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Oral history interview with Yakov Gincherman

Oral History | Accession Number: 2000.184.2 | RG Number: RG-50.510.0001

Yakov Gincherman describes the shooting massacre of Jews in September 1941 in Nagartav, Ukraine (a Jewish agricultural colony near Bereznehuvate); his parents, who grew up in a small Jewish town in Ukraine; living through the Russian Civil War; his parents’ desire to immigrate to the United States but being unable because they lacked the resources; his parents moving from Vinnyts'ka oblast' to Nagartav in 1923; conditions during the famine in 1933; antisemitism increasing and the closing of the Jewish school in Nagartav in 1937; his father’s work as a tractor driver; his mother taking care of the house and children; his older siblings, Khaya (born in 1919) and Mottle (born in 1921) and his younger brother Anatoliy (born in 1928); the German invasion; his family’s unsuccessful attempt to flee; being told later how German troops and Ukrainian guards assembled Jews and took all their valuables then marched them to a nearby ravine, where they were shot; how the remains were not allowed to be removed from the ravine and properly buried until 1956; a monument that was erected in 1981 dedicated to those buried at the execution site; being sent to training for the Red Army in 1941; graduating in June 1942 as a lieutenant; being sent to the front in Stalingrad and his experiences in the Battle of Stalingrad; being part of a machine gun division; the German propaganda dropped over Russia; being injured twice during the battle; the conditions in the city during the battle; being sent to the Battle of Kursk; being severely injured in July 1943 and honorably discharged from the army; never experiencing antisemitism in the army; being awarded two medals for his bravery in battle; and enrolling in a technical institute in Odessa, Ukraine in 1945; going to Kherson, Ukraine, where he worked for 35 years; getting married in 1950 and his wife’s death in 1994; the antisemitism in Ukraine and the former USSR after the fall of the communist regime; and immigrating to the US in April 1997.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Yakov Gincherman
1 sound cassette (60 min.).
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:31:40
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