Searching for the appropriate literary material for his film Askol'dov read a short story "In the City of Berdichev
" by Vasilii Grossman (Iosif Solomonovich Grossman, 1905-1964), and decided to base his film Commissar on this story.
, for example, recalls that her high-school boyfriend's Ukrainian family suggested hiding her in their cellar until things "calmed down" after the Germans came and established their rule.
Vasili Grossman nacio el 12 de diciembre de 1905 en Berdichev
, Ucrania, de padres judios que se separaron al poco de nacer el.
Like Conrad's birthplace Berdychiv (Pol: Berdiczow; Rus: Berdichev
), which was in 1857 part of Russia's Empire, Kovel was in pre-partition Poland's eastern borderland, today's western Ukraine.
(24) The scale of the operation was so huge that, for instance, in Berdichev
, 60% of Poles living there were arrested by June 1938.
Yet near the end of his book, while visiting an ancestral home in Odessa, he decides to skip the journey to Berdichev
, a shtetl in eastern Ukraine where the saga began: "I want to see what the sky looks like in Berdichev
, but I have to go home." The book closes with this evasion, for de Waal has lost himself in nostalgia; nothing about a shtetl will be "worldly," one of his favoured adjectives.
If only Viktor had allowed his mother to come and live with him, she would have survived; but his wife, Lyudmila, didn't get along with Anna, so she remained in Berdichev
Levi Isaac of Berdichev
, indicates that the Tzaddiqim, "now have the power to interpret the Torah in the way they like" (23) even if in heaven this interpretation is not accepted.
Weinryb cites as an example the dire straits of petty merchants in the medium-sized Ukrainian city of Berdyczow (Berdichev
), where the number of Jews driven into small-scale grain trading in the second half of the nineteenth century increased by an astounding 1200 percent, with direct implications for the nature of competition and the difficulty of making a living (58, also noted by Brym, Jewish Intelligentsia and Russian Marxism, 27).