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Red Army Captain Reports on Rescue of Jews in Odessa by Russian Inhabitants

August 29, 1944
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Many Russians and Ukrainians in the city of Odessa were lauded here today by Capt. S. Eisensteim, a Red Army officer, for risking their lives to shelter Jewish families during the years of German-Rumanian occupation of the Elack Sea city.

Capt. Eisanstain, who arrived here from Odessa, told how a Russian engineer, Leaonid Suvorovsky, in addition to hiding twenty-two Jewish families, also organized a “factory” where false identification documents were “manufactured” for Jews in order that they could pose as non-Jews and be spared Axis torture and extermination. Suvarovsky’s activities were discovered by the Gestaco and he was arrested and sentenced to seven years at hard labor, but on the eve of his arrest he managed to transfer the hidden Jewish families to a new hiding place and they all survived to be liberated later by the Russian Army.

Another Russian, Yakov Poliahuk, is credited with rescuing sixteen Jewish families in Odessa by digging a huge cellar in an unfinished building in the heart of the city and hiding the Jews there. For more than two years the Jews did not dare to leave the cellar, while Polishuk, risking his life, delivered food as often as possible under the very nose of the occupation authorities. All the families are now alive in Odessa and full of eternal gratefulness to Polishuk to whom they owe their lives, Capt. Eisenstein reports.

An aged Russian woman Varvara Lapina was executed by the Gestapo in Odessa for refusing to reveal the hiding place of a number of Jewish children for whom she arranged shelter in a neighboring village after keeping them for some time in her own house. Konstantin Studenko, a Ukrainian stevedore, is credited by Capt. Eisenstein with rescuing many Jews from a concentration camp near Odessa which he raided with the aid of other stevedores. The rescued Jews were delivered by the raiders to Russian partisan units which they joined.

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