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EVA ANDERMANN


Date of birth – 19 October, 1939 

Place of birth – Przemysl, Poland

Place of interview – Montreal, Canada

Date of interview - 5 October, 2010

Video interview

Language - English


(Excerpt):


Interviewer - Was any of your family sent to the ghetto?

EA - Yes. So when the epidemic seemed to have subsided, and they heard that other Jewish doctors who had also been allowed to work as doctors were being sent to the ghetto, this is when they decided that they would probably try to hide somewhere. My grandparents and this youngest brother of my mother and all the others actually were taken to the ghetto. And this is why my parents approached this wealthy farmer in Babintsy. My father had been treating his son who had tuberculosis of the bone and there wasn't much treatment. It was calcium injections but that was what was available. He [my father] asked him whether he could find us a hiding place so even though he didn't hide us himself, he found someone who was willing to hide us. This was a rather poor farmer and my parents had a lot of things and so they slowly gave out these goods that could be bartered for food or whatever. But still these people were very brave to take us in. They knew the risks that were involved. So we didn't live in their home except just before the bunker was built but apparently we did stay in their attic for a short time. And there was a fire in the attic. The farmer's wife really didn't know what to do because all the neighbours came to help put out the fire and we had to get down on a ladder from the roof. Of course she didn't want the neighbours to see and so she gave them all pails and sent them outside and so they should throw the water from the outside and quickly she put up the ladder and got us out into the pantry. But it was very close because there were so many people around who could have spotted us.

Interviewer - And the man who's son your father treated who helped you find this hiding spot, do you remember his name?

EA - Kukurudza was the wealthy farmer who did help us and I think we did stay in his house very briefly, but then we stayed in the house of the farmer Kravchuk, where the bunker was actually being built. At night the men, including my 8 year old cousin, so Kravchuk and my father and my uncle, they all went to dig up the earth. One of the big problems was that it was hard to find a place to hide the earth that they dug out because that was very visible so they had to sort of flatten it out. Now my aunt, my mother's sister, Rachel and her husband and son, my cousin Philip, they had been hiding in the forest. They had escaped from the ghetto and they were hiding in the forest. Somehow they got word to my parents and Kukurudza went to get them from the forest. There were many people hiding in the forest and they didn't have too long to survive there.

Interviewer - And were they hiding with a group of people or on their own?

EA - No, but there were just many other people in the forest and there was almost nothing to eat. I don't think those people survived long it they stayed in the forest and also because the Germans found them there and many of them were shot.

Interviewer - So Kukurudza helped find your aunt and uncle.

EA - That's right. he went and got them but not together because he thought that would make it too obvious so he first got my aunt and my cousin and then he went back to get the others. So again he was taking a lot of risks doing that.

Interviewer - Did your parents - or what do you think - what motivated him

to help?

EA - Well I think it was largely his son because as long as we were there he would take my father at night to his house to treat his son. I think that was largely it, but I'm sure that he also felt sorry for us. Especially I was just a two year old. My mother writes in her book that Kravchuk, for example, at one point when the Germans had surrounded his farm and they were even going in and getting the chickens that were right on top of our heads and you know the chicken coop was built right over the potato cellar... At one point he was so afraid that he came and told my parents that really he just can't keep them anymore because he's afraid for his family. Apparently I ran up to him and sat on his knee and said how much I loved him. We really were very close during all this time, and he said "well if not for her I definitely wouldn't be able to keep you but I can't let you go because of her." That's what he said. That's in my mother's book. Of course I don't remember any of this but I'm sure that that's what happened.

Interviewer - How long were you with Kravchuk?

EA - I think they started building it in the late summer of 1942 because this is when the ghetto formed and the whole family went there. The epidemic was over and so my parents knew that this was it. Because they had to be very careful not to show too much earth being moved around and could do it only at night, it took them perhaps a couple of months to finish it and then it was cold already. It was almost maybe October, November when we finally went into it. Then we didn't come out until April of 1944. So a year and a half, more than a year and a half.



CROSS REFERENCES:


"Mina's Story: A Doctor's Memoir of the Holocaust". Book launch of the Ukrainian translation of Mina's Story: A Doctor's Memoir of the Holocaust, by Dr. Mina Deutsch, May 1, 2012. Presented by St. Vladimir Institute, Ukrainian Canadian Research and Documentation Centre, Centre for Jewish Studies University of Toronto, and Ukrainian Jewish Encounter Initiative

excerpt from the Interview with EVA ANDERMANN
UKRAINIANS ASSISTING JEWS DURING THE HOLOCAUST

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