Toronto Veterans

Toronto Veteran Interviews

The stories of Jewish Soviet veterans of the second world war. Click the links for videos and interviews.

Isaak Ashmian

Isaak Ashmian Born: December 19th 1919 Kharkov, Ukraine (raised in Moscow). Passed Away: March 9th, 2013 Toronto, Ontario. Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario Medals Awarded: Order of the Patriotic War (1st and 2nd Class) and  Victory over Germany In The Great Patriotic War Volunteer Engineer Lieutenant Military Construction Corps, Moscow and Belarusian Front   “The Jews […]

Mark Bas

Mark Bas Born December 25th 1922 Smolensk, Soviet Union. Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario Medals Awarded: Order of the Patriotic War (1st and 2nd Class),  Medal For Defense of Moscow and Victory over Germany In The Great Patriotic War Member of The Moscow Motorcycle Battalion. Later served In Mongolia   “We were sleeping with our clothes on: the boots, […]

Mikhail Bass

Mikhail Bass Born March 16th 1928 Mink, Belarus Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario Medals Awarded: Order of the Patriotic War (1st and 2nd Class),  Medal for Partisan of the Patriotic War (1st and 2nd Class) and  Victory over Germany In The Great Patriotic War Belarusian Partisans, later joined Red Army. Fought in Poland and at Capture Of Konigsberg […]

Moisei Chernoguz

Moisei Chernoguz Born December 15th 1923 Sovran, Ukraine. Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario Medals Awarded: Order of the Patriotic War (1st and 2nd Class),  Medal For Defense of Moscow,  Medal for Battle Merit,  Medal For Liberation of Warsaw and Victory over Germany In The Great Patriotic War Radio Operator 30th Attack Army. Placed in command of recently released convicts, fighting […]

Felix Dyman

Felix Dyman March 24, 1927 Vitebsk, Belarus Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario Jewish Partisans, Zorin’s detachment   At the start of the war Dyman was forced to move to the Minsk Ghetto with his mother and older brother. “At first, when the war started, we, like all people who didn’t wish to be under the Germans, […]

Efim Feldman

Efim Feldman Born June 27 1923. Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario Medals Awarded: Order of the Patriotic War (1st and 2nd Class),  Order of the Red Star,  Medal for Battle Merit,  Medal for Courage,  Liberation of Riga and Victory over Germany In The Great Patriotic War Paramedic In Light Artillery Unit, Participated in Battle of Smolensk, Liberation of Riga   Efim enrolled […]

Lazar Feldman

Lazar Feldman May 17, 1924 Minsk, Belarus Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario Truck Driver, Artillery   Two years after he was born, Lazar moved to Moscow with his family. That’s where he was going to school when the war broke out. “To prepare for the war near every street and every building there was set a barrel […]

Leonid Feldman

Leonid Feldman Born: 1919 In Bershad Ukraine. Passed Away: October 20, 2012 Toronto, Ontario. Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario Medals Awarded: Order of the Red Star,  Order of the Patriotic War (1st and 2nd Class),  Medal for Battle Merit,  Medal for Courage and Victory over Germany In The Great Patriotic War Master Sergeant Communications Platoon 5th Armoured Landing Division. Lieutenant Colonel […]

Grigori Genin

Grigori Genin Born March 8th 1924 in Astrakhan, Soviet Union. Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario Medals Awarded: Order of the Patriotic War (1st and 2nd Class),  Medal For Defense of Stalingrad,  Medal For Victory over Vienna,  Medal For Capture of Budapest,  Order of the Red Star,  Order of Glory,  Order of the Red Banner and  Victory over Germany In The Great Patriotic War […]

Nina Goldstein

Nina Goldstein Born: 1921, Leningrad. Passed Away: September 12th, 2011 Toronto, Ontario. Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario Medals Awarded: Medal for Defense of Leningrad Siege Of Leningrad Survivor.   Nina was a teenager when The Siege of Leningrad began. She stayed in the city with her mother and sister after her father was arrested and her brothers were drafted: […]

