Oral history archive

Card index of the interviews


From 1995 to 2003, the staff of the Institute of Jewish Studies in Kyiv (today’s Center for Studies in History and Culture of East European Jewry) worked on the project “Ukraine’s Jewish Fates: The Twentieth Century”, which consisted in collecting oral history testimonies of Ukrainian Jews. Project manager Roman Lenchovsky and 10 interviewers, assisted by 20 volunteers (students of International Solomon University), recorded around 180 interviews with people aged from 50 to 95 on compact cassettes.

The general outline of the interview with a list of questions was developed to that end. Almost all respondents were residents of Ukrainian cities and villages (although Roman Lenchovsky recorded an interview with the human rights advocate Larisa Bogoraz in Moscow, where she lived for the most part of her life).

All interviews were transcribed, and the transcripts were printed and preserved in digital format. The archive has full e-versions of 177 interviews. The interviewers also filled out reference cards, which contain basic data about each respondent (date and place of birth, index of geographical names, institutions, and organizations mentioned in the interview, and whether the respondent or her/his family were victims/survivors of the Holocaust or Soviet repressions).

Among the respondents were both ordinary and well-known people (academics, artists, and civil activists). For example, Sharlotta Varshaver (b. 1904) was a theatre director and the first wife of the writer Oleksandr Korniychuk; Borys Medovar (b. 1916) was a scientist, metallurgist, Member of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, who worked at the Institute of Electric Welding together with the famous scientists Yevhen Paton and Boryn Paton; Faina Kovalevska (b. 1918) was a theatre pedagogue who trained many actors; Larisa Bogoraz (b. 1929) was a human rights advocate and the head of the Moscow Helsinki Group; Olha Rapai-Markish (b. 1929) was a ceramic sculptor and a member of the National Union of Artists of Ukraine.

The oral history collection is a chronicle of human destinies in the context of significant historical events of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Some of the respondents were in ghettos, Nazi and Stalinist camps. For instance, Illia Zhibkov was a prisoner of the Vorkuta camp, and Leonid Kotliar was an Ostarbeiter. Some of them survived the Holocaust, for example, Dina Dukhan (b. 1910) and Symkho Gruber (b. 1919). They told not only about what they lived through personally but also about the fates of their relatives and friends. The memories the interviewees shared can help restore quite a lot of information, which is absent in other sources.

Each oral testimony is not just a subjective depiction of the events of the past but also a kind of “confession” and a vibrant reflection of a respondent’s personality. Interviewees were of different age, social status, cultural and educational level, and it was important to preserve their individual features, which were visible in their storytelling manners. Therefore, when editing and processing the interviews, the Center’s researchers corrected only obvious grammar and syntax mistakes, trying to convey unique speech features of each person. 99% of respondents were Russian speaking and only a few spoke Ukrainian. However, some interviewees used Yiddish and Ukrainian words or even spoke so-called surzhyk, i.e., a mix of Russian and Ukrainian, which is also reflected (italicized) in the transcripts.

These interviews can be interesting for scholars (historians, sociologists, ethnologists, linguists, psychologists, and art historians), teachers, and creative professionals (writers, journalists, theater and film directors).

The archive holds interviews with:

Family and given names, patronymic of a respondent Year of birth Place of birth

(according to the respondent’s words)

