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Oral history interview with Gennadiy Zaster

Oral History | Accession Number: 2011.116 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0624

Gennady Zaster, born on November 8, 1932, discusses his parents; his Latvian father and Jewish mother; his parents’ divorce after two years of marriage; living with his father in Kharkov (Kharkiv, Ukraine); his mother’s remarriage; the beginning of the war; his father’s avoidance of the draft; the death of his stepfather; the air raids; seeing the retreat if the Soviet soldiers in October 1941; seeing the local population greet the German soldiers with bread and salt; the hanging of accused partisans by the Germans; the German occupation; the deportation of his father to Germany in February 1942; being taken in by the mother of his father’s girlfriend; being sent to a children’s home in the village of Okhtyrka in Sumskaya oblast; life in the children’s home; spending time in the forests during the summer; seeing a pile of bodies in the forest on one occasion; being suspected of being a partisan by a German soldier and being interrogated briefly before returning to the children’s home; the liberation of Okhtyrka in 1944; being found by his mother; learning later that his father had been killed during an Allied bombing in Germany; the difficult years after the war; attending Suvorov Military Academy; life under Stalin; experiencing discrimination after attending technical school when he could not advance higher; his children; and being an electrical engineer in the 1960s before quitting to work as a camp counselor.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Gennadiy Zaster
Ina Navazelskis
interview:  2011 June 04
3 videocassettes (MiniDV).
Credit Line
Interview funded by the Thau gift.
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:24:07
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