Return to ATM Online Collections  > AHEYM: The Archive of Historical and Ethnographic Yiddish Memories  > Bratslav

 (09-010.09-F) -  Shelf Number: MDV 397

No streaming derivative is available.

Date: June 25, 2005

Participants: Kupershmidt, Mikhail Aronovich. 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 the continuation of a formal interview with Mikhail Aronovich Kupershmidt, in which Kupershmidt tells of his experiences surviving World War II. (Part 2 of 2. See MDV 396) 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. The tape ends with Kupershmidt showing photos of his family and newspaper clippings.

00:00:00 Kupershmidt speaks about the fate of Bratslav Jewish orphans, who the Germans drowned in the Southern Bug River.
00:02:37 Kupershmidt talks about his life and work during World War II. Kupershmidt then speaks about the moment when he was imprisoned in the Zhytomyr ghetto and picked as a driver for German officers. He also mentions that someone informed on him to the German army.
00:07:33 Kupershmidt talks about his imprisonment in the Zhytomyr ghetto, from where he was deported for execution. Kupershmidt also shares episodes of his time in hiding, as well as work as chauffeur.
00:19:09 Kupershmidt addresses Jewish life in Bratslav during the Great Hunger in 1932 and 33. Kupershmidt traveled to Odesa to earn money. In 1935, Kupershmidt explains, he practiced driving in Odesa. Kupershmidt returned to Bratslav in 1936 and worked as driving instructor. Kupershmidt states that was already married and his child was born in 1940.
00:22:24 Kupershmidt was drafted into the Red Army in 1940 in Khmelnytskyy and trained to fix military vehicles. He then describes his military service, during which he drove to Finland through Poland.
00:25:00 Kupershmidt addresses religious customs at home and briefly recites prayers. He then talks about his family and life during the postwar Soviet period. In particular, Kupershmdit addresses a family conflict regarding circumcision.
00:30:42 Kupershmidt speaks about prewar religious customs in Bratslav, including circumcision celebrations. He then speaks about his family. Kupershmidt raised two children.
00:33:22 Kupershmidt addresses prewar religious life in the late 1930s, including synagogue structure. He then answers questions about Hebrew terminology, before talking about life today.
00:39:08 Kupershmidt remembers Passover celebrations at home, including the Four Questions. He then speaks about his family.
00:42:31 Kupershmidt recalls snippets from a Yiddish song from the camp. He returns to his life during the war and also addresses Nazi propaganda. Kupershmidt then remembers a Polish Jewish soldier.
00:51:43 Kupershmidt shows family photographs, letters and newspaper clippings, as well as a book about the Pechera concentration camp.
01:02:32 End of recording.