Year of the interview Place of the interview
Averbukh Ihor Lvovych 1923 Zhmerynka, Vinnytsia region 2001 Kyiv
Aheiev Ihor Oleksandrovych  1937 Kyiv 1996 Kyiv
Babat Raisa Illivna 1916 Kyiv 1995 Kyiv
Bederman Maria Pinkusivna  1907 No data 1996 Kyiv
Belozovska Doba Semenivna  1912 Shchors (now Snovnsk), Chernihiv region 1995 Kyiv
Berennshtein Leonid Yukhymovych  1921 Shpykiv, Vinnytsia region (?) 1996 Kyiv
Berlin Raisa Moiseivna  1913 Bahnivka, Vinnytsia region 2001 Kyiv
Bertein Sofia Solomonivna  1910 Kyiv 1999 Kyiv
Besidsky Yosyp  Hryhorovych 1913 Zhytomyr 1995 Kyiv
Bielousov Kostiantyn Petrovych  1929 Kyiv 1996 Smila
Bogolaz Larisa Iosifovna 1929 Kharkiv 1996 Moscow
Borodianska Dina Isaivna 1908 Kyiv 1996 Lviv
Braverman Faina Hryhorivna 1919 Pykiv, Vinnytsia region 2001 Kyiv
Bronshtein Khana Davydivna 1919 Zhmerynka 1995 Zhmerynka
Bunikovska Kommunella Mykhailivna  1931 Donetsk 2003 Kyiv
Bunin Myron Yosypovych  1929 Nova Zoria (Dnipropetrovsk region) 1996 Kyiv
Bukhin Mark Isaakovych  1919 Stepantsi, Kyiv region 1995 Kyiv
Vainberg Udia Shliomivna 1926 Novoselytsia, Chernihiv region 1998 Novoselytsia
Vainshtein Mykhailo (about Olha Rapai) No data No data 1999 Kyiv
Vainshtein Musia Lvivna  1918 Kyiv 1998 Kyiv
Vaisman Srul Davydovych  1931 Khotyn, Chernivtsi region 1998 Khotyn
Vaisman Siunia Zusiovuch  1927 Khmilnyk, Vinnytsia region 1997 Cherkasy
Vaisman Fania Leibivna 1931 Khotyn, Chernivtsi region 1998 Khotyn
Valdman Vasyl Moiseiovych  1930 Ostroh, Rivne region 1998 Ostroh
Varshaver Sharlotta Moiseivna 1904 Kyiv 1995 Kyiv
Vasylieva Yevhenia Valerianivna 1906 Stara Khota, Chernihiv region 2000 Kyiv
Vinnik Liubov Borysivna 1925 Vankovo, Moscow region, Russia 1997 Uman
Vollerner Naum Pylypovych  1913 Kyiv 1998 Kyiv
Vorontsova Ada Leonidivna 1934 Kherson 1998 Kyiv
Havsiuk Sofia Solomonivna  1908 Kyiv 1998 Kyiv
Heikhman Solomon Sruliovych  1933 Kyiv 1997 Kyiv
Helfer Ida Moiseivna 1918 Vinnytsia 1995 Kyiv
Henin Borys Yukhymovych 1912 Katerynoslav (now Dnipro) 1995 Kyiv
Herman Esfir Borysivna 1922 Rostov-on-Don, Russia 1997 Kyiv
Hertsman Mina Liberivna 1921 Bălți, Moldova 1996 Chernivtsi
Hitterman Reizia Abramivna 1928 Yampil, Vinnytsia region 1998 Khotyn
Hlants Halyna Yakivna 1927 Holoskove, Mykolaiv region 1998 Luhansk
Hold Bella Lvivna 1912 Ukraine (no concrete data) 1996 Kyiv
Holdbaum Shyfra Salivna 1919 Cherkasy 1997 Heronymivka, Cherkasy region
Holdfrukht Fridrikh Bernhardovych 1912 Chernivtsi 2000 Kyiv
Hontariuk Tsylia Davydivna 1935 Lypkanivka, Moldova 1998 Stara Zhadova, Chernivtsi region
Horen Hudia Shoilivna 1937 Malyntsi, Chernivtsi region 1998 Khotyn
Horen Motel Sruliovych 1931 Tyshla, Chernivtsi region 1998 Khotyn
Horodotska Kira Aronivna No data Probably Oleksandria, Kirovohrad region 2000 Kyiv
Hraherov Isaak Petrovych 1917 Odesa 1995 Kyiv
