\"we saw all kinds of horrors\": a russian girl, a jewish boy, and a nazi massacre
The Nazis used Soviet life and local structures.
Neighbouring countries are crucial to crime.
His team at Yahad-In Unum interviewed nearly 5,000 neighbors who witnessed or participated In the neighborhood, or the children of those neighbors.
The following excerpt is an extraordinary love story from such a witness.
* On October 1, 2009, we were at the monastery in the smalinsk area, a big city near Belarus on the Russian border.
Autumn has taken away the leaves of the trees.
All the clothes are gray.
We live in smorensk, near a big park, and every morning we explore the villages of the area.
The days of October are already very short;
When we left smalinsk this morning, the fog was still very big.
This is our first visit to Russia.
After five years of investigation in Ukraine and Belarus, we decided to start an investigation into the vast territory of Russia, or rather the Russian territory occupied by the German army.
The Germans have arrived at St.
Peterborough to the north
In the south, they traveled 125 miles from Baku, Azerbaijan.
The vast territory to cross makes your head spin.
Yahaad\'s small team of about 15 employees in Paris, not only to cover Ukraine and Belarus, but also to cover parts of Russia that were once occupied by the Nazis, is a real challenge.
Our initial choice for the Russian region was smalinsk, as we already have the files needed to prepare the investigation to collect the testimony.
According to these files, there are many victims of the German occupi: Jews, Gypsy, communists and prisoners of war, as well as Russian civilians.
On the morning of October, we came to Alexandra\'s home.
Our Belarusian reporter Dennis found her on the market.
She is a woman of special stature, very strong and firm, wearing a large black work uniform, and her cheeks are brightly colored in the cold of the morning.
As a police colonel, her career was very interesting.
Everything in her family is clear.
There\'s a big, white one. tiled wood-
A burning stove, an armchair with a ginger Ham pattern.
She held up and held a white handkerchief in her hand.
She often has tears on her face, and sometimes she stutters.
She agreed to hold an interview at her warm home, which was a luck for the team.
How many interviews have we had in the Glacier Wind. She sat on a sofa with a brightly colored woven carpet hanging on it, often hanging on the walls of rural houses.
Her discomfort was obvious in the small room.
Alexandra looked attentive, but sad, with her gray hair in her ponytail.
From her first sentence, I understand that war is not the first tragedy of her family.
Prior to the war, her parents were designated as \"rich farmers\" and conquered by the Soviet regime for having too much property and refusing to be collectible in corcoz.
As they said locally, they were \"suppressed. ”“Yes, de-kulaked.
This is the collective of the times. We were de-
In the process of integration.
My parents had a good time. . . .
Life separated us.
My parents have four horses and some live horses.
They took everything from them.
They want to send them to Siberia.
My father went to Leningrad and my mother went to smorensk.
As for me, they left me to grandma and grandpa.
They took everything from us: our house, all our property, and they forced us into bania.
After the German occupation in 1941, Alexandra\'s family was displaced.
She went to smalinsk to live but could not stay there because, like many others, her house was bombed.
\"In smorensk, the house we live in was blown up by a bomb.
So we came here to the Chinese monastery.
Our grandmother came from Leningrad, and we came from smorance after our house was destroyed. . . .
We live in the city center.
\"In the monastery, because of a Jewish family for which her father worked, they moved into a house belonging to the Jewish korhoz and were emptied by the Germans.
\"My parents are Jewish.
They shipped this Jewish thing. . . .
When we arrived at Monastyrchchina, he met my grandmother and said to her, \"come and live in our house with us.
They are moving into the slum.
They left us their house, their big house.
\"We arrived at nothing. . . . His [the Jew’s]wife was sick.
He left long ago. . . .
But he can\'t because of his wife.
Some police came to take them away.
We did not live in their house at that time.
He just offered to let us move in.
About a week after they left, we moved in.
The house was open and no one went in.
At that time, there was no plunder. . . .
If I think of their departure, it is because they have a son who is six years older than me.
I visited them two or three times and we became friends.
His name is Ziama.
With the care and shyness of her ten children, she hesitated to talk about Ziamayear-
She used to be an old girl.
One day, a police officer arrested Ziama and his family and held them in a slum.
The police seized his rifle and pushed open the wooden door of the house.
He grabbed Ziama\'s collar and cruelly dragged him outside when his parents begged for mercy.
The whole family was taken to the slum.
At first Alexandra tried to tell me that she no longer seemed to be Ziama after her arrest.
Most likely, this is what she once told her family.
\"Have you seen your friend ? \"
We just crossed the fence.
The translator insisted, \"so you have seen him several times in the fence,\" Yes, not many times;
Just a few times.
