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DARIA DERBISH


Date of birth - 1923

Place of birth – Ternopil, Ukraine

Place of interview – Toronto, Canada

Date of interview - 5 July, 2010

Video interview

Language - Ukrainian



(Excerpt):


DD - It was painful for them, the Ukrainians, to watch what was happening. I know I came once to Mykulyntsi from Lviv. I look, and the kitchen is full of women. I asked my mother "Mama what is this? What is going on?" She said "Go to your room. Take a book and read it, and don't ask questions." So I went. Later, my mother told me that the Jews were in the forest. They were hiding. So the ladies were cooking food for them and later would take that  food into the forest at night. The Jews would then come and take it. I know this for sure because I saw it. Nobody knew about this because if they did, the Germans would come and shoot us. But I don't know. Some things left a greater impression on me than others. It truly was scary. These were Ukrainian ladies and none of them betrayed the others to the Germans. Everyone helped to help the Jews.

Interviewer - So these ladies that were in your kitchen, they were Ukrainian?

DD - Yes. Ukrainian.

Interviewer - How many of them were there, you think?

DD - I don't remember. A lot. Maybe 10. We had a lot of friends.

Interviewer - So these Ukrainian ladies would get together and cook. Did they know where the Jews were hiding?

DD - I don't know. I think they must have known what they were doing.

Interviewer - Do you know of other instances where Ukrainians helped Jews? Did you hear of anything from the village, Mykulyntsi, Lviv?

DD - You know a lot of people helped. I can't tell you everything because I only tell you what I am certain of. The things I heard about or I do not know for certain I cannot tell you. But I will tell you one story. One day, when I was still in Mykulyntsi, it was around 4:00 in the morning and I hear a BOOM BOOM BOOM. I look outside and the German army is marching in front of our house. I went back to bed. Then I hear shooting and screaming. We get up, and our house was on a hill, the city was at the bottom, and we hear shooting and screaming. The Germans were doing a 'cleansing' of the Jews. I remember the next day, around 12:00, we went with my father [to the city]. My father said "come with me because I do not know what is going on there." So we went and my father was talking to a soldier. I don't know if he was a soldier because in the German army and in Galicia at that time there were also Ukrainian organizations. I think he was Ukrainian. He went to search the houses for Jews. He went into one house, and in the kitchens then there were these big stoves. He opened the door to the stove, and there was a women in there. He looked at her, told her to sit quietly, and closed the door. The whole city was talking about this. Could he have been a member of the army? Maybe you [the interviewer] could find out if Ukrainians were in the German army at that time? Мaybe he was a German, I don't know. But people were talking.

Interviewer - Ukrainians were in sections of the police force.

DD - Maybe. Yes. A German would never have done that. 

Interviewer - Do you know what his name was?

DD - No. Nobody knew who he was...

excerpt from the Interview with DARIA DERBISH
UKRAINIANS ASSISTING JEWS DURING THE HOLOCAUST

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