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Oral history interview with Yahad-In Unum interviewee 532U

Oral History | Accession Number: 2009.24.135 | RG Number: RG-50.589.0135

The interviewee, a Ukrainian man born in 1925, discusses events in Kovel', Volyns'ka oblast', Ukraine; the prewar presence of 35,000 Jews and three synagogues; the beginning of the Soviet occupation of the area in 1939; the arrest and imprisonment of his father for resisting collectivization; his escape from prison when the war started and the prison was hit by German bombs; the German headquarters in Kovel'; the identifying of Jews by Germans and Ukrainian police; the individual shooting of Jews and Ukrainians; seeing bodies of persons hanged for alleged crimes; the arm-bands and other markings Jews were forced to wear; the confiscation of gold from the Jewish community; the establishment of a ghetto in autumn of 1941; the ghetto and the Jewish police; witnessing the shooting of a woman and two children who tried to escape from a column of Jews; and the storing of Jewish clothing and other possessions in a Kovel' school; the first mass shooting of Jews from Kovel' at a sand pit in Bakhiv, Ukraine in the fall of 1942; the transporting of Jews to Bakhiv by train from Verbka station on the outskirts of Kovel' four times; the report that Jews went quietly to the shooting site after being told by a rabbi that this was their fate; the selecting out of Jews who were specialists or artisans; the escape from the ghetto of some Jews, particularly doctors, to the partisans; the motives of the Ukrainian police; the anti-Soviet attitudes of the populace and their welcome of German troops; partisan factions and infighting; the local administration led by the bloodthirsty German Gebietskommissar Tel'man; the postwar anti-Soviet partisan activity; and his speculation on why the Germans dealt so brutally with the Jews.

interview:  2007 August 02
creation: Kovel' (Ukraine)
1 compact disc.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Yahad-in Unum
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 19:52:18
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