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Nazis Left No Jews in Kharkov Prior to Retreating, Jewish Commander Reports

The Nazis made Kharkov “completely judenrein” prior to their retreat from the capital of the Ukraine, it was reported here today by Chaim Kazhdan, commander of a Red Army tank battalion who was among the first Russian soldiers to enter the city.

The Jewish commander stated that he took special interest in establishing whether any Jews remained alive in the vicinity of Kharkov. “Many Kharkov Jews,” he said, “were hidden by Ukrainian peasants in the neighboring villages. Others were supplied with documents stating that they were Christians. The Gestapo, however, carried out a thorough search in all villages and arrested everybody whom they suspected of being Jewish.”

“Upon our re-occupation of Kharkov,” the Jewish commander continued, “we found the Jewish cemetery there uprooted. The buildings of all Jewish libraries were burned down by the Nazis months ago together with all their books. A bonfire was made of pictures of Jewish writers which hung in many Jewish homes and in public reading rooms.”

Captain Kazhdan also related that hundreds of Jews succeeded in escaping from Kharkov during the Nazi occupation and in joining the Russian forces by walking days and nights through the woods. These Jews brought valuable information to the Russian Army, he added.

The Moscow press reports today that Dora Margolin, a Jewish army nurse, saved forty Russian soldiers in one day on the Kharkov front under enemy fire. She carried them to safety on her shoulders until she, herself, was wounded.

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