Isabella Mirkina-Yegoricheva


Isabella Mirkina-Yegoricheva

September 19, 1941 the German hordes entered the Kyiv. Terrible date! The next day I had to go through Khreschatyk. Since childhood a familiar street seemed ominous strange. Near some buildings was reinforced Nazi soldiers (the post office and other places). I was a witness of how a citizen, who dared to approach the protected buildings, was beaten by German.
September 29 (in 9 days after the capture of Kiev by Nazi horde ) at the intersections of the city, on walls and fences appeared an order stating that "... all the Jews of Kiev must come together at 8 a.m. on the 29th of September on Degtyarіvska street near the Jewish cemetery. " It was necessary to bring warm clothes, money and valuables. The order threatened to shoot anyone Jew who would not come and every Gentile who dared to hide Jews.
Terrible anxiety gripped not only Jews.
Tormented with a horrible premonition , that people fall into despair, then, like a drowning man clutching at straws - a glimmer of hope that the Jewish population would be exported somewhere (near the place specified for attendance, there were railroad tracks and stations). The thought of a violent quick death ,death of their loved ones, especially babies and children, was so nightmarish that everyone tried to drive it away. In all parts of the city accumulated mortal anguish.
Terrible night changed with more terrible morning. To this place pulled a continuous stream tens of thousands of Jews. In this human sea were represented all ages: blooming, healthy boys and girls, full of strength men , hunched old people and mothers with children, even infants. There were professors, doctors, lawyers, civil servants, artisans and workers. People flocked from all over the city. The sea of heads, tens of thousands nodes and suitcases. The street was busy as ever, and at the same time the cold horror of death pressed all ...
In the morning of the 29th of September my family hit the road (the last one!). I saw them a few blocks, and then, at their insistence, went to find out if I must be near the cemetery with my daughter. My husband was Russian. We agreed with the family that they would be waiting for me in one of the public gardens near Dorogozhytska street. I came in different institutions in order to obtain a permission as Russian wife living in Kyiv and to find out where are the Jews going. Of course, there was no "solution" ,I have not received and learned nothing. Germans with threatening grim said, "Go to the graveyard”.

I took my 10 year old daughter Ira to my husband’s mother. Also I carried there some part of our belongings. On the 29th of September, about 5 o'clock in the afternoon, I went to the Jewish graveyard. In a small square, at the appointed place, I did not find anyone: they were gone forever. I could not go home. I went to my husband’s relatives and hid for about a week in a closet for firewood. It soon became known that at Babyn Yar on the 29th of September and after that day were killed more than 70 thousand Jews.
My relatives on the husband appealed to the family of priest Alexei Alexandrovich Glagolyev. A.A. Glagolyev is the son of well-known professor-hebraist of the Kiev Theological Academy Alexander Alexandrovich Glagolyev, former rector of the church of St. Nicholas Good at the Podol. Professor Glagolyev in his time appeared on the Bejlis trial. He argued that there is no ritual murder, and defended Bejlis. Father Alexei went to plead for me to Professor Ogloblin, who was mayor then. Ogloblin knew our family. He, in his turn, contacted with the question German commandant. Ogloblin came very confused and pale of the commandant. It turns out, the commandant pointed out to him that the question about the Jewish people is an exclusively subject of the jurisdiction of the Germans and they allowed it as they wished. My position was hopeless. Hiding at my husband’s relatives’ house - meant to expose them to the threat of execution. Alexei Glagolyev’s wife Tetyana Pavlovna - - came up with a desperate idea: to give her passport and birth certificate of baptism to me, Isabella Naumovna Mirkina-Yegorycheva. With these documents, I was advised to go to the village to familiar peasants.
Tetyana Pavlovna compromised herself at high risk in such anxious time without documents. In addition, instead of her passport photocard, Tetyana Pavlovna had to put my one. Fortunately, that operation was facilitated by the fact that the passport was burnt around the edges and was filled with water in the quench a fire in the Glagolyevs’ apartment. Stamp on it was vague and ambiguous. The operation with replacement of photocards was successful.
On the same day in the evening I went to the suburb of town Stalinka (Demiivka), and from there to the village Zlodievka (now Ukrainka) with the passport and metric of T.P. Glagoleva. In the village I lived at familiar peasants’ house under the name T.P. Glagoleva about 8 months. Gestapo, who walked from door to door in a search of prey, almost took Tatyana Pavlovna away as a suspicious lady without documents. Barely managed to defend her by evidence.
As I said, my staying in the village Zlodievka was not long. Local village authorities looked at me with suspicion. The guerrillas began to appear and that is why all the "strangers" seemed suspicious. The upshot was that I was called in to the village municipalities for identification.
Somehow I got out of this problem and quickly run to Kiev. Late in the evening on the 29th of November, I came to the Glagolyevs. Since that time, I and, later, my 10 year old daughter Ira, settled in the family of priest Glagolev as relatives. Within two years, we did not go anywhere and everywhere travelled with them.
We hid in the Glagolyevs’ apartment and church belfry. The task was very difficult, because I had to hide not only as a Jew, but as a woman, because I was subject to mobilization by age on different work, up to sending to Germany. In the city I was known by many people and they could extradite me, even if they did not want to do that. Except me and my daughter, the Glagolyevs helped several Jews. Among them are Tetyana Davydivna Shevel`ova and her mother Yevgeniya Akymivna Shevel`ova. T.D. Shevel’ova, 28 year old woman was the wife of Ukrainian D.L. Pasichnyj. They lived in a big house on the Saksagans`kogo street,63. D.L. Pasichnyj reviewed the order dated the 28th of September, 1941 and decided that something evil lurks here. He locked his wife and his mother in law in the apartment while he went "to explore."
He appeared at the appointed for the Jews time on Lukyanivka, but was arrested and nearly was killed with the Jews (the Gentiles’ deaths together with the Jews’ deaths took place). He barely managed to escape from there. It became obvious that to go to the cemetery meant certain death. Staying in his apartment was too death. What to do?
Wandering around the city, D.L. Pasichnyj met singer M.I.Yegorycheva, with whom he once worked. She encouraged him to ask the advice a priest Glagolyev. F.Oleksij rummaged all the papers of his late father, which included snatches of old church notes. Here he found several forms of canceled and lost the power of civil act baptismal certificates. One of them was made metric record about baptism of " Pauline Danilovna Shevel’ova,who was born in 1913 in the Russian Orthodox family." A fiscal stamp for this witness pulled Pasichnyj - he unsticked it from some old document. With this very questionable document Pauline Danilovna with her mother was secretly brought into the church manor and settled in a small house on the Pokrovs`ka street, 6, which was in charge of the church community.

