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This week's Yizkor Book excerpt on the JewishGen Facebook page #ukraine #yizkorbooks


Bruce Drake
 

"Over A Glass Of Tea With Nikita Khrushchev."
How is that for an attention-grabber among titles of Yizkor book chapters? This one is from the book of Rokitno-Wolyn and Surroundings in Ukraine.
Khrushchev, of course, is remembered for many things, ranging from his "secret speech" in 1956 in which he denounced the late Josef Stalin’s “cult of personality” and brutal rule, to his uncharacteristically garrulous personality he had as a Kremlin leader (including the memorable scene of pounding his shoe on a table at the United Nations after a delegate accused the Soviet Union of trampling freedoms in Eastern Europe.
Khrushchev was certainly no angel, having, like other Russian officials under Stalin, made his way up the Communist ranks through either loyalty to him or fear of him, and enabled Stalin in his purges and other crimes. When the author of this chapter, Baruch Shehori, met him it was about a year after Khrushchev arrived in the newly liberated Kiev in 1943, wearing the uniform of a Major General.
This portrait of an amiable and sympathetic Khruschev is what it is, a memory of one encounter at a time after the yoke of the Nazis had been lifted from Ukraine. It was translated by Ala Gamulka, who has worked on many of JewishGen’s Yizkor book (she helped me finish the translation of the book of Kovel) and knew Shehori).


Bruce Drake
Silver Spring MD

Researching: DRACH, EBERT, KIMMEL, ZLOTNICK
Towns: Wojnilow, Kovel