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Video Archives: Klara Katsman

Klara Katsman

Klara Katsman

born in Tulchyn , 1931


Klara Katsman was born in 1931 in Tulchyn. Her father was a brushmaker and her mother was a homemaker. She has lived in Tulchyn her entire life, other than during the war when she was imprisoned in the Pechera concentration camp. After the war, she returned to Tulchyn, where she worked as a tailor. She has a son and a daughter.

Current Video: March to Pechera

Khayke Katsman was a young adolescent, when she experienced World War II under Romanian occupation. In this clip, she describes how the Jewish population of Tulchyn was driven into the local bathhouse for disinfection, suffering unbearable humiliation.

The following clip is the continuation of Khayke's path to the Pechera concentration camp. While people unable to walk got immediately shot, the prisoners had to spend the night at a stable.

This is the final part of the prisoners' trajectory from their hometown Tulchyn to the Pechera concentration camp. Khayke remembers how she slept next to corpses that were eventually thrown out and eaten by starving prisoners.

The most striking theme in Khayke's story involves constant lack of basic human needs: water and food. On their way to Pechera, Khayke and others had to drink from trough. In Pechera, inmates were left to their own devices, some even resorting in desperation to cannibalism. Such cases were mentioned also by a few other Pechera survivors, whom we interviewed in Tulchyn.