THINGS THAT CAN NOT BE FORGOTTEN. THE WITNESS OF HOLOCAUST.
In summer 2017 while I was visiting Ukraine, fate put me in touch with a
wonderful woman , mother of the CEO of hotel and resort "Carpathians" Lev Grizak Christina Evstahovna Grizak. She talked about things that can not be overlooked silent, and among other things, cruelty of the Nazis during World War II, including the Holocaust and the rescue of Jews. I propose to your attention the decoding of the conversation and soon it will be possible to see the video in its entirety on my website.
- Christina Evstahovna , do you remember the time of the Nazi invasion, the partition of Poland, times of Soviet . If you can, tell us about that time.
- I was born in the city Buchach in Ternopil region - a smaller city, smaller than Truskavets. I had been an only child, very desirable and very loved. I was raised in a good family, good. My father at the age of seven became an orphan. He and six children in the family, all of them have become hardworking people. Today, when I think of my dad and residents of the town where I was living, I see as it happens today - people would meet him, raised his hand and said: "Oh, birch," that way they welcomed my father. Very many people respected him. The family of my mother was richer. Grandparents lived in affluent. My mother is , Polish my father - Ukrainian. Grandmother and vice versa, Ukrainian and Polish grandfather. When my father proposed a marriage to my mother, grandfather approached him and said: "You will go to the church and you will be considered as a Pole." Dad replied: "OK, I'll do it." A few days later my grandfather asked : "Well, did you go to the church?". Dad said: "I can not change my identity). Grandpa patted him on the shoulder and said:" Good, I respect you.
"Although our family had many Poles, people always turned to my dad in an Ukrainian language. My father studied and worked as a bricklayer. He was taking contracting for buildings and built them. I remember how the engineer came from Lvov and took my father's work. And buildings he had constructed - a bank, a hospital, clinic-residential houses - they stand today as if they were built in a day. There is no crack. My father was a high-level professional. I do not remember exactly when I went to the first class , I remember that I was dressed in a nice way.
In 1939 the Russians reached the city on three tanks . They saw themselves as "releasers ." People immediately went out to the streets. They met the Russians, asked them a lot of questions. Three tank men went out from the tank and people asked them: "How's life at your country?". " Everything is good" - replied tankers. One of them took out a piece of paper, dissolved the tobacco and said: "We have everything - even matches and tobacco." I had been a little girl, but I remember it. He rolled a cigarette and lit it . After it he was asked : "Do you have oranges and tangerines? '." Or, we collect them with the help of tractors ", - said tank crew member. People bowed their heads and although I was little, I realized that he was lying. But I received a huge impression of "liberators" who came to" liberate "us.
First half of my family were Ukrainians, two half - Polish, but nobody made any difference between them. When Polish festivals celebrated all would come together in one apartment, when Ukrainian holidays were celebrated – in the second apartment. My grandfather had two large houses. Two Jewish families lived in that houses . .. And our father built the house with his own hands and with the help of other people - a great house of three floors – in that house also lived Jews . In front of our apartment lived a Jew named Genia Pogorilie . I remember it very well, she t was about the same age of my mother, she was very beautiful and had a child, named him Moses. So called Muse. He and I were the same age, the door of his apartment was at the door of our apartment. Sometimes his mother was with us all day and my mother was with her. Her husband had a shop, he was a merchant and he didn't work. We played with this kid.
When in 1941 the Germans came, then they said that they came from Lvov, but I could be wrong. Germans took Genia's husband first night and she did not see him anymore. And we did not see. The Germans began to do military actions. Two Germans (they said that they were - Volksdeutsche( they probably were Poles) and they warned us. The name of the first one was Pell, another's name was Pal. Probably Peter and Pavel - so I understood. They warned us that it will be an action. They warned Poles and Ukrainians –it will be inspection or something else.
The Germans, of course, did not know it, and our people were happy that they know at least something about the plans and action of the Germans.
Genia was forced to leave our home because she could no longer live there because of the Germans. And she began to hide. Jews were hiding even under the road. How did they move the earth and stones, I still do not understand it. And they were hiding there , but the Germans founded them.
Once Genia came to us (there was no curfew restriction ) and said to my mother : "Maybe I could bake something for you?". And she was with us until evening. She knew it could be an action, but we did not know it. In the evening we could not let her go. We lived on the second floor and down the apartment was empty flat , there was a sofa bed and Genia went there to sleep. In the morning when I went out onto the balcony, the house stood under the mountain, and on the mountain top were Germans and they told me (I had been a little girl) in German "Juden there with you? Get them out, or we'll shoot you now!". I went downstairs, my mother gave me a black scarf she was knitting...
