Sylvia S. Shoken, a Holocaust survivor who owned several Baltimore neighborhood grocery stores with her husband, died Thursday of complications of a stroke at Milford Manor Nursing Home. She was 73.
She was born Sylvia Szmulewicz in Zdunska-Wola, Poland, and was 16 when the Nazis occupied her country. The Nazis marched members of her family, along with others in the Jewish ghetto, to the town's Jewish cemetery, where they were shot.
"Her mother, brother and younger sister escaped, only to be lost and were probably later gassed," said a son, William R. Shoken of Baltimore.
"The Nazis killed her mother, father, grandmother, two brothers and younger sister. She and her two surviving sisters were taken to the ghetto at Lodz, Poland," he said.
In 1944, they were among 500 women sent to work in a munitions factory near Berlin. Later, they were aboard a bus headed to Sweden for a prisoner exchange when the bus was attacked by Allied aircraft.
She was sent to Sweden. After a year in a displaced persons camp, she went to New York in 1947 and, later, to Baltimore, where she became a seamstress. "She did not speak a great deal about" the Holocaust, said a son, Fred B. Shoken of Charles Village.
She met and married Abraham Shoken in 1950. He died last year.
The Shokens, who lived for many years in Northwest Baltimore, owned grocery stores during the 1950s and 1960s. They later opened Discount Liquors in West Baltimore, which they operated until the late 1970s.
She had been a member of Ohel Yakov congregation and in recent years, Beth Jacob synagogue.
Services will be at 1: 30 p.m. today at Sol Levinson & Bros, 8900 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville.
Mrs. Shoken also is survived by another son, Samuel B. Shoken of Baltimore; and two sisters, Esther Friedel and Sala Achtman of Brooklyn, N.Y.
Pub Date: 6/22/97