Track Holodomor History

It’s too hard to describe my feelings about the following. When I recall what Holodomor is, I feel stressed — my jaw is squeezing from all sides by anger at those who made it. My heart begins beating faster, and something shatters me inside. The brain hurts due to thinking of the tragedy’s sizes…

I hoped that many families avoided this famine…However, communists again showed to me what Ukraine they were trying to restore. I had been always having a thought at the back of my mind that my duty was to record grandma’s memoirs of her mum’s words about the cynical genocide. And I did it on Holodomor Remembrance Day.

“Do you remember it? Once I told you about it.”

“Can you tell me one more time ’cause I’ve forgotten a little bit.”

“Yeah, yeah. So…when the famine has began there already all villages had been shut — everything. They didn’t let out to cities, didn’t let out anywhere. All were taken away. All that was eatable was taken away from the grandpa and grandma (my great-great-grandparents). The roof was taken away from the up ’cause the house was with floors and the roof was metal. At that time, it seemed to be wealthy. They came down to live in a barn. They had been living on the second floor but came down to live in a barn. Children (my grandma’s mother and uncles) were lying on the floor and some blanket. So then came militia and pulled it out of the children at night. Some bastards threw it (the blanket) out.”

“Sorry, are you talking about your mum and her brothers?”


“Is it about the Vinnytsia oblast?”

“Yes. Zbarzhivka village, Pogrebyschenskii raion. So…and children there even were being peed by them (militia). It was terrible what they made. All bread was taken away. My grandma sprinkled a little bit grain on the stove. She was forced to collect the sprinkled grain and give it to them. After that, they have been left naked and barefoot ’cause all the best was taken away including their cow. They left the cows to many people, but they took away from my grandpa and grandma.”

“Yeah, I heard that many people were left with cows.”

“But they took away from my grandpa and grandma. Then three children: my mum and three brothers were walking. One was two years younger than my mum and two others younger and younger. So those, both the youngest, died from starvation. But my mum and her oldest brother survived. Meanwhile, regardless, the grandma had no energy — generally, nothing; she was chased with whips to work in a field. She was forbidden to bury her children. And how were people buried at that time? There was going a horse with a cart, and the dead people were carried on it. And grandma said to my mum (because she was the oldest child) to go for the cart and at least see where the children would be buried. She was going and going on the swollen feet without any energy and she couldn’t go for the cart anymore. There were two common graves. And grandma has been always crying when she tells me that. She hasn’t known in which one the children were buried.

And the grandpa was on the run ’cause he was going to be taken and exiled to Siberia. He was on the run and swelling on fields from the starvation. And grandma was chased to work. Well, and my mum with the brother were walking and eating with other children, some grass. They were eating what they were seeing. They were swollen and all. And the grandpa had been as tired of the starvation that they thought he would die. But the grandpa’s friend gave him a chicken. He said that he gave the last chicken he had for the grandpa. Can you imagine? At that time, when it was the famine. He had a family, but the last chicken gave to the grandpa.”

“Perhaps it wasn’t the last…”

“No, it was. He had had the last chicken and he gave it to the grandpa. Then the grandpa was cured and survived. And it lasted two years…(about Holodomor).”

The mum had been telling me that in summer, when cherry trees bring cherries…

“Was it be 1933?”

“I am not certain maybe. And the grandma got a little bit of flour from somewhere. It was kind of flour. They ground potatoes, maybe, or something. Long story short, she cooked varenyky. And mum had been telling me she couldn’t wait so long and grabbed them raw. But after that, stomachs were swollen and all. And what was else? A basement was in their house, and the woman with her children were held there. The mum had been remembering how she was crying… That woman. She was held in the basement. She ate her children. Can you imagine? But she had been crying and asking for water. But none released her and gave her any water. There was a basement. It was a cold place. Then there was some dairy…”

“And from where did this woman come from?”

“Some woman from the village. She was arrested and put there with her children. These were such fears and horrors.

It was terrible. And my mother was already at school, even though the war was going on, and always was thinking of entering the history department to find out what it was like, why the famine had happened. And so she did not have to know for sure ’cause she died before the declaration of independence, at the age of 64, in 1988, before Ukraine became free.”

“Yes, she hasn’t lived for a little bit longer.”

“Yes. And she always dreamed of finding out what it was. And it was the Holodomor. Especially she was done by Holodomor. She suspected, but…”

“Could not find documents…”

“Yes, yes. At that time, how all it was working? At that time, everything was forbidden. So the Holodomor was the way it was. It’s scary. I lit a candle. Did you light a candle?”

“Of course.”

“So something like that…”

I shared with you only a part of the story that harmed my family.However, not only villages were affected by the red genocide. Unfortunately, cities were also suffering from it, Kyiv, in particular. Deads were lying on the central streets and black flags were flying on the poles, out of the windows in those scary times.

That Kyiv inhabitants and its guests know and respect what Ukrainians went through to stay alive, the National Museum of the Holodomor-Genocide, with the Ukrainian Culture Foundation support, created the Track Holodomor History app. It will tell you about Kyiv’s history under communists’ hood in the early 1930s. You will find out: how much bread cost and how long people could stay for it in the queue, what ration plant workers received and who couldn’t receive any food, what meant a black flag hung out on a building.

In the Track Holodomor History app, you can:

  • to look at pages of Kyiv places: buildings, streets, parks, structures and read their histories in the Holodomor years;
  • to create your own routes to the locations and go through them or use already created routes;
  • to open the additional content which becomes available only within 400 meters from the location.
  • to learn the archive photos, videos, memoirs, documents about the Holodomor history;

The app is accessible in English and Ukrainian.

Remember Holodomor so that it will never happen again.

Залишити відповідь

Ваша e-mail адреса не оприлюднюватиметься. Обов’язкові поля позначені *

Powered by WordPress | Designed by: seo service | Thanks to seo company, web designers and internet marketing company