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Oral history interview with Shmul Kaplan

Oral History | Accession Number: 2016.275.1 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0896

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

Shmul Kaplan, born on May 24, 1926 in Narodichi, Zhytomyrs’ka Oblast’, Ukraine, describes going east with his mother (Genya) and sister (Raya) in July 1941, shortly before Nazi German forces occupied Narodichi and killed many of the remaining people; his father Shaya Kaplan, who was mobilized and not allowed to leave the town and Shmul never saw him again; getting on a train after four days of walking east with his family; going to Kursk station in Russia, where Shmul and his mother were accidently separated from his sister; going with his mother to the village of Erokhina, Yurgamysh district, Kurgan Region of Russian Federation; working on the local farm until January 1942, when they were able to reunite with Shmul’s sister in Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan; his first job in Alma-Ata at a dairy farm and later working as a shepherd’s helper; being sent to work in the field in the fall of 1942; beginning to work at a heavy machinery plant at the end of 1942; working 12 hour shifts, six days a week; being wounded on December 8, 1944 on the way to work and losing part of his leg; being hospitalized for 20 months; learning at the end of the war that his father was killed at the front in July 1944; graduating from night school in 1946 and enrolling in the Alma-Ata University; studying mathematics; experiencing antisemitism; obtaining his PhD in mathematics; his work in schools and colleges; developing and publishing a mathematics teaching methodology; moving to Tver, Russia in 1994; instances of antisemitism; and immigrating to the United States in 1996.

Interviewee
Shmul Kaplan
Interviewer
Liliya Meyerovich
Date
2016 August 27  (interview)
Geography
creation : Levittown (Pa.)
Language
Russian