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Oral history interview with Schneur Rachlin

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 2015.99.1 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0798

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    Oral history interview with Schneur Rachlin


    Interview Summary
    Schneur Rachlin, born on February 27, 1936 in Kaunas, Lithuania, discusses Jewish birth name traditions and his Hasidic given name; his family not being very religious; his parents’ home in Kybartai, Lithuania; his great-grandfather’s horse export business; his family’s origins in Ukraine; growing up speaking German, the only common language shared by his parents; his mother’s birth in Liverpool, England before moving to Copenhagen, Denmark to stay with family; his grandfather’s death and grandmother’s remarriage to a Jewish man from Rostov-on-Don, Russia; the history of Copenhagen’s Jewish community and the assimilation of most Jews; the Russian Revolution’s impact on his father’s family; his father’s childhood and education at German schools; his parents meeting in Copenhagen while his father was traveling there on business and their marriage in 1935; growing up in Kybartai, Lithuania; visiting Germany, Denmark, and Sweden in 1939; traveling to Riga, Latvia after the start of the war in September 1939; the arrival of the Soviet Army in 1940; his parents and siblings; antisemtic propaganda; soldiers taking his family and Lithuanian families by truck to a train station in summer of fall 1941; Mrs. Bauer, a German Jew, who brought the family some items as they waited on the train to be deported to Siberia; arriving in the city of Biysk with other Jewish and Lithuanian families; meeting the family of artist Aharon April; his parents’ work; attending a Russian-language kindergarten; his grandmother’s reactions to the deportation and living in Siberia; sharing a house with other families; being deported further east in 1942 and his father and other men using a geography book to determine where they were and where they were being taken; crossing the Lena River; surviving winter in Siberia; his father’s work ice fishing; attending a school with the children of a Polish deportee; remaining in that camp in Siberia for one year before moving to another camp in 1943; his grandmother’s death; traveling to Prokrost (?), Russia in Siberia in 1944 and living there for nine years; life under communism; his brother’s birth during the Soviet famine of 1946– 1947; finishing Gymnasium and taking the Arbitur in 1953; learning about what happened in Kybartai and Kaunas only after the war; a neighbor in Kybartai who informed on people to the Germans during the war and later to the KGB afterwards; gaining USSR citizenship in 1954; the Hungarian Revolution of 1956; living and studying in Irkutsk, a city in Siberia; receiving visas and the family’s move to Denmark in 1957; his reflections on his deportation to Siberia and others’ experiences during the Holocaust; and the book published by his parents about the family’s experience’s in Siberia during the war.
    Schneur Rachlin
    Ina Navazelskis
    interview:  2015 March 24

    Physical Details

    Oral histories.
    1 digital file : MPEG-4.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
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    Keywords & Subjects

    Personal Name
    Rachlin, Schneur.

    Administrative Notes

    Ina Navazelskis, on behalf of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Oral History Branch, conducted the oral history interview with Schneur Rachlin on March 24, 2015 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this oral history interview has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 08:04:53
    This page:

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