Photo taken in:BlagoveshenskYear when photo was taken:1940Country name at time of photo:USSRCountry name today:Russia
This is my brother Boris Svoisky. This photo was taken at the end of his service in the army.
My brother Boris was eight years older than myself. He finished seven grades of the Nevel Jewish school and left for Leningrad to continue his studies. He graduated from the Refrigeration Technical School, came back to Nevel and studied by correspondence at the Leningrad Refrigeration Institute. He served for a fixed period in the Soviet army in the Far East in the city of Blagoveschensk. He was demobilized right before the war and continued to work and study. On 22nd June 1941 our whole family was gathered together. We were happily making plans. Rosa was trying on new shoes. Suddenly we heard on the radio that the war had started. The next day Boris left for the front as a volunteer.
On 15th July the Germans entered the town. At first they did not touch the Jews, though we did leave our house and lived in a hut on the outskirts. There was a military camp not far from us. The Germans drove prisoners of war to that camp. Suddenly Mother found out that our Boris was among those prisoners. She rushed to the camp and miraculously managed to bring him home. Boris was taken prisoner near Polotsk town. No one gave him away in prison – no one told the Germans that he was a Jew. Boris told us that when they were delivered to Nevel, he hoped that we had already managed to escape.
On 6th September the Germans eliminated the Nevel ghetto. At first they took away all men, most of them were old men, and my father and brother were among them. They were made to dig out three huge pits. Then all of them were shot. After that all women and children were taken away and children were pulled away from their mothers. Everyone was undressed and shot.