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Oral history interview with Boris Shpreyregin

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

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

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.]

Interviewee
Boris Shpreyregin
Date
1995 September 10  (interview)
Language
Russian
Extent
4 videocasettes (Betacam SP) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:50:20
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn512698