Shelia Polishchuk


Shelia Polishchuk

When the war started, I was 10 years old. Although from the very first days of the occupation of Kyiv my mother and I experienced that the Nazis opposed to Jews, we went to the Babyn Yar on the 29th of September. But we realised before it was too late and did not go to the point of no return.

Then was the arrest, escape, wandering through the villages, where we found out that there was the ghetto in Zvenyhorodka. My mom and I was born in that town, also there lived my grandmother.

At the end of November, 1941, we moved into the ghetto. Grandmother was shot before our arrival. Ghetto existed until mid-July, 1942. One night the Germans and policemen with dogs broke into the house, drove away the inhabitants into the street and broke them into column. Many people, especially the elderly, were in their underwear, they were beaten until blood. When my mother heard the noise and baying of dogs outside, she understood everything. We got dressed quickly. When the Germans started to beat at our door, we went out and stood into the column. The column, which was about two thousand people, was herded into the prison yard.

In the morning the German authorities came. We were forced to line up again for 2 - 3 people in a row. The news got about that they would cream off able-bodied persons to work in the camp. And then something strange started. The German officers overwatched as we were sorted. Young women, girls, boys were on the one side, and the rest - in another. Children were snatched from their mothers. All they cried and screamed.

When it was our turn, the policeman began to drag me to one side and my mom to another one. But my mother hold fast to my hand, she walked with me right to the Germans and asked them in German to take me to the camp along. The Germans were silent. Mom looked into the officer’s eyes and asked, "Do you have a mother?" And then he said: "Take her along".

We stood into the column, there was no more kids of my age. When the column (about 150 people - 200) was completed, the policemen drove us into the camp, which was located in the village Nemorozh. Women, mothers and adolescents whose parents and children remained in prison, sobbed all the way.

Then we understood that all who were left in prison, except for a small group of specialists, were shot. Our column entered the village and we saw coming from the opposite direction rural youth, which was driven to work in Germany. Ukrainian mother stood on the side of the road and cried. After that I heard these words for the first time: " Were dissolved by you and will kneaded by us."
I will always remember those, who were with us in that column, but did not live up to release. Among them was Genia Kanevs’ka, who was detached from her four young children, Inna Spivak and her mother (she was two years older than me), a dentist Hranovska with her 15 years old son, a boy Osia, aged 16. But not all of them can be noticed

I met Mania Torhovetska only in 1981, when countrymen gathered from all over the Soviet Union and came to Zvenyhorodka to the opening of the monuments on the graves of executed. On that day in 1942 her 11-month-old girl was snatched from her hands on that day in 1942. And at the meeting she was with her son, who was born after the war, and grandson. And when we fell into talk, she led me to her son and told him that the tragedy happened in front of me. These horrors often emerge in my mind and I can not forget them.