Family stories
Hałyna Serhijenko
Interview recorded: by Mark Borodai Mariupol, obwód doniecki, Ukraina 18.10.2020

Hałyna Serhijenko

Halyna Serhijenko was born in 1946 in Mariupol, Donetsk oblast. She tells about the events that took place in her family and the town during WW2 based on the words of her parents and friends.

Galina Yakovlevna Sergiyenko, labour training teacher.


Where were you born?

In Mariupol.


What year were you born?


1946. My parents arrived in Mariupol right after the retreat of the Germans. My dad was sent to this city to rebuild factories in the South, as he was a metallurgical engineer. I remember them saying that it was very difficult to find an apartment because the whole city had been burnt down.


But my acquaintances, who were here during the occupation, told me what had happened here. Well, everyone had their own opinion. For example, the mother of my friend in class believed that it was good when there were Germans: there was order, nobody locked the doors, because the Germans could come in at any moment and see what was hidden there.
But my colleague at Azovstal, she lives in front of the Azovstal plant, this is the right bank. She told terrible things. For example, because on the right bank there was a hospital – well, it was the right bank, like in Ilyichevsk region, Sadki, the Germans would not go there, they were afraid to enter and were committing atrocities. And so, in case of an escape, or if something else happened, they came to this right bank, and they drove all the people who lived in the area into the streets, they lined people up, and if it was something very serious, every second person was shot, because they believed that people should inform, tell everything that happened.


And so, she shared a not very pleasant story. So, Red Army soldiers were wounded, they were brought to the hospital, and there was one surgeon, a man who knew this family. And they were building in the family. They built a new toilet and brought two soldiers, and this doctor was on duty. He tied bedsheets and brought them down from the second floor, and another two people helped to hide them in this cesspool. It was new and unused. After that, the surgeon came to them and treated them. It was good the soldiers were saved, but no one else participated in saving them. And when again our Red Army came and liberated the city, everyone from the hospital came outside and beat their chest and said that they were liberating. And the woman was pregnant, the one who had a cesspool, and when the Nazis came to search, she immediately pretended that she was feeling unwell, and she would run to the toilet so that they could not go there and see that the wounded were there. This is the story I heard.

The interviews are given in the original language or a transliteration of it with preservation of national, regional and individual speech peculiarities.

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: