Arnold Fabrikant -- Jewish Soldier's Red Star

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With an introduction and epilogue narrated by Sixty Minutes correspondent Morley Safer, here is a story, produced by Brad Rothschild and Gustavo Villalonga in New York, of a Soviet Jewish soldier from the Ukrainian city of Odessa.

 

Arnold Fabrikant introduces us to his parents, who were both doctors. When war came, Arnold's father served as surgeon in Kiev, and rather than be taken prisoner by the Germans, shot himself. While Arnold's mother fled to Central Asia during the war, Arnold served in an artillery unit and fought all the way to the center of Berlin.

 

At war's end, Arnold went looking for his girlfriend Natasha. When they married, they were so poor Arnold had only his army uniform; Nathasha's shoe soles were made of wood.

 

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Arnold became an active member in the Front Line Veteran's Committee, where elderly Jewish veterans meet each month and talk of the times when these Jews fought the Nazis-- and won.

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Arnold Fabrikant's family grew up in the Russian Empire. To find out more about the history of the Russian Empire, visit this Library of Congress country study.

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His grandfather lived in Pinsk, a town in Belarus, southwest of the capital Minsk. Find out more about the city's history in the Jewish Encyclopedia originally published at the beginning of the 20th century.

 

Arnold Fabrikant spent most of his life in Odessa, a well-known Black Sea port in what is today Ukraine. Until 1990, Odessa belonged to the Soviet Union. Find out more about Odessa's past. You can also see a 1982 map of Soviet Odessa provided by UC Berkeley.

 

Find out more about Odessa's Jewish community, and visit the Jewish Museum of Odessa online.

 

Read about the history of Jewish life in the Ukraine at the Jewish Virtual Library, and at the YIVO Institute

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Fabrikant's father joined the Red Army after the Revolution of 1917. The Marxists Internet Archive provides you with contemporary texts, a timeline of events and a glossary of the Revolution from a Marxist point of view.

 

Isaak Babel, a Soviet journalist, playwright, and short story writer of Jewish origin described the bloody Russian Civil War after 1917 in his work "Red Cavalry". You can read a biography provided by Stanford University and a review of the complete works of Isaac Babel in the January 2007 issue of Jewish Currents online.

 

The United Jewish Communities providse reports on Jewish Red Army veterans in today's Russia and the former Soviet Union.

 

At the beginning of the film, you can see a picture of Polina Gelman, one of the most important Jewish soldiers of the Soviet army. She was one of the first renowned women pilots and belonged to the small group of Jewish soldiers awarded with the medal "Hero of the Soviet Union".

 

In Berlin, Jewish veterans of the Red Army have formed a social club. The celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II made them proud, but also reminded them of the anti-Semitism they faced in the Soviet Union. Read an article on their life in today's Germany.

 

In the film's introduction, narrated by the well-known TV host Morley Safer (CBS 60 Minutes), you can hear the national anthem of the Soviet Union in the background. Visit this website to listen to samples and read the text of the Soviet Union's hymn, which replaced The Internationale on March 15, 1944, and served as a national anthem until 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed.

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Arnold Fabrikant joined the Soviet Army in 1941 to fight Nazi Germany. Read an article on the Soviet-German War 1941 - 1945, see pictures of what Russians refer to as the "Great Patriotic War" or read war memories from Soviet Veterans.

 

The History Channel offers an in-depth article on the history of World War II.

 

A BBC project collects World War II memories.

 

You can access a chronology of the Second World War in Ukraine from a Ukrainian point of view on this website.

 

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum informs on the fate of the Jewish community in occupied Odessa during World War II.

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Jewish soldiers fought against the Axis powers (Nazi Germany, Italy, and Japan) during World War II. A research project of the Jewish Agency is dedicated to Jewish soldiers and Jewish prisoners of war during World War II.

 

Jewish soldiers also participated in the US Army's fight against Nazi Germany. A Library of Congress project collects the stories of Jewish U.S. servicemen in the European Theater.

 

Information of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum on the United Kingdom's Jewish Brigade Group, which fought under the Zionist flag.

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The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and the Claims Conference support elderly Jews in the Ukraine and other countries of the former Soviet Union.

 

 

You can find out more about the work of the Hesed-centers in the former Soviet Union in this article (follow the link, then click "View Publication").

Film Details

  • Duration:
    00:10:56
    Countries:
    Ukraine

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