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Oral history interview with Boris Shpreyregin

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 1992.A.0130.41 | RG Number: RG-50.307.0041

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    Oral history interview with Boris Shpreyregin


    Interview Summary
    Boris Shpreyregin, born in 1923, in Pleshintsi (Pleshchenitsy or Plieščanicy), Belarus, describes his childhood; his mother’s death when he was eight years old; his two brothers (Eliyah and Lippa); their home; attending school; the structure of naming in his family; being from a Jewish family, but not being given a Jewish name; being renamed Aaron; the Jewish community in Pleshintsi before and after the war; being educated in a Hebrew school and transferring to a Belarusian school in Minsk after seventh grade; getting further education in Kiev, Ukraine; how his grandfather wanted he and his brothers to be religious and hiding his religion from his school; the arrests of Jews beginning in 1937 and no longer attending synagogue; the Jewish community in Minsk; being in Minsk during the beginning of the war; returning home to find his family hiding in the woods; being caught by Germans; his brother, Lippa, being forced into the military and dying in 1945; his father’s assignment to a Jewish council; having to wear yellow lapels sewed onto their clothes; several massacres, during which 10 people at a time were taken naked to ditches and killed; being forced into a ghetto; fleeing the ghetto with several others; the kindness of the peasants towards Jews who escaped from the ghetto; being separated from most of his family and unsuccessfully trying to meet with partisans; going towards southern Belarus with his family; the murder of his grandfather in a farmhouse with other Jews; the execution of his aunt Gnessa, her husband, and his brother Eliyah; hiding in a swamp near Hattin (Khatyn), Belarus; becoming a partisan in 1943; how it was difficult for Jews to enter into the ranks of the partisans; his life fighting the Germans along with the partisans; being in the army and not experiencing antisemitism; the Germans finding the Jews hiding in the swamp and forcing them into the Minsk ghetto; dealing with a heavy blockade in 1944, during which numerous partisans were killed; Jews returning to the shtetl after the war ended; losing most of his extended family; his life after the war with his wife and kids; his life in the United States; and receiving reparations from the Germans when he moved to the US.
    [Note that the interviewee shows pictures of his family to the camera during the interview.]
    Boris Shpreyregin
    Rita Hopstein
    interview:  1995 September 10

    Physical Details

    4 videocasettes (Betacam SP) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..

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    Administrative Notes

    The interview with Boris Shpreyregin was conducted on September 10, 1995 by the Surviving Generations of the Holocaust (Washington State) as part of a project documenting the testimonies of Holocaust survivors and their children in the state of Washington, particularly in the Seattle area. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum received a copy of the interview in 1996.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 08:26:54
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