Born in Bar, in the former Soviet Union (now Ukraine), in 1928, Mikhail lost his mother and 4-year-old sister in 1942 to a mass execution conducted by the Nazis in the Bar ghetto.
Selected for forced labor, Mikhail continued to live in the ghetto until he escaped while it was being liquidated.
He fled to Kopaigorod, where he was forced to live in the ghetto and was subsequently sent to work in the peat fields in the Nestervarka concentration camp. Mikahil was also assigned to work on the demolition of the synagogue in the Tul’chin concentration camp.
In spring 1944, Mikhail was liberated by the Soviet armed forces in the Kopaigorod ghetto.
"You watch movies, read books, and you feel like it’s something alien to you, as if you weren’t touched by it."
"And he asked, “Who are you people?” One guy replied, “We are Jews. We’ve been here in the ghetto.” He said, “You are free!”
He waved his hand.
“You are free!” That’s how it happened. I remember. This was over 50 years ago."