Fedor Grinberg

Fedor Grinberg May 20, 1923 Kiev Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario 308 Rifles Division, Machine Gunner, Battle of Stalingrad, Battle of Konigsberg   Shortly after Fedor arrived at military college the war began, and he was sent to Stalingrad where he was teamed with a partner and helped withstand several attacks by the Germans. “After we beat […]

Yakov Jarchin

Yakov Jarchin 1920 Kharkov Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario Medals Awarded: Order of the Patriotic War (1st and 2nd Class),  Medal For Liberation of Warsaw,  Victory over Germany In The Great Patriotic War and Medal For Capture of Berlin Infantry – Junior Sergeant Rifle Battalion, Liberation of Rostov, Kishinev, Warsaw and Berlin   “When shooting started out, and the […]

Israel Jasinovsky

Yakov Jarchin 1924 Rybnitsa, Moldavian ASSR Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario Infantry, Worked In Munitions Plant, Training   When the war broke out Israel was on summer vacation. “The school year had just ended. We, the youths, came to know, although we had been prepared, as before the war broke out, we had seen troops passing through […]

Eugene Kats

Eugene Kats Born January 6 1925 Desna, Poland. Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario Medals Awarded: Order of the Patriotic War (1st and 2nd Class),  Medal for Partisan of the Patriotic War (1st and 2nd Class),  Medal for Courage,  Medal for Battle Merit,  Medal For Capture of Konigsberg and Victory over Germany In The Great Patriotic War Polish Partisans, Heavy Machine Gun Division […]

Anna Khalyavskaya

Anna Khalyavskaya Born March 20th 1924 Minsk, Belarus. Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario Medals Awarded: Medal for Partisan of the Patriotic War (1st and 2nd Class),  Order of the Patriotic War (1st and 2nd Class) and Victory over Germany In The Great Patriotic War Belarusian Partisan   “I saw the train passing by with men singing, playing harmonica, having […]

Isaak Kogan

Isaak Kogan Born March 20th 1926 Rakitnoyeye, Ukraine Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario Medals Awarded: Order of the Patriotic War (1st and 2nd Class),  Medal for Battle Merit and Victory over Germany In The Great Patriotic War Submachine gunner on 2nd Belorussian Front  “Bullets were swishing, grenades were exploding” Isaak was 15 when the Nazis invaded. He enlisted […]

Boris Kravitz

Boris Kravitz Born 1927 Noravlla, Belarus. Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario Medals Awarded: Order of the Patriotic War (1st and 2nd Class),  Medal for Courage,  Medal For Capture of Konigsberg and Victory over Germany In The Great Patriotic War Private In Border Detachment – Lithuania, Belarus, Konigsberg: One of 3 Jews to work at NKVD (precursor to KGB) investigating […]

Yakov Krenin

Yakov Krenin Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario Medals Awarded: Order of the Red Star,  Order of the Patriotic War (1st and 2nd Class),  Medal For Capture of Berlin and  Victory over Germany In The Great Patriotic War Katyusha (rockets) Platoon Commander 303 Guards Mortar Regiment: Ukraine, Poland, Kharkov, Capture of Berlin.   “There was a stink of dead flesh” […]

David Lebkovich

David Lebkovich Born: May 1, 1923 Vitebsk Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario Medals Awarded: Medal for Courage and Medal for Battle Merit Battle of Stalingrad, Battle of Stalingrad, Battle of Kursk.   “We would enter a village, while the Germans would leave on the other end of the village. That was how close to each other […]

Liya Liberova

Liya Liberova Born 1923 Novozybkov, Soviet Union Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario Medals Awarded: Order of the Patriotic War (1st and 2nd Class),  Medal for Defense of Leningrad and Victory over Germany In The Great Patriotic War Senior Sergeant, 34th MPVO Battalion (Local Anti-Aircraft Defense Forces) 551 battalion (All Female) – Anti Air Defense Leningrad.   Liya moved to […]

