited with her daughter in France, and eventually settled in Israel where she worked as a doctor for Kupat Holim. She died in 1964. Sister Dolorosa was honoured by Yad Vashem as a Righteous Gentile. (Pinkas Pruzhany, pp.59-62, and Ehrenburg. Ilya and Vasily Grossman, The Black Book, N.Y.: Holocaust Library, 1981, pp.206-212).