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Oral history interview with Vladimir Gekhter

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 1995.A.1286.21 | RG Number: RG-50.405.0021

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    Oral history interview with Vladimir Gekhter


    Interview Summary
    Vladimir Gekhter, born in 1951 in Minsk, Belarus, describes his family and childhood as a Jew in the former Soviet Union; living in Siberia at age from age two to 16; his father, who was a military doctor; his mother, who was a dentist; being identified as Jewish and experiencing antisemitism despite the fact that he did not grow up with Jewish traditions; his father dying at an early age from cancer soon after they moved back to Minsk in 1967; not being allowed to pursue a medical career since he was Jewish; attending a polytechnical college to become an engineer; getting married to his wife Anna at age 24 in 1975 in Minsk; Anna, who is also Jewish (her grandmother observed the Jewish traditions, but Anne was embarrassed by it and the Yiddish her grandmother spoke); taking a job as a design engineer in an industrial manufacturing plant designing machines; encountering significant antisemitism and not being happy in his career advancement; trying to quit his job and expecting to take another but was not being allowed to; having a side responsibility as the manager of a farm collective and once he gained some power it was taken away from him (probably because he was Jewish and also because he would not join the communist party); applying for a visa to the United States in 1979 and being refused; applying again and being accepted in 1988; being sponsored by friends and moving from Minsk to the Chicago, IL area in 1988 by way of Vienna, Austria; living with his wife and their two sons as well as his mother in Skokie, IL.
    Vladimir Gekhter
    interview:  1990 October 30
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, acquired from the Women's Auxiliary of the Jewish Community Centers of Chicago

    Physical Details

    2 sound cassettes (60 min.).

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Personal Name
    Gekhter, Vladimir.

    Administrative Notes

    The Women's Auxiliary of the Jewish Community Centers of Chicago conducted the interview with Vladimir Gekhter on October 30, 1990 as part of an oral history project to document the experiences of Jews who fled the former Soviet Union. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum received a copy of the interview in June 1995.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 08:28:48
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