They locked me in the house.
I will say I have been there a dozen times.
He asked me to bring him something to eat. what can we talk about?
We talked about the pieces of bread we shared and brought with them, passing through a hole according to our private signal.
The slums are surrounded by fences and barbed wire.
The Jews inserted a branch between the boards.
That means they can lift the boards in that place and get whatever we bring for them.
It\'s easier in summer.
In winter, the snow is very big.
We discussed a bottle of milk and the best time to bring it.
I have to say there are some good police officers.
They sometimes ask us to give food to the Jews: We go to the gate of the Jewish district and give the food to the Jews.
It\'s my turn to stick.
\"You remember the last time you saw him, did he feel what was going to happen or did you not talk about it . \" \"No one was talking about it at the time.
No one talks about anything;
Everyone is afraid of everything.
Something happens every night: either the police are coming or the resistance fighters are coming.
They all want something. We were afraid.
The fear never seemed to have left her.
Her retelling became more difficult due to the constant ringing of the white phone on the table several times.
Every time, she picks up the receiver, answers briefly, and hangs up.
She then continued her testimony.
Finally, she admitted that she was there on the day the Jews were arrested, when they were taken to the collective grave.
\"It was winter.
I\'m talking about January.
I don\'t remember the exact date.
I know it was early in January.
They were divided into several groups.
\"She was there as usual to bring food, and might go and meet her friends.
\"We agreed that day --
At the moment they were taken together.
They were protected.
Germans and police are everywhere.
I saw Ziama and I wanted to go find him.
Alexandra is reliving her life as a Soviet girl.
How could she know so far away in Berlin, comfortable and happy?
The heated Villa has decided that her Ziyu is no longer considered a complete one
He is a mature man who must disappear from the surface of the earth for her, and he is mainly not a Jew. He had a name.
His name is Ziama.
She was so close that she almost got caught up in the ranks of Jews.
\"The police almost took me away.
But the woman on the street screamed, \"What are you doing, she\'s Russian!
They pulled me out.
Memories of that moment, she sighed deeply, like regret.
After 60 years, she still doesn\'t seem to realize that she may have died that day.
Or rather, as if she still loves her purple jade.
She began to recall her memory again.
\"They are lined up, but some of them can walk while others need help.
This is a tragedy. . . .
How to describe to you that they are not walking by regular column, but there are about five people per row.
Some people took someone else\'s arm. . . .
Ziama\'s mother is sick.
When they left, he and his father held her up.
This is what I saw.
Then I was pulled out of the column.
Her words are inscribed in my memory.
I was taken back by her memories and the revenge-Semites.
She did not see a Jew that day. . . .
Her childhood love is moving towards his death.
Did his murder affect her career choice to join the police force, which eventually led me to the idea.
Finally, as in summary, she remembers that when she learned that her daughter was at risk of being shot and killed by Jews, her mother punished her.
\"Where did my mom come from to hit me and bring me home.
\"In the land display of the Soviet Union, there must be how many Ziamas and Alexandras are different from seeing Shoah from planes or satellites, not from farms in Belarus!
I ventured to ask the last question: \"Did he see you too ? \"with sadness]. Yes.
\"I have never forgotten my interview with this woman, a retired police colonel in the monastery.
And for the Germans, the Jews who advanced in their column are already considered dead, and for Alexandra, Ziama has always been a person.
When her first love and great risk came back to her, she woke up slowly in her testimony.
Her face lit up when she called back memories of Ziama.
Their story could have ended there.
The story of two Soviet children in corcoz
One is Jewish, the other is not.
A fence was erected between them, according to the orders of those who believed to break humanity.
Alexandra sighed again as if she had just returned from the break.
I realized that even today, her biggest regret was not staying with Ziama.
Without the intervention of her neighbor and mother, she would be killed by the Germans with him.
She was forced to live because she was not a Jew.
He is not allowed to live because he is a Jew.
The fences of the slums cannot be separated and bullets can be separated.
I left Alexandra\'s house with my own sadness.
I looked at the fields swept by the autumn wind in the distance.
Her words resonated in my mind: \"When the police pushed me into the column, I had little time to get close to him.
Others started screaming and saved me.
We can\'t change a word.
There is a lot of pressure.
I don\'t understand what happened.
I am used to all kinds of pain.
There was a punitive incident in our region.
We saw all kinds of horror.
But we never thought they \'d take all these people away.
\"That day, I understood that, nevertheless, there were too many common graves, and Hitler failed despite the bullets.
Alexandra likes Ziama because young girls like young men.
The Nazi divide on human beings cannot touch their love.