Alexei Litvachuk

Alexei Litvachuk Born 1921 Vinnitsa, Ukraine. Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario Medals Awarded: Order of the Patriotic War (1st and 2nd Class),  Medal For Defense of Moscow and Victory over Germany In The Great Patriotic War Communications – Eastern Front, Kishinev, Defense Of Moscow.   “Now you’re alive, next minute you’re dead” Alexei was born in Vinnitsa, Ukraine […]

Shelma Mushkat

Shelma Mushkat Born 1919 Sarkovshizno, Poland. Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario Medals Awarded: Order of the Patriotic War (1st and 2nd Class),  Order of Glory,  Medal for Defense of Leningrad and Victory over Germany In The Great Patriotic War Artillery Commander – Leningrad, Continuation War, Mongolia.   “It was either live or die. If I had chosen not be […]

Arkadi Novokolsky

Arkadi Novokolsky Born 1921 Odessa, Ukraine. Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario Medals Awarded: Order of the Patriotic War (1st and 2nd Class),  Order of the Red Star,  Medal for Battle Merit,  Medal For Defense of Moscow and Victory over Germany In The Great Patriotic War Air Force Pilot And Engineer With Long Range Reconnaissance Aviation Regiments – Defense of Moscow. […]

Zinoviy Ovsey

Zinoviy Ovsey Born June 5th 1919 Yenakievo, Ukraine. Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario Medals Awarded: Order of the Patriotic War (1st and 2nd Class),  Medal For Defense of Kiev and Victory over Germany In The Great Patriotic War Military Surgeon 13th Guards Division – Ukrainian Front.   “Big number of men to be operated on under difficult circumstances, in […]

Semyon Perlamutrov

Semyon Perlamutrov Born: March 1 1920 Ukraine. Passed Away: 2012 Toronto, Ontario. Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario Medals Awarded: Order of the Patriotic War (1st and 2nd Class),  Medal for Defense of Leningrad and Victory over Germany In The Great Patriotic War Private in anti tank artillery – Siege Of Leningrad   “I used to hear them calling us […]

Yakov Perlamutrov

Yakov Perlamutrov Born: 1925, Krasnoe, Ukraine. Passed Away: 2013 Toronto, Ontario. Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario Medals Awarded: Order of the Patriotic War (1st and 2nd Class) and Victory over Germany In The Great Patriotic War Machine Gunner: Ukrainian Front and Battle of Kursk.   “Nearly 2 months I was fighting without a break” As an infantry […]

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 […]

Valentin Rabinovich

Valentin Rabinovich Born December 25th 1922 in Riga, Latvia. Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario Medals Awarded: Order of the Patriotic War (1st and 2nd Class),  Medal for Defense of Leningrad and Victory over Germany In The Great Patriotic War Altitude and range estimator in anti aircraft battalion, helped break Siege Of Leningrad. “The very first day we lost […]

Yakov Rats

Yakov Rats Born May 28th 1923 Vitebsk, Belarus (moved to Leningrad as a baby). Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario Medals Awarded: Order of the Patriotic War (1st and 2nd Class),  Order of the Red Star and Victory over Germany In The Great Patriotic War Tank Repair Instructor whose family survived Siege Of Leningrad. “The year ’42 was the […]

Mikhail Rivkis

Mikhail Rivkis January 29, 1915 Moldavia Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario Soldier, Battle of Leningrad Mikhail was drafted into the army in 1936, and promoted in 1939 to the position of platoon commander in anti-aircraft artillery. In 1940 he was discharged and sent home, but he was redrafted in 1941 after WWII began. “In midsummer, the Germans […]

Zinoviy Rovner

Zinoviy Rovner Born September 6th 1925 in Kiev, Ukraine Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario Medals Awarded: Order of the Patriotic War (1st and 2nd Class) and Victory over Germany In The Great Patriotic War Junior Sergeant, Radio Operator in Artillery Unit. Fought Against Japan In Liberation Of North Korea “The situation was so tense that we expected […]

