Chaim Tratsovitsky

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Chaim Tratsovitsky - my husband's cousin [born in 1922].

He was born in Poland, in the city of Novogrudok.

On June 22, 1941, the single one of all the large family, he managed to flee to Vladikavkaz having covered about 500 km on foot. The rest of his family was executed by Germans. He participated in liberating of Belorussia, Poland and Austria.

After the end of war he illegally reached Palestine from Austria. From the beginning of war for independence, that is from November, 1947, after UNO decision on Palestine, he participated in military operations against Arabs.

Since 1948 he continued to take part in the fight for independence already as a soldier of Israeli army. This information on his life we indirectly received through the sisters of my husband's mother, Bratislava, who lives in the USA.

The sisters sent Bratislava a snapshot to find out whether the man was really their nephew. She confirmed, but quit correspondence with them, because this all was going on in 1952-1953, when "the doctors affair" was in full swing.

In 1990 my husband's niece left for Israel, and from her letter we learned, that Khaim with family lived in a Bat-Yama, and his daughters worked in a drugstore, where my husband's niece also got an employment.

In 1947 I was visiting my grandmother [Tamara] in the Caucasus. Once, when I had just come from a walk, I saw a boy - a Greek boy - who I met in the train.

He vowed love, and I said: "All right, let's go to Terek, and if you swim across Terek in the evening, then I'll believe that you are really in love with me".

That's what kind of girl I was. He swam across Terek, I was very impressed, but when I came home to grandmother's house I … stopped in the doorway. There was my Mum sitting there in the company of a young man, very handsome, blue-eyed, blond, very attractive, with a high forehead.

I was stuck there in the doorway and fell in love with him literally from the first glance. We had been dating for one year. His mother wanted us to get married. And he was a student of the Aviation Institute, and came to the Caucasus to have a rest in his Mum's home. His mother, her name was Bratislava, knew my grandmother very well.

Bratislava was a dressmaker and sewed for them. And that was how we met. We had an ordinary secular wedding. He was born in Donbass, but his family moved to another place when he was just a small boy.

He suffered from famine in childhood, it was in 1933, and there was something wrong with food supplies there. During the war they left for Frunze in Uzbekistan [evacuation].

At 16 years of age he finished the 9th and 10th grades of school as an external student and went to another town to enter an institute.

We got married in 1948. We had no place to live, our room in Nevsky Avenue was very small, and we rented apartments for almost ten years. Our family life was very difficult.

We got married not having an accommodation, we didn't even have a room, but we loved each other. He was born in 1927 like me, only he - in January, and I - in May. He was studying in Aviation Institute, he was a very capable, I would even say, a talented boy.

Interview details

Interviewee: Valentina Fidelman
Ulyana Balashova
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St. Petersburg, Russia


Chaim Tratsovitsky
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after WW II:
Soldier of Israeli Army

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