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VOLODYMYR KOTSIUBSKYY


Date of birth – 20 September, 1939  

Place of birth – Kyiv, Ukraine

Place of interview – Toronto, Canada

Date of interview - 19 August, 2010

Video interview

Language - Ukrainian


(Excerpt):


VK - Then there was Babyn Yar. I do not remember it well and I did not see it, but my grandmother and mother told me about it. There was a big procession down Lvivska street, then down Dehtyarivska street, where there was a Jewish cemetery and Lukyanivska cemetery and a railroad station. They [the Germans] said that they were going to take them [the Jews] somewhere. It was said that they all walked, the older ones were taken in carts, the children were led, and there was a big procession. So this Maria-Lvivna, she did not quite resemble a Jew. Her family name - Ivanova. She had 2 children but I do not remember their names. She, along with her mother and father, were also part of this procession. There were multiple columns of Germans. She walked past one column, heard a gunshot or something, waved at her parents, took her children, and started walking back.

Interviewer - So they were taking her to Babyn Yar?

VK - Yes, to Babyn Yar. She turned around, she had enough energy left to get through to this second coloumn. She showed them her passport and told them she had been accompanying some friends. They let her go. It was her luck. She did not go back home because she knew they could get her there so she came to us, with her children.

Interviewer - Do you remember what month it was? Was it 1941?

VK - Yes, it was 1941, September.

Interviewer - So this was right after the Germans captured Kyiv? Soon after?

VK - Soon after. Maybe 20 days. Kyiv was captured in September or August. I can't remember.

Interviewer - At the end of August I think.

VK - Yes. She was very worried. We were worried too because we knew that if you hid Jews, you could be shot. We closed all the windows. І remember a little 'slaydyk' I had. We had this old kitchen, an old house on the corner. I remember there was a smoke box. The smoke box was lit, there was a big tub in the kitchen, and my mother and Maria-Lvivna were bathing the children in the tub. We did not have a bathroom, only a stove, in the stove there was a big pot, where there was hot water. It was wooden all over. They stayed with us for a few days. I remember this little bit, but the rest is from oral recollections from my mother and grandmother. Later she left, not on Lvivska street, but on Menzhynska, through little alleys. She had family members from her husband's side in a village outside of Kyiv. She took the children and went there. She did not return home. We gave her some food, and she and her children went to the village. We heard nothing from her until after the war, or in 1944, when she returned to Kyiv to her old apartment. My grandmother and I went there to visit her. Her husband survived the war on the front lines, and later took her to Moscow.

excerpt from the Interview with VOLODYMYR KOTSIUBSKYY
UKRAINIANS ASSISTING JEWS DURING THE HOLOCAUST

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