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Gennadi S. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4432) interviewed by Artem Kopelev

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-4432

Videotape testimony of Gennadi S., who was born in Leningrad (presently Saint Petersburg) in 1929, the older of two children. He recounts his mother was Jewish and his father was not; the family moving to Kiev when he was six months old; drills in preparation for military invasion beginning in 1940; German invasion on June 22, 1941; a notice for all Jews to report on September 29; his father deciding en route to turn back; learning thousands of Jews had been shot at Babi Yar that day; remaining in their apartment; a neighbor reporting they were illegally hiding a Jew; officers taking his mother (they never saw her again); his father supporting them by making and selling hairbrushes; imprisonment with his father and sister in April 1943; train transfer to Berlin; incarceration with other Russians, who threatened to expose them as Jews; their escape with assistance from a guard; entering a forced labor camp as Soviets, using a false name; being sent to work on a farm in August, then to a factory in Cottbus after a month; his assignment to the factory, his sister's as a babysitter, and his father's as a janitor; liberation by Soviet troops in 1945; returning to Kiev; his father working as a craftsman; completing school; attending the medical academy near Babi Yar, where they walked on human bones; his military career; leaving the army due to antisemitism; and recently writing his family history. Mr. S. discusses not understanding to this day why they were left alone in Kiev after his mother's arrest and his puzzlement over persistent antisemitism. He shows documents and photographs.

Author/Creator
S., Gennadi, 1929-
Published
New Haven, Conn. : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 2010
Interview Date
May 27, 2010.
Language
Russian
Copies
3 copies: DV Cam master; Betacam SP dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Gennadi S. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4432). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.