An active assistance to priest Glagolyev rendered Fellow of the Academy of Sciences Alexander Grygorovych Gorbovskyj. He did not want to continue to work with the Germans and "was documented" as a steward of church buildings of Kiev-Podolsk Intercession Church. In his "possessions" he harbored not only Jews, but also many Russian teenagers , who were threatened to be sending to Germany. Gorbovskyj contrived even to get bread cards for all his "residents".

In order to avoid sending to Germany, some people received a certificate stating that they are singings, sextons, watchmen, etc. If the Germans had figured out why at such a small and poor church there is such a huge staff, it would go hard with the authors of these certificates. The said Pasichnyj family was hidding in the church house about 10 months. The Glagolyevs made a lot of efforts for salvation of Mykola Georgiyevych Germajze family. This family of Jewish origin was baptized before the revolution.. According to their passports all members of their family were Ukrainians. Mykola Georgiyevych Germajze was a teacher of mathematics. His wife Lyudmyla Borysivna was a housewife. Their adopted son Yura, an extremely gifted active 17-year-old boy , was a student of teacher's institute. If Yura could be mistaken for a Ukrainian because of his appearance, his parents belonged to the strongly pronounced Semitic type. It settled their hash.
In a few days after the events at Babyn Yar was declared a general men registration. Yura also went to the registration. There paid attention to his family name. They asked : “ Are not you from the Germans?” Boy’s answer seemed unsatisfactory and they offered to call his father. Germajze-senior’s appearance instantly aroused suspicion, and it finished with that the father and son, after the terrible beating, were taken to the cemetery.Yura’s friend informed Glagolyev about everything , before Yura was sent away for his father. The Glagolyevs rushed to the school where taught Germajze taught . They wanted to find witnesses, who would confirm that Germajze is not a Jew. While they were getting out the necessary papers - a tragedy happened. It was necessary to save Lyudmyla Borysivna. Her documents were disappeared with her husband and son. Unhappy, heartbroken wife and mother experienced terrible days. The Glagolyevs visited her,but they were not familiar before. Once Lyudmyla Borysivna’s neighbors brought terrible news that she was arrested and taken away to the Gestapo as a Jew. T.P. Glagolyeva with the letter from F. Alexei,about that L.B .Germajze is not a Jew, hurried to the Gestapo, but they accepted her very sternly and kicked out with nothing. It later emerged that Lyudmyla Borisovna was starved for 5 days , and on the sixth day, together with other detainees in the city Jews, she was going to be taken away to Babyn Yar. Among those detained were children, whom vainly tried to hide their Russian relatives and neighbors.

L.B. Germajze was left in the Gestapo, and some time later the investigator came to T.P. Glagolyeva with a question "Is Germajze Ukrainian?". T.P. Glagolyeva was forced to sign a statement that her reading is correct, and in case if Germajze is Jewish, Glagolyeva would be killed together with her. Tetyana Pavlovna said she had known the Germajzes as church members, where her father-in-law ministered, and that there could be no manner of doubt about her nationality. After that Germajze was released.
At home another shot was waiting for Lyudmyla Borysivna . She had got to know d that her 70-year-old mother was found by the Germans and was sent to Babyn Yar. Three months later Lyudmyla Borysivna re-entered the Gestapo, where he died ...