Holocaust Survivors

»A New Epoch for Jews in Germany« - panel 10

The Meeting Place for Holocaust Survivors and their Families opened its doors in the Hannover Jewish Community in the year 2008. This was the first meeting place for Russian-speaking Holocaust survivors from the former Soviet Union in all of Germany. The venue was established through a joint project between the Central Welfare Office for Jews in Germany (German: Zentralwohlfahrtsstelle der Juden in Deutschland, ZWST), the EVZ Foundation, and the Hannover Jewish Community.


Alina Feigin, social educator/social worker (M.A., German: Dipl.), coaching supervisor, director of the Social Services Department (German: Sozialreferat) in the Hannover Jewish Community, project coordinator:

“As a representative of a different generation, I am grateful that these people have survived. Thanks to them, I was born. The financial support of the EVZ Foundation and the Jewish Claims Conference has made it possible to establish this project.

For the first time, the identities of older Jewish immigrants could be considered in their entirety. Many of them are living alone, and our meetings are a good opportunity for them to have a chat and experience something new. The meeting place is an all-around concept that also includes computer courses, a talking circle for dementia patients and their family caregivers, the ‘German language on the move’ group, and much more.”


Viktor Katsperovskyi has lived in Germany since 1993 and has been an active member of the Meeting Place for Holocaust Survivors and their Families since its inception. He calculates multi-digit numbers in his head, loves to go for walks through town, attends a computer course in the Hannover Jewish Community, and enjoys every day of his life. At the beginning of the war, he was 18 years old. After a short period of officer’s training in May 1942, the former student was sent to the Southwestern Front as Lieutenant Katsperovskyi. Soon after, he was taken into captivity and brought to Germany as a forced labourer. Viktor belonged to the category of prisoners that was destined for unconditional annihilation: as a Jew and as an officer. In spite of this, he survived. His unusual life story is moving and, at the same time, fascinating.

Victor Katsperovskyi: “I have no feelings of hatred towards the German people. I understand that it was the war. There are Nazis to this day, but normal, decent people are in the majority. During captivity, I had a medical examination. Prior to this I thought: This is my last day because, as a Jew, I was circumcised. But the doctor ‘overlooked’ it. Thanks to this miracle and many other gifts of fate I am still alive …”

Irina Egorova was born in Leningrad in January 1941. She is an IT expert and assists others with acquiring computer skills. As a young child, she survived the Leningrad blockade.

Irina Egorova: “Of course I can only recount based on my mother’s memories. During the time of the blockade, thousands of Leningrad citizens died daily. I was very underweight and suffered from grade I rickets. A female doctor advised my mother to, if at all possible, breastfeed me over an extended period of time to keep me alive. She nursed me until I turned three. I only survived due to the self-sacrifice of my mother…”


Exhibition: A New Epoch for Jews in Germany
Duration: From 11th December 2016 to 7th January 2017
Location: Bürgersaal, Neues Rathaus, Hannover
Panel: 9 from 15
Technique: Digital print on Alu-Dibond
Concept and texts: Kathrin Leibmann
Design: Stanislav Ivanchuk