Hruber Symkho Moiseiovych 1919 Zelenyi Hai, Chernivtsi region  1998 Novoselytsia, Chernivtsi region
Huralnyk Maria Leontiivna 1931 [Unclear] 1997
Daiman Bella Borysivna 1929 Polonne, Khmelnytsky region 1998 Khotyn
Dehtiar Rita Hryhorivna 1918 Kyiv 2001 Kyiv
Demb Myron Yakovych 1931 Uman 1996 Uman
Demonis Rakhil Moiseivna 1914 Kyiv 1997 Kyiv
Dyvinska Faina Yosypivna 1928 Bila Tserkva 1997 Bila Tserkva
Dubinskaya-Mansilia Maria Petrovna 1923 Kyiv 2002 Moscow
Dubynsky Lev Petrovych 1916 Kyiv 1995 Kyiv
Dukhan Dina Shuivna 1910 Bobruisk, Belarus 1998 Kyiv
Yelisavetsky Ster Yakovych 1929 Berdychiv, Zhytomyr region 1999 Kyiv
Zhybkov Yosyp Hryhorovych 1913 Khashchuvate, Kirovohrad region 1999 Kyiv
Zats Abram Zelmanovych 1926 Horodivka, Vinnytsia region 1996 Horodkivka
Zilberman Natalia Davydivna 1918 Nemyriv, Vinnytsia region 2002 Kyiv
Zohot Matvii Naumovych 1922 Jewish colony of Zlatopil, Kirovohrad region 1999 Kyiv
Zohot Tetiana Meierivna 1923 Novozlatopil, Kirovohrad region 1999 Kyiv
Kahan Berta Shulymivna 1924 Ruzhyn, Zhytomyr 1996 Bila Tserkva
Kahasova Luiza Abramivna 1939 Akhalkalaki, Georgia 1996 Kyiv
Kazarovytsky Lev Yakovych 1912 Mala Cherniavka, Zhytomyr region 2000 Kyiv
Karakis Irma Yosypivna 1930 Kyiv 2001 Kyiv
Karamzin Abram Moiseiovych 1900 Medvyn, Kyiv region 1995 Kyiv
Kats Borys Myronovych 1950? Nemyriv, Vinnytsia region 1996 Kyiv
Kyder Ershel Srulevych 1923 Poland (no exact data) ? ?
Kypnis Bela Isakivna 1922 Slovechne,  Zhytomyr region 1999 Kyiv
Klotsman Halyna Yosypivna 1923 Piatyhory, Kyiv region 1998 Smila
Kovalevska Faina Semenivna 1918 Kyiv 1999 Kyiv
Koifman Hanna Hryhorivna 1922 Kelmentsi, Chernivtsi region 1998 Kelmentsi
Kolchynsky Hryhorii Yakovych 1922 Cherkasy 2000 Kyiv
Kolchynsky Semen Yakovych 1917 Cherkasy region 1999 Kyiv
Korabelnykova Sofia Shoilivna 1920 Tomashpil, Vinnytsia region 1997 Tomashpil
Kotliar Leonid Isakovych 1922 Kyiv 2000 Kyiv
Kryvchenok Klara Lazarivna 1918 Bila Tserkva, Kyiv region 1997 Cherkasy
Kryshtal Yevhenia Hryhorivna 1922 Iziaslav, Khmelnytskyi region 2002 Kyiv
Krupnik Abram Yankelevych 1918 Novoselytsia, Chernivtsi region 1998 Novoselytsia
Kuznietsov Abram Mordukhovych 1920 Katerynoslav (now Dnipro) 1996 Kyiv
Kuperman Oleksandr Yosypovych 1928 Haivoron, Odesa region 1996 Smila
Kupershmyt Moishe Aron 1913 Bratslav 1999 Bratslav
Kuryshko Matvii Ivanovych 1927 Karasyn, Volyn region 1998 Sarny, Rivne region
Kuts Anatolii Shulymovych 1935 Bar, Vinnytsia region 1996 Bar
Kuts Olena Hryhorivna 1936 Sharhorod, Vinnytsia region 1997 Cherkasy
Leventon Hdal Davydovych 1936 Kyiv 1996 Kyiv
Levin Osyp Isakovych and Shukhat Maria Yuriivna 1917 Somewhere near Nizhyn, Chernihiv region 1998 Kyiv
Lerner Zelda Aronivna 1934 Slavuta, Khmelnytsky region 1997 Slavuta