And at grandfather's house before it lived Jews and there was an empty apartment. When grandfather's children were getting married, then he would give each apartment. We had this empty apartment key. Where previously there were Jews live and I accompanied Genia across the street toward the house of the grandfather who was in front of our house.
I say all these things - and tremble when I remember those times. It was really terrible and frightening, but I had been very brave...
There were two houses standing facing each other - a grandfather and two large houses, where Jews had lived. And Germans were checking vigor all the walls with long spikes, they looked for people who were hiding there. I put her into the apartment and sat there until the end of the action. After that she went to other Jews where they were hiding.
The neighbor looked through the window (Pole, her family name was Dombrowski), said: "Mrs. Beresova ! Are you crazy? You only have one girl and let her go? After all, they could kill her!" - Translation of chief editor of "Carpathian Mountains" V. Kluchak . They could kill her, but she had a luck. It was the first episode .
The second case – grandfather was standing on the porch. During that time very few Jews remained. Germans were taking one or two people. They rounded up all the Jews in prison. The prison was not large, the Germans were taking the Jews out and they killed them, I saw it with my own eyes. And grandfather was standing on the porch and the German soldier leaded Genia with another woman. Genia raised her head and said: "Mr. Cherbanevitch!" "! Save me! I want to live! "(Translation of the chief editor of the newspaper" the Carpathians ").
Grandfather came to mother (Mother Maria she was called Manusia ) and said:" I can't stand it ! Do something! I can not see it, I still see her eyes. "Genia was pretty, smart, cheerful. He said:" I can not bear it! Do something - you have to take her from prison and save from death".
Mother went to a Polish lawyer who worked there (his name escapes me out of my head.) And she said to him:" Mr. lawyer! Help, save her ! ". He says:" What happened to you, are you crazy? They can kill both of us ". "" Well, do something! We cannot let her die. "He said:" All right. Come to the park in the evening . (Not far from the prison flowed a river and was garden by Name of Sobeski ). And a policeman would take her to you".
Mom raised money from family - everyone was giving everything he can. In the evening she arrived to the place the lawyer told her , and the policeman let her go. Mother took her home, I remember it to this day. Bathroom is not was in action, there was not so good conditions like today. It was a round bathtub where they washed clothes. My mother warmed water, put the Genia to the bathroom. I had been everywhere, seen everything, and remained silent and only looked.
Genia had a bath and a cousin of the mother Kazik Cherbanevitch who lived not far from us - it's a son of grandfather's brother - took her to the city of Lviv. They traveled by train. He changed her appearance, made her Kinkart and sent it to Germany.
And before that she gave her son Mose to a Polish man his family is Masurkevich . She asked him to hide her son. Masurkevich took him to the village. I do not know exactly what what happened, but the Germans had killed Mose.
And when Russians arrived, after the war Genia wrote letters, she asked, she begged:" Tell me, where is my child? ". She, Genia Fogorilih had stayed to live in Germany.
Probably she was not alive then I had been a little girl and had a child of my age. But I would like to know , maybe she has a family somewhere, people must know her story.
Genia wrote to us, and mother asked her to write to relatives our family in Poland that during the Soviet period were chasing people who had relatives abroad.
Besides, I got to participate in a single event. On the lower level was a Jew and was living in a house - workshop. I do not know what were made there t, then it really did not interest me. He had a wife and two children, son and daughter. His family name was Finkelman, his name was Solomon, and his name in Ukrainian I do not know. Every day he was coming to us after work (he did not work by himself , he just managed the work). I had been climbing on the chair and reached into his pocket . He did not come with empty pockets - he had always chocolate, candy, he was indulging me. He spent every night here.
My father's friends were coming to him , they played dominoes. I really liked Shlomo and he loved us. His wife was a bit slow. Mom was cutting noodles - one-two-three, and he would say: "Yes! I think – why my wife cooks soup-meat a whole week? Because she cuts each piece individually. And you - one-two-three and cut it all ... ". I remember his words.
Of course, when Germans started the actions he left grandfather's apartment. But one night he came to us. He lived in the small house near the river, the Germans came, killed his wife and children, and he jumped into the field of corn. That's how he survived and came to us.
We put him to an empty apartment and I was bringing him food. He was hiding there until the Russians came. He married a Jewish woman - beautiful, with white skin, I do not remember what her name was. They traveled to Israel and she gave birth two sons.
He wrote us a letter and sent tangerines and mother again wrote to him: "I beg you, do not write or send anything because Soviets chase us." He corresponded with us, sent deliveries to Poland to my mother's sister, to grandfather, grandmother, they moved there.
He probably no longer alive because he had reached old age. But I think that somewhere there are his children and grandchildren. Finkelman. He had two sons, I know exactly. Maybe some children were born later.
