A Memory of Survival

Object Day Dresden: Michail Raikes

“Show us your story!“ – Beginning last year, the Jewish participants in the Object Days project have followed this invitation by recounting their migration stories.

A bearded gray-haired man holds up two documents

Michail Raikes, born in 1941 in Omsk, USSR, now Russia.
Living in Germany since 2002.
Electrician.
Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Stephan Pramme

My father fought in the war, but he lived. I’ve brought his military ID and the certificate of his war injury to remember him by.
My father’s parents lost their lives. My grandfather was shot during the German advance, and my grandmother was put in a ghetto. I don’t know the details. In the Soviet Union, the subject was hushed up. Barely anyone talked about Jews, about all the atrocities.
Later I had to prove to the Claims Conference that we were evacuated. It was not immediately acknowledged. I was born in December 1941. The Claims Conference did not recognize the evacuation of such children. I was evacuated in the womb. But it was eventually acknowledged.
In Dresden, I joined the Jewish Community. There is a club there called Amcha specifically for Holocaust survivors. We all meet there. There are also concentration camp survivors, people who survived the occupation – very long stories. We come together every month.
This club helps people in matters of medicine, translation, care and visits to the doctor. Many people die, leave life. We'll keep the memory.
It is probably the only club of its kind in Germany. We keep the memory alive.