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 (09-010.09-F) -  Shelf Number: MDV 392

No streaming derivative is available.

Date: July 14, 2002

Participants: Kupershmidt, Mikhail Aronovich; Kupershmidt, Rakhil Natanovna. Interviewed by Dov-Ber Kerler, Dovid Katz and Jeffrey Veidlinger.

Location recorded: Bratslav, Vinnyts'ka Oblast', Ukraine

Language: Yiddish

Culture Group: Jews, Yiddish-speakers, Ukrainians

 Recording Content:   

The recording is a formal interview with Mikhail (Moyshe) Aronovich Kupershmidt, born 1914 in Bratslav. (Part 1 of 3. See MDV 393 and Accession # 09-010.43-F MDV 657) Mikhail Kupershmidt talks about his early memories of his Jewish education in Bratslav before World War II. He then talks about how he survived the war. He was put into forced labor in Zhytomyr, fled a massacre in the outskirts of Zhytomyr, spent time in a prisoner of war camp in Rivne, the Pechera concentration camp, the Nemyriv ghetto and the Mohylyiv-Podil'skyi ghetto. He had been trained as a chauffeur prior to the war, had served in the Finnish War, and briefly served as a driver for the Germans during the German occupation. He ended the war serving in the Red Army.

00:00:00 The team meets Kupershmidt and his wife Rakhil (Rukhl) Natanovna Kupershmidt, nee Reznik, and they chat, before setting up the formal interview. He talks about his family in Israel. Rakhil, who is his second wife, was also born in Bratslav.
00:02:48 The formal interview with Kupershmidt begins. He provides personal information. He also recites prayers and addresses his religious education.
00:04:48 Kupershmidt talks about prewar Jewish life in Bratslav. He then provides personal information.
00:07:59 Kupershmidt provides personal information and talks about his family. His parents were also born in Bratslav.
00:09:27 Kupershmidt speaks about regional Jewish life during the war, before speaking about his family's fate during the war. Kupershmidt's mother was evacuated and his father was killed in Bratslav.
00:11:54 Kupershmidt talks about his life during World War II. Before the war, Kupershmidt worked at a driving school and was then drafted as chauffeur in Finland in the early war years. He describes the situation after he returned from Finland and was caught to be executed. Kupershmidt then talks about his escape to Zhytomyr from a massacre. Kupershmidt was caught again with non-Jewish prisoners and volunteered to drive to Zhytomyr. He explains how another prisoner informed on Kupershmidt that he is Jewish. He continues to talk about his life in hiding and with non-Jewish forced labor group, as well as in a prisoner of war camp in Rivne. Kupershmidt also mentions how he dressed up as a non-Jew.
00:25:48 Kupershmidt shares an episode of his life during the war, when he was with a non-Jewish forced labor group that received permission to move around between local districts. He describes the daily life and escapes, before he was caught near Bratslav and sent to the Pechera camp, via Bratslav and Nemyriv ghettos. Kupershmidt also mentions his work assignments, including driving service. He states that he was allowed to drive to the Bratslav and used it to look for his family in the ghetto. Before Kupershmidt was liberated and drafted in the Red Army, he was imprisoned in the Mohyliv-Podilskyy ghetto.
00:38:23 Kupershmidt addresses the moment when he was drafted in Mohyliv-Podilskyy. He served in the Red Army for one and a half years. Kupershmidt talks about his life and family after the war. His first wife died in 1947; and his son lives Israel. Kupershmidt maintains that his family was prepared to immigrate to America.
00:41:42 End of recording.