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Joining Ukraine discussion #ukraine


dwhitehead2634@...
 

I have not been able to access the Ukraine group or the moderators for a single-person question, so I'll try here and perhaps someone will be able to guide it along.

For a book, I am seeking information on Paul CHOURAPINE, born 8 March 1901 in Odessa. In autumn 1939, he was deported from Greece to France where he joined the Foreign Legion in Marseilles. Chourapine was transferred to the 22nd RMVE, a regiment affiliated with the Legion comprised of East European Jews and Spaniards. In June 1940, Chourapine was captured by the Germans in Somme and held in the Frontstalag at Cahlons-sur-Marne. Chourapine was regarded as a White Russian but any details are unknown. His story, beyond his being held at Chalons, is unknown.

I have checked French resources (await replies from SHD Pau and Caen), a posted letter to BA Freiburg, and an email to iac@...

Many thanks

Dennis Whitehead


mvayser@...
 

On Thu, Feb 18, 2021 at 07:43 AM, <dwhitehead2634@...> wrote:
Paul CHOURAPINE
Dennis,
Is there a reason to believe he was Jewish?  There are no records of people with that last name born (died or married) in Odessa among Jewish records.  Also, there are no matches in the JewishGen database for this last name.

Mike Vayser


dwhitehead2634@...
 

I likely got a bit ahead in his story since, in 1939-40, he was a member of the French 22nd Regiment comprised, what I understood, of East European Jews and Spaniards. No, not that simple. While he was in the 22nd, the regiment was more nuanced - 25% Spanish (the unit was formed from a French immigrant camp), 30% Polish and Romanian Jews, and 45% Belgians, Swiss, Poles, Luxembourgeois, Romanians, Norwegians, Portuguese, Hungarians, Russians, Yugoslavs and Austrians. It is likely Chourapine was in the latter group, likely non-Jewish.
 
I agree the name is likely a Westernized version of his Russian/Ukrainian name. Any suggestions what that name could have been? I came up with Chourapine/Хурапін/Khurapin/Pola Shorapyna for example but I have absolutely zero knowledge in Russian- and Ukranian-langauage name origins.

Since writing that and getting bounced for omitting my name I concluded that Chourapine was unlikely to have been anything close to his real name. He was a stateless person without passport working ships around the Mediterranean, probably specializing in the black market. He was bounced back and forth between Greece and France, Greece finally reaching an arrangement with Polish authorities to permit Chourapine to board the S/S Lewant at Piraeus ferrying Polish refugees to France in late-October, early-November 1939.

Anyone know anything about that 1939 voyage of the S/S Lewant?
 
Thank you! 

Dennis Whitehead


mvayser@...
 

I've seen him mentioned in a Russian language article under the name Чурапин (standard transliteration Churapin). "Ch" in his name is read as  "chess", "cheer"; "ou" transliteration to French to express the Russian letter/sound "у" (book).

There are a lot of results in Google for this last name, including WW2-era Soviet military on pamyat-naroda.ru.

Didn't he have ties with MI5 and provided information to them about the German counterfeit currency plan?  He had to be well placed to be in the know about this information.  Having a hard time reconciling his role in the counterfeiting intelligence with his stateless status and being an enlisted man or a junior office (not sure about his rank).  But then again, I don't know much about him.

Mike Vayser


dwhitehead2634@...
 

Excellent! Thank you!

No ties to MI5 but they were given a notebook found on his possession with information about the scheme but he joined an affiliated regiment of the French Foreign Legion and was captured by the Germans in June 1940 in the Somme area. From there, his trail disappears.

Dennis Whitehead