Hello, my name is Lea Freed, I was born in Tarnuff, Poland and was hidden for 3 years in a convent near Pshemisht, on the Russian border. I was there for 3 years at ages 5 to 8. My convent stood on a small hill in Pshemisht overlooking a river, a beautiful and quiet place. br> 
I was brought there by Yanina, a Christian acquaintance of my mother, who had hidden me for six months prior to that. She couldn't keep me because they found out about me so she looked for another hiding place for me. I was brought there, and was allowed to play with a dog while Yanina agreed with nuns on a deal. My cover story was that Mother Superior was my aunt, that my mother, her sister, was killed in a bombing in Warsaw, and my father was killed in the Polish army. br> 
They had a kindergarten for children aged 3-4. I was too big to join them so I had my own tasks. I worked within the convent. I milked the cows. I remember a red cow that always slapped me in the face with her tail but I rewarded myself by drinking with pleasure white and frothing milk from her udders. I fed the pigs, I collected the eggs, I tended the goats, and as small as I was I cleaned the whole convent, shining their beautiful parquet floor. br> 
I want to tell you two funny-sad anecdotes about that period. The first is about a statue. With time I became a very devout Christian. I prayed with ardor and had many questions for the priest who came once a week with the boys' choir. The nuns liked my faith, which I proved by asking to take to my room the statue of St. Francis, a large portrayal of St. Francis hugging the infant Jesus. The nuns thought it was a sign from heaven for a 5-year-old to want this statue in her room. For me it may have been a doll, or perhaps I missed father's arms and mother's hugs the way St. Francis was hugging Jesus. Anyway, it convinced the nuns I was on the right road to Faith. br> 
The other story is about cakes. I was never hungry, but I never ate with the nuns. Always outside, with the dogs, because only nuns and monks could eat with the nuns for they ate the sacrament. And I always wondered what is there in the pots and what do they eat when I'm not there. I was a wild child, never went to school and roamed the streets. Once I chanced upon a shop where they had puff pastry, eclairs. They were something rare during the war and I wanted them very much. I sneaked into the nun's room, where I actually slept and stole a few coins from her wooden box and bought myself an eclair. I managed to do that twice, but on the third time as I came back licking my fingers and lips until no sign was left I was Mother Superior walking down the path with her hands behind her back. I knew I was going to stand trail, and I was.br> 
I couldn't deny it so I admitted. I was shipped with a whip used on the beasts. That hurt, but I was more afraid of spending a whole night in the pigsty. I wasn't afraid of the pigs, they were my friends, but there were huge gray rats scurrying around all night in the pigsty. br> 
The war ended. I was 8 years old. I waited every day for my parents to come and get me after 3 years separation. But they never came. They were no longer alive.br>