Oral history interview with Leonid Litvak
Leonid Litvak, born near Odesa, Ukraine, describes his prewar childhood; his father's involvement in the Communist Party; his father's forced relocation to Vladivostok, Russia in 1934 due to his communist ties; his escape, along with his mother and brother, from their forced relocation to Vladivostok; living with his aunt near Moldova; his father's imprisonment in 1937 by the KGB; his experiences during Nazi bombings; the Nazi-mandated evacuation of everyone in the village; his brother's job identifying Nazi spies for the Russian Army; and his mental breakdown after a near death experience during the war.
Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
- Leonid Litvak
- Irina Yufa
Mara Jevera Fulmer
2010 December 12
1 DVD : MPEG-4.
- Credit Line
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Mott Community College
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:25:15
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn45450
Also in Oral history interviews of the Mott Community College collection
Oral history interviews of the Mott Community College collection.
Nina Yufa, born in 1941, and Leonid Yufa, born in 1938, describe living in Kharkiv, Ukraine; their parents’ professions; how the KGB took Nina’s father; not being allowed to practice Judaism; the conditions under the Soviet government; how Nina’s mother tried to leave with her children; how Leonid’s family evacuated, except for his brother who was not allowed because of his mental disability; a massacre in Haika, the antisemitism in the Soviet Union, and how the interviewees’ parents were active in communist organizations (told by the translator and daughter of the interviewees, Irina Yufa); how Nina’s family was in Uzbekistan when the Nazis invaded Kharkiv and Leonid’s family was hiding in Siberia; the conditions in Siberia and Uzbekistan, including food and their parents’ jobs; returning to Kharkiv, where Leonid’s apartment was relatively untouched and Nina’s was destroyed; how Nina was sick with tropical malaria during the evacuation and was often sick as a child; being Jewish in the Soviet Union and how it affected their faith; being Jewish in the Soviet Union versus the United States; practicing Judaism after the fall of the Soviet Union; how Irina immigrated to the U.S. in 1991 and her family followed in 1993; antisemitism in higher education in the Soviet Union; Leonid’s thoughts on Hitler; the unfinished Jewish state Stalin planned in Siberia; and a monument that was built in Kharkiv.
Bettya Maysaiva Kurkis, born May 5, 1939 in Chernovtsy, Ukraine, describes her life in the region of Vinnytsia; her father's wartime involvement in Finland; the birth of her younger brother; her father's draft into World War II in 1941; the ghettoization of Jewish villages in the Vinnytsia region; Nazi acts of violence in her town; her family's forced evacuation from their home after the Nazi occupation of her village; the numerous bombings; the lack of access to formal education during the war; her postwar enrollment in school; and her immigration to the United States in 1993. Michael Kurkis, born in 1933 in Moldova, describes his prewar life in the town of Kishenev; the beginning of the war in 1941; his family's escape from Kishenev towards the Dniester River; crossing the Dniester River; relentless Nazi acts of violence and murders throughout their travels; his family's arrival in Rostov, Russia and their struggle to survive; his father and older brother being forced to participate in the army; their evacuation from their apartments in Rostov and escape into the forest; the family's torturous barge ride on the Caspian Sea; their arrival in Astrakhan, Russia and travels towards Uzbekistan; further hardships the family faced in their attempt to survive; their journey back to Moldova; the ruinous state of postwar Kishinev; his schooling; and the return of his father from the war.