Mikhail Rozenshteyn

Mikhail Rozenshteyn 1922 Norinsk, Ovruch District, Zhitomir Region Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario Sergeant in Airborne Troops, Detachment Commander Machine-Gun Company Originally Mikhail studied anti-aircraft artillery at the Leningrad Artillery Technical College in Tomsk. “I finished the college and was given a sergeant’s rank. Afterwards we were sent to airborne troops, and I served in airborne troops […]

Leonid Sheinker

Leonid Sheinker Born: March 6th 1920 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Passed Away: November 2, 2012 Toronto, Ontario. Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario Medals Awarded: Order of the Patriotic War (1st and 2nd Class),  Medal For Capture of Berlin and Victory over Germany In The Great Patriotic War Air Force Engineer and Gunner. Fought in Defense of Moscow and Capture […]

Noah Shneidman

Noah Shneidman Born September 24th 1924 in Vilno, Poland (now Vilnus Lithuania). Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario Medals Awarded: Order of the Patriotic War (1st and 2nd Class) and Victory over Germany In The Great Patriotic War Front Line Infantry – Polish Partisans, Capture of Konigsberg and Berlin. “If somebody comes and tells you that he […]

Aleksey Shtern

Aleksey Shtern Born June 24th 1922 Odessa, Ukraine. Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario Medals Awarded: Order of the Patriotic War (1st and 2nd Class),  Medal for Courage,  Medal For Defense of Stalingrad,  Medal For Capture of Konigsberg,  Battle of Stalingrad,  Battle of Danzig and Victory over Germany In The Great Patriotic War Sergeant Major in tank unit: Battle Of Stalingrad, Danzig, And […]

Grigory Svirsky

Grigory Svirsky Born September 29th 1921 Ufa, Soviet Union. Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario Air Force Mechanic And Gunner Based Near Arctic Sea. Well Known In Russia For WWII Books And Social Criticism – Works Banned In 1968 And He Was Forced To Leave In 1972. Grigory Svirksy was born while his mother was traveling between […]

Sima Vesyoly

Sima Vesyoly Born January 1st 1923 Gomel, Belarus. Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario Medals Awarded: Order of the Patriotic War (1st and 2nd Class),  Medal For Victory over Japan and Victory over Germany In The Great Patriotic War Nurse in Field Hospital – with 2nd Bellorusian Front, Germany, Japan. “We worked all morning to evening. All the patients were […]

Yevgeniy Vesyoly

Yevgeniy Vesyoly Born April 15th 1926 Rechista, 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 Aviation Mechanic Normandie-Nieman Regiment: Battle Of Berlin. “French pilots flew our airplanes…the pilots shook hands with us after the missions” Yevgeniy was a […]

Isaak Zarembo

Isaak Zarembo Born on June 29th 1925 Kraslovo, Latvia Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario Medals Awarded: Order of the Patriotic War (1st and 2nd Class),  Medal for Courage,  Order of Glory and Victory over Germany In The Great Patriotic War Private 43rd Latvian Guards Division. Participated In Defense of Moscow and Liberation of Riga “In our unit Jews were […]

Iosif Zibenberg

Iosif Zibenberg Born: April 30th 1922 Faleshty Bessarabia (present day Moldova). Passed Away: April 5, 2013 Toronto, Ontario. Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario Medals Awarded: Order of the Patriotic War (1st and 2nd Class),  Medal For Capture of Prague,  Medal For Defense of Stalingrad and Victory over Germany In The Great Patriotic War Private in communications platoon in armoured […]

This website contains video interviews with Jewish Red Army veterans who fought with the Soviet Armed Forces against the Nazis in WW2, as well as partisans and Leningrad blockade survivors. The interviewees, who are all Canadian residents, were interviewed in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary between 2010 and 2015. The goal was to preserve […]