Beniamin Moiseevich Matskevich was born on August 21, 1923 in Vilnius, Lithuania. Matskevich attended a Jewish gymnasium, where lessons were taught in Yiddish, and Russian language was absent. Immediately after the outbreak of war he set out to Russia, to fight the fascists. In early 1942 Matskevich was enlisted in the 167th regiment of the 16th Lithuanian Division. Manning an anti-tank gun, Matskevich participated in the Battle of Kursk, where he was wounded but remained with his unit. He participated in battles throughout Ukraine and Lithuania, and was awarded with three medals “For Bravery.” Matskevich demobilized in November 1945 and returned to Vilnius. For his contribution to the revitalization of the Lithuanian paper industry after the war, Matskevich was awarded with the Order of the Red Banner of Labor. Interview was recorded in Vilnius, Lithuania, in 2008.
Saving a commander's life during a retreat.
Explaining three medals "For Bravery" and a feeling of gratitude towards Russia.
Memorialization: military, Russian Orthodox and Jewish cemeteries.
Many Jews stayed; they thought no harm would come.
Jewish jokes told at the front.
Postwar: a healing visit to a former capitalistic country.