Russian Veterans Initiative

The Archives is currently working on a project that involves interviewing approximately 20 Jewish veterans who served in the Russian military during the Second World War. They are all living in Toronto at this time and many were given medals for their bravery.

Ontario Jewish Archives, accession #2010-11/11.

Grigoriy Genin giving a lecture to a group of soldiers in 1945 outside the village of Kefermarkt, Austria.

Ontario Jewish Archives, accession #2010-11/11.

Len Pearl is responsible for conducting the video interviews. He is relying on state of the art technology, employing a green screen background and HD footage. The interviews will be used in the future for programming and exhibitions implemented by the OJA along with the Canadian Jewish Museum that will be constructed within the next few years.

In addition, the OJA has been acquiring photographs, documents and artifacts from the veterans and scanning items in cases where the individual is not comfortable donating their treasures. As a result, we have acquired wonderful photographs of their lives in Russia before the war, medals, certificates, honours and other items. Since this group was not very well documented by the OJA in the past, this project will help document the many important stories and adventures of these heroic veterans, ensuring that the interviews and records are well preserved for future generations to enjoy and appreciate.