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Family Memories

The tales below recount the memories of several P'yatyhorians, or those of their children and grandchildren, and tell the stories of survival, emigration, special memories and more.

A Human Endurance by Harry Gershman

The following is a 1996 interview given by Ida P. under The Ellis Island Oral History Project. This
project is dedicated to the preservation of immigrant recollections of their odysseys to America.
Click this link for more information on the Ellis Island Oral History Project.

Ida P. Interview

Mein Shtetl Piater

This song was written by J. Schwartzberg and is dedicated to the Piaterer Progressive benevolent Society of New York. It was written in Yiddish and translated by: Dr. Ida Selavan Schwarcz, Chaya Neugarten, Nathen Gabriel, Isabel Rincon, Martin Jacobs, & Ite Toybe Doktorski; Eds: Mitchell Polman, & Fern Greenberg Blood (January 2013).
Original Song Sheet Song Lyrics

Return to Beginnings

Mitchell Polman returns to his ancestral shtetl. His 1995 article was published in the Fall 1995 issue of Mishpacha, the journal of the JGS of Greater Washington, D.C.
Click to read: My Visit to a Ukrainian Ancestral Shtetl.

Unknown Black Book

Joshua Rubenstein and Ilya Altman are the editors of a collection of testimonies of Jews who survived the Nazis' homicidal rampage through Soviet Territory. These testimonies are compiled in a single volume, The Unknown Black Book: The Holocaust in the German-occupied Soviet Territories, published by Indiana University Press together with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Due to the recollections of Raisa Zelenkova, Pyatigory is one of the shtetls whose victims have been memorialized in the Unknown Black Book. Courtesy of Indiana University Press (all rights reserved) the portion of the book pertaining to Pyatigory is available below.
Press Release
Black Book

The Righteous Among the Nations

Yad Vashem has honored the Polinskaya Family for the courage shown by members of this family in saving the lives of members of the Kogan family during the Holocaust. One can read about the Polinskayas here: Polinskaya Family.


Pyatyhory Residents in 1934

The following letters were sent to Ralph (Tkach) Kallin, who immigrated to the United States from Pyatyhory in 1921. Each includes a list of Pyatyhory residents in 1934 and describes conditions in the shtetl at that time.
Click to read: Kallin letter 1 Feb 1934 & Kallin letter 11 Feb 1934