These things I wanted to tell you.
I think Finkelman told his children where he was born and how he managed to survive and maybe their mother told them. Both were from Buchach.
I saw all the horrors of war from the beginnning. I went with Mom and Dad to grandfather and grandmother across the river, the new house was built before the war. We went to Grandpa, and near the river went to a Jewish woman with a little girl and a German was leading her. She did not want to go and German was constantly pushing her with the butt-gun. She did not want to go, he shot her in the street and killed her, it was on Sunday. And her brain popped up. She was murdered brutally.
And to this day I cannot eat brains. People eat brains on holidays - or, mind, very tasty and I cannot even look at him.
I saw how behind our house Germans were shooting Jews as there were Jews. Behind our house there is a mountain, there is a Jewish cemetery there. Mountain spreads further, and cemetery is over and this mountain dug a trench the size of a man and a length of intracellular meters. The Germans put the Jews one after the other and shot them, there was a lot of dead and wounded. And so they did with the second row of the Jews. And Germans poured earth on the bodies.
All this is true, I saw all these things.
The last episode. I could be wrong because I was a little kid . Germans took Jewish mother with a girl. German shot them, and then poured earth on them. We had one person, his family name was Twardowski, he was cleaning sewage. I could be wrong, but I think that's how it was. I together with my cousin ran there. And we heard how the girl spoke under the earth: "Mom! Mom! Get me out of here! Very dark and cramped here!" - Translation of the chief editor of the newspaper "the Carpathians"). And the German took a pickaxe and let them a blow and they did not say anything more.
The Germans were shooting at us too, because we were children and we wanted to see everything. The third house was near our home was a Jewish home. It was a two-story house. Jews hided in the basement, they brocked up so no one would see them. The Germans opened the cellar and burned them alive.
This is all the horrors of war that I saw and I can tell them as a witness.
I saw the horrors that Russians did. But that's another story. I hope that no one will see the things I've seen.
- I was under the influence, I can not find words. I really want that many people will be able to hear your testimony. This recording will be interpreted by editor-in-chief of the newspaper "the Carpathians" Vladimir Kluchak and will be translated into Russian and English and Hebrew. And I'll do anything in order to publish this testimony in the Israeli press.
You have a sacred mission and purpose - to find the relatives of Eugenia Pogorilie and Shlomo Finkelman - I will be very happy if this happens.
It's very pleasant for me that my fellow citizens in various countries of the world will see and hear the story of the witness about all the crimes that happened then. When I was listening to your story, I was shaking, it was scary. I try to describe your feelings
... I'd appreciate it you will be able to tell about the attitude of adults to these events. After all, we know that there was cooperation with Nazis on the part of the Poles, Ukrainians and sometimes on the part of the Jews ...
- Except of Germany who beat the child to death I can not read the name of any - one. I did not see anything in life. If my mother was Polish and dad Ukrainian, so there was no hostility. When Grandpa - Pole went to father-Ukrainian and said: "well done" - there was something. And so it was not just in our family.
That's the answer to your question. I do not remember not one Polish and one Ukrainian nor Jew who could hate each other because of belonging to a particular nation, and if somebody could do something bad. Among Poles, Ukrainians and Jews was no any enmity in our city.
There may have been somewhere people who wanted to collaborate with the Nazis, they wanted to curry favor , maybe they had a hope that Nazis will save them, but I have not seen such things.
If Finkelman was with us every day and Genia Fogorilih every day - believe me we did not feel any difference.
- I'll tell you why I asked you about it. I as a the chief -editor of an international Internet magazine get a lot of information. Now, especially in the Russian press write much about the tense situation between Ukrainians and Poles. And I thank you for telling this story twice. Because you are a living witness . And the Russian press are writing these things to bring about a conflict between nations.
You are a heroic woman! I wish you a lot of health! I will try to do everything what depends on me in order that that information will reach maximum amount of people in different countries of the world.
Christina Evstahovna Grizak : "I dream to see a day when a ditch with the people of your country of your country will be opened and probably there are hundreds of people! Their bodies need to be taken to a cemetery and a monument with engraving must be done so that it will remain in memory of the descendants .
The whole place now is covered with forest, but I remember the place well. While I live, I can show you the place .
- I thank you for this conversation. By the name of all Jewish people I gesture in front of you. In my own eyes you are a tRighteous Among the Nations and I hope I will get support in Israel. With all due respect and appreciation .
The conversation was held by Leonid Hodos, editor-in-chief of the international Internet Magazine "NewRezume.org" in September 2017, city
Truskavets "The hotel and resort" Carpathian Mountains ".