Lev Pikus

Lev Pikus

Born May 1st 1927 Minsk, Belarus

Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario

Medals Awarded: Order of the Patriotic War (1st and 2nd Class) and Victory over Germany In The Great Patriotic War,

Brest Partisans

“Yude… we were afraid of the word”

Lev was only 12 when the war began in 1939 but immediately joined the resistance. He took advantage of his inconspicuous youthful appearance on reconnaissance missions:

“I would wear a big bag over my shoulder. Under the guise of a beggar I walked places noticing what was there. I passed the information on to be processed and sent on to partisan detachments”

Walking around Brest and gathering information became Lev’s main job during the war:

“I didn’t know where the info I collected went further. My job was sniffing out, spying out and passing the info on. Every time my life was in danger. Anyone could shoot or beat me up”

Once a ghetto was established in 1941, Lev also as a liaison between the Jews and the resistance:

“When the ghetto was organized we would come there to pick up medications for the partisans. I was just 14 at that time, going on 15. They would protect me, keep me from involvement in dangerous missions. I was too young for that. I was a thin and weak boy because I was undernourished.”

Lev eventually settled in Toronto.