Khatskel Shvartsblatt

Of Blessed Memory 1924 – 2017

Khatskel Shvartsblatt grew up in Ozero, Poland in an observant Jewish home. When the war began in 1939 his home, in eastern Poland, came under Soviet control. In June 1941, with the German invasion, he fled east – first to Kiev, then to Kursk, and was eventually evacuated to Andijan, Uzbekistan. While in Uzbekistan, Khatskel was drafted into the Soviet Army and was stationed south of Moscow to a unit performing road and utility repairs. In 1944, as the Soviet advance pushed the Germans westward, he applied for leave from the army to return home. There, he says, he “found nothing” and that locals were killing Jews. While trying to rejoin his Army unit Khatskel was arrested by Soviet officials for transporting a small bag of flour and was imprisoned for 6 years. After his imprisonment he returned to Kursk where he met and married his wife. They later emigrated to the United States.

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Family photographs are the property of the survivor’s family and are used here with permission. Portraits are copyrighted by the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education. No photographs may be used or reproduced without permission.

©2013 Midwest Center for Holocaust Education

Testimonies may be used for individual research with proper citation. All other uses require written permission from MCHE. The above video testimony is edited from a full-length testimony that may be viewed onsite at the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education or at the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale University.

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