Lymonnyk Khantsia Khaimivna 1906 Tulchyn, Vinnytsia region 1998 Kyiv
Lymonova Ida Volodymyrivna 1914 Kharkiv 2002 Kyiv
Liberman Alfred Davydovych 1914 Kyiv 1998 Kyiv
Likhtman Zoia Yukhymivna 1919 Fastiv, Kyiv region 2001 Kyiv
Loshak Mykhailo Tsalevych 1918 Vinnytsia 1995 Vinnytsia
Mazlin Isaak Aronovych 1921 Mala Seidemynukha, Kherson region 1999 Kyiv
Malkina Olena Borysivna 19 No data 1999 Kyiv
Mansilia-Kruz Maria 1917 Kyiv 2003 Moscow
Makhlin Mykhailo Oleksiiovych 1907 Kyiv 1996 Kyiv
Matsiyevych Raisa Yakivna 1920 Kyiv 1998 Kyiv
Matskina Hanna Hryhorivna 1939 Slavuta, Khmelnytsky region 1997 Slavuta
Mashbits Yukhym Izrailovych 1929 Kyiv 1996 Kyiv
Mednyk Zlata Usherivna 1931 Khotyn, Chernivtsi region 1998 Khotyn
Mednyk Khaim Itskovych 1930 Khotyn, Chernivtsi region 1998 Khotyn
Medovar Borys Izrailovych 1916 Kyiv 1999 Kyiv
Mytnytsky Ovsii Osypovych 1922 Kyiv 1998 Kyiv
Nahirner Mark Lvovych 1934 Yampil, Vinnytsia region 1998 Kyiv
Nedashkivska Raisa Pinkhusivna 1911 A village next to  Pavlovychi, Zhytomyr region 2000 Kyiv
Nudelman Khonka 1912 Bershad, Vinnytsia region 1996 Ternivka, Vinnytsia region
Orshtein Semen Oleksiiovych 1921 Annopil, Khmelnytsky region 1997 Slavuta, Khmelnytsky region
Pekker Asta Hryhorivna 1929 Berlin, Germany 1998 Kyiv
Perelmuter Zynaida Mykhailivna 1911 Kyiv 2000 Kyiv
Pynus Klara Markivna 1913 Inhulets, Dnipropetrovsk region 1998 Kyiv
Poberezhsky Leonid Ovsiiovych 1914 (?) No data 1995 Kyiv
Polak Rakhil Rafailivna 1913 Radomyshl, Kyiv region 2000 Kyiv
Portnikov Vladlen Oleksandrovych 1943 Kyiv 2001 Kyiv
Portianska Sofia Hryhorivna 1923 Kamianka, Cherkasy region 1997 Kamianka
Rabynovych Ada Abramivna 1920 A village in Dnipropetrovsk region 1999 Kyiv
Rapai-Markish Olha Petrivna 1929 Chonhar, Zaporizhzhya region 1998 Kyiv
Rozenfeld Liubov Mykhailivna 1938 Kyiv 2003 Kyiv
Rozenfeld Mykhailo Samiilovych 1931 Yaltushkiv, Vinnytsia region 1998 Luhansk
Rozenshtern Yakiv Shlomovych 1925 Malyn, Zhytomyr region 1996 Kyiv
Rotner Liza Isakivna 1932 Khmelnytsky 1996 Chernivtsi
Sadynska Iryna Davydivna 1909 Freiburg, Germany 1997 Kyiv
Sehal Yukhym Yosypovych 1923 Korosten, Zhytomyr region 1996 Kyiv
Syrota Yukhym Yohanovych 1924 Odesa 1999 Mariupol, Zaporizhzhya region
Spektr Edit Mykhailivna 1926 Shpykiv, Vinnytsia region 1997 Shpykiv
Telman Lidia Yakivna 1920 No data 1995 Kyiv
Tenenblat Bina Yankelivna 1928 Kamianets-Podilsky, Khmelnytsky region 1997 Chernivtsi
Teplytska Raisa Kivivna 1927 Ternivka, Kyiv region 1997 Uman, Cherkasy region
Tkach Borys Moiseiovych 1932 Kopaihorod, Vinnytsia region 1997 Slavuta, Khmelnytsky region
Tkach Roza Yankelivna 1932 Luchynets, Vinnytsia region 1997 Slavuta
Tolmachova Lana Mykhailivna 1945 Kyiv 1996 Kyiv
Trakhtenberg Mendl Idelovych 1926 Novoselytsia, Chernivtsi region 1998 Novoselytsia
