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Mikhail Rivkin, Arkady Shulman
RELATED BY WAR

Memories of Larisa Kaim

Memories of Yelena Zibert

Memories of Inessa Ivanova

Memories of Igor Baranov

Arkady Shulman
I HAVE GONE THROUGH HELL…

Ludmila Khmelnitskaya
FROM THE HISTORY OF VITEBSK SYNAGOGUES

Vera Shufel
ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED…

Irina Levikova
IT SEEMED THAT THIS KIND OF LIFE IS FOREVER

Eduard Menakhin
THE MENAKHINS

Pavel Mogilevsky
MY GREAT GRANDMOTHER

Arkady Shulman
THE KEEPER OF FAMILY MEMORIES

Arkady Shulman
THE LIOZNIANSKYS

Mikhail Matlin
THE MATLINS

Lev Polykovsky
STORY OF A FAMILY FROM VITEBSK

Vladimir Kostukevich
GIRL FROM GHETTO

Polina Falikova
STORY OF A FAMILY

Memories of Raisa Yalova

Vera Knorring
FOLKLORE RESEARCHER FROM VITEBSK

Arkady Shulman
UNUSUAL BIOGRAPHY

Arkady Shulman
MEMORIES OF CHILDHOOD IN THE WAR

Irina Levikova

IT SEEMED THAT THIS KIND OF LIFE IS FOREVER

At the beginning of July my mother went to the military registration and enlistment office. There a military man told her: "Our position at the frontline has improved, so there is no need to leave". He did not issue her an evacuation permit. Father was mobilized (he was 47); mother was a housewife. Only some of the people working at plants and factories, managed to evacuate their families. We remained in the city, not knowing what to do.

Germans entered Vitebsk on July 9. We hid ourselves in the basement of a church opposite our house. We saw that many people were leaving the city. Mother was reluctant to leave because she considered Germans cultured people. She had witnessed the German occupation in the Ukraine in 1918 and said that Germans had treated Jews well. However, my sister convinced her to leave. Thus we set on our way, wearing only summer dresses and slippers. Mother only went back home to check if the doors were locked and took only a coat, in which all our documents were.

We walked at night and stayed in the woods in the daytime, since the road was being constantly bombed. I was six at the time. It was difficult for my mother to carry me in her arms all the time. Sometimes soldiers helped her – they put me onto the tank or carried me in their arms.

I remember we reached the town of Rudnia. It was on fire and we had to run through a narrow corridor between the raging flames. I can still often see that fire in my dreams: I am trying to escape but the fire still catches up…

We were walking for about two weeks. There were a lot of people. At night we had to walk very quickly – we were practically running. Next to us there was a family – husband and wife and three girls, older than me. They decided they did not want to wait in the woods until it got dark and left. We continued our trip later and when we approached the motorway we saw a terrible sight: the three girls were lying dead – they had been killed by a bomb. I will never forget how their parents put their bodies next to a birch tree and continued walking with us.

We arrived in Smolensk, thinking that it was a very safe place. At dawn we saw German planes over the city. We managed to get to the train station and get on a train.

On the way our family was separated. Our relatives ended up in Uzbekistan. Our family decided to reach Rzhev, were our uncle lived.

First we were sleeping in someone's house on the floor. About three weeks later we were allowed to stay in a summer tent (where once vegetables were sold). When the winter began, some people let us stay in their house. We lived in a room, which used to be the toilet. The owners turned it into a room and built a toilet outside.

My mom met an orphaned girl, who was living alone. I can still remember her name: Mania Maoyorova. We were allowed to move to their house because mother said she would take care of her. Mania was a little older than I but younger than my sister. Mother was working in a hospital from 8 am to 8 pm. When sister Polia turned 14, she also went to work.

In 1942, during the horrible battles near Stalingrad, a lot of wounded soldiers were brought to the hospital where mother was working. Hospital workers met the wounded at the station. One day mother saw my father among the wounded. He had been wounded on the leg.

After the recovery the patients stayed in the hospital, where they were given work. My father used to bring bread from the bakery to the hospital. The head of the hospital has requested the military registration office to leave my father at the hospital.

We came back to Vitebsk after the war only to see that the city had been completely destroyed. Our house had been burnt down as well. We rented a room, which we later bought. I got a degree in medicine and got married to Semion Borda. We are still happily married.

Many of our relatives were killed in the ghetto…

«Evacuation. Memories of the childhood, burned by the fire of the Holocaust. USSR, 1941-1945»,
Author and editor: Alla Nikitina, 2009

Еврейское местечко под Минском


Jewish settlements in Vitebsk region

Vitebsk Albrehtovo Babinovichi Baran Bayevo Begoml Beshenkovichi Bocheikovo Bogushevsk Borkovichi Braslav Bychiha Chashniki Disna Dobromysli Dokshitsy Druya Dubrovno Glubokoye Gorodok Kamen Kohanovo Kolyshki Kopys Krasnopolie Kublichi Lepel Liady Liozno Lukoml Luzhki Lyntupy Miory Obol Oboltsy Orsha Osintorf Ostrovno Parafianovo Plissa Polotsk Prozorki Senno Sharkovshina Shumilino Sirotino Slaveni Smolyany Surazh Tolochin Ulla Verhnedvinsk Vidzy Volyntsy Yanovichi Yezerishe Zhary Ziabki

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