Video Archives: Nisen Kiselman
born in Tomashpil , 1927
Nisen Kiselman was born in Tomashpil in 1927. He is a cousin of Pesia, Sasha and Lev Kolodenker, as well as the husband of Pesia Kolodenker. His father was a coachman and his mother was a homemaker. His father died during the famine in 1933, leaving his mother to care for Nisen, his sister, and his four brothers. During the Second World War, he was confined to the Tomashpil ghetto, where his mother and sister were both killed by the Germans in a massacre. After the war, he joined the Red Army and served for seven years.
Current Video: Tomashpil Massacre of August 4, 1941
The Germans captured Tomashpil in late July 1941. A few days later, a group of Ukrainians were taken to the outskirts of town, by the Polish cemetery, to dig several large pits. Romanian gendarmes and German soldiers gathered about 150 Jews and led them to the cemetery, where, on August 4, 1941, they were executed. Accounts differ on whether it was only Germans who did the killing, or Germans together with Romanian gendarmes.
Nisen Kiselman's mother and sister were among those taken. He explained later that he was able to escape because the Germans mistook him for a Christian.
When the Germans left town eight days later, leaving the city under Romanian control, Kiselman went through to the grave in search of his mother and sister. He was able to recognize his mother's corpse from her clothing, but could not find his sister among the corpses.