Khonya Epstein

Author and leader of the Holocaust Survivors Group at Marks JCH of Bensonhurst

This interview was conducted and recorded in Russian. Read Julia Khanina's transcript and translation below. Интервью проведено и записано на русском языке. Вы можете ознакомиться с траснскриптом и переводом Юлии Ханиной ниже.

Khonya Epstein, 91, a leader of the Holocaust Survivors Group at the Marks JCH of Bensonhurst, is a Ghetto Survivor and World War II Veteran. A native of Mogilev, Belarus, he tells the harrowing story of how he escaped the Nazi massacre of the Jewish ghetto by spending five days in a cellar eluding the polizei and fleeing into the forest.  At 13 years of age he joined a partisan brigade and was equipped as a sniper with a French carbine and 120 bullets. After immigrating to America to join his daughter in 1989, he wrote a book about the three years of his life with the partisan group titled Privet, tezka! (Hello, namesake!), which uses the literary device of narrating the story to his great-great grandson. Khonya talks about some of the stories in the book, life after World War II, impressions of America, the Holocaust Survivors Group, and what Victory Day, the May 9th holiday that commemorates the surrender of the Nazis in 1945, means to him and fellow veterans.