Turovsky Mykhailo Saulovych and Turovska Sofia  1933 Kyiv 2001 Kyiv
Ukrainets Maria Nykyforivna 1914 Myrutyn, Khmelnytsky region 1997 Slavuta, Khmelnytsky region
Usherenko Yelyzaveta Moiseivna 1922 Kyiv 2002 Kyiv
Fainzilberg Liubov Yukhymivna 1925 Uman, Cherkasy region 1997 Uman
Fasdman Asis Shuilikivna 1923 Jewish colony of Kamianka, Dnipropetrovsk region 1999 Kyiv
Feinblium Rozalia Yosypivna 1917 Kyiv 1996 Kyiv
Feller Marten Davydovych 1933 Yalta, Crimea 2004 Kyiv
Feldman Srul Shoilovych 1935 Malyntsi, Chernivtsi region 1998 Khotyn, Chernivtsi region
Ferdman Yukhym Mykolaiiovych 1930 Berdychiv, Zhytomyr region 1996 Chernivtsi
Finberg Lilia Davydivna 1926 Kyiv 1998 Kyiv
Finkelshtein Petro Natanovych 1924 Kyiv 1995 Kyiv
Finkelshtein Ronia Abramivna 1920 Poltava 1996 / 2002 Kyiv
Fishman Yelyzaveta Yakivna 1937 A village near Chișinău, Moldova 1998 Novoselytsia, Chernivtsi region
Fonariova Roza Romanivna 1921 Skvyra, Kyiv region 1996 Kyiv
Fraiberh Iiulia Borysivna 1932 Kobeletske, Vinnytsia region 1997 Cherkasy
Khazanov Karl Lazarovych 1926 Haradok, Vitebsk region, Belarus ? ?
Khatset Frida Isakivna 1919 Kyiv 2002 Kyiv
Khoder Delia Moiseivna 1915 Paris, France 2001 Kyiv
Khodorovska Yeva Lazarivna 1918 Kyiv 1995 Kyiv
Khomko Bella Moiseivna 1932 Kryzhopil, Vinnytsia region 1998 Hlynytsia, Chernivtsi region
Khusid Larysa Ioanivna 1924 Odesa 1996 Kyiv
Khutorianska-Sandler Raisa Hryhorivna 1923 Bila Tserkva, Kyiv region 1997 Bila Tserkva
Chernyshova Maria Dmytrivna 1928 Kyiv 1996 Kyiv
Chernova Yelyzaveta Yukhimivna 1909 Kyiv 1998 Kyiv
Chekhova Natalia Volodymyrivna 1926 Kyiv 1997 Kyiv
Chopovsky Myron Illich 1909 Kyiv 2000 Kyiv
Chytsman Petro Hryhorovych 1906 Univ, Lviv region 1996 Chernivtsi
Shabaltina Yevhenia Hryhorivna 1909 Kyiv 1999 Kyiv
Shaikin Yosyp Meierovych 1924 Kyiv 1996 Kyiv
Shafershtein Viliam Mordkovych 1931 Kamianets-Podilsky, Khmelnytsky region 1996 Chernivtsi
Shvartsman Fania Aron-Itskivna 1918 Kyiv 1995 Kyiv
Shkolnyk Mykhailo Yankelovych 1927 Khotyn, Chernivtsi region 1999 Khotyn
Shkolnyk Sheiva Itskivna 1929 Khotyn 1998 Khotyn
Shkoliarenko Olena Kostiantynivna 1930 Kyiv 1996 Kyiv
Shnadshtein Liubov Solomonivna 1918 Yelysavethrad (now Kropyvnytskyi) 1996 Kyiv
Shneider Hersh Moshkovich 1925 Khotyn, Chernivtsi region 1999 Khotyn
Shor Anatolii Petrovych 1922 Bershad, Vinnytsia region 1996 Kyiv
Shraiman Lev Moiseiovych 1923 Shkuraty, Poltava region 1996 Kyiv
Shtrikman Ida Srulivna 1933 Edineț, Moldova 1999 Khotyn
Shtrikman Favish Froimovych 1931 Khotyn, Chernivtsi region 1999 Khotyn
Shchetinkova Vira Khaimivna 1931 Korost, Rivne region 1999 Kyiv
Ekinhorf Illia Isaiovych No data No data 1966 Kyiv
Erlikhman Sarra Abramivna 1912 Kyiv 1996 Kyiv
Yukhymchuk Donia Isakivna 1914 Chornivka, Vinnytsia region 1997 Uman
Yampilsky Samuil Aronovych 1913 Kyiv 1995 Kyiv