Holocaust Center for Humanity
  • The beauty from a small town
    The beauty from a small town
  • "For most of my life I have lived under the terrible conditions of Nazi Gernany and Communist (USSR). Life was severe: no freedom, extremely limited private rights, and feeling of being constantly gripped by fear." - Izzy Darakhovskiy
    Izzy Darahovskiy was born into a Jewish family in 1936 and grew up in Yampol, Ukraine, which was then part of the Soviet Union. He was five years old when the Germans invaded Ukraine in 1941.
    In September 1942, the Nazis and their collaborators rounded up Jews from Yampol, including Izzy, his stepmother, and his tiny month-old sister, Lisa, and depdorted them to a slave labor camp.
    Eventhough he was only a boy of five years old he remembers many details of this period. Izzy and other prisoners lived in primitive barracks made out of thin wood, with 35 people in one room. People were hungry and cold all the time, and the work never ceased. One of his most tragic memories was seeing Nazis shoot and kill his grandfather because he was unable to work.
    When the camp was liberated by the Soviet Army in 1944, Izzy, his mother and sister were lucky to have survived and returned to Yampol. The war was not over - it continued for several months, and then a severe famine made life very difficult. 
    Izzy went to school in Yampol after the war, but the conditions were challenging; the school lacked textbooks and even paper. Izzy loved to read and dreamed of being a teacher or a doctor. Despite his high achievement and test scores, Izzy was not accepted at several choice universities. After being drafted into the Soviet Army for three years, Izzy was finally able to attend the State University in Moldova.
    Izzy completed two doctorate degrees and began a 28-year career as an economist with the prestigious Academy of Sciences in the Soviet Union. When the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, Izzy and his family immigrated to the United States the following year. They lived first in Rochester, New York, and since 2011 in the Seattle area.
    Izzy has been asked to lecture at the United Nations, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Woodrow Wilson Center, and other institutions. He has also written nine books, including a memoir and a book for children inspired by his granddaughters. Izzy is a current member of the Holocaust Center's Speakers Bureau.
  • More About This Survivor:

    A short bio - Izzy Darahovskiy

    Brighton-Pittsford Post

    Grandfather's Letter: Life Is Not Always Fun (Book)