This is the story of a Russian girl who remembers famine and Soviet collective farms and was able to survive by finding salvation in Ukraine. This is about my grandmother, who is of Russian nationality. Starting from her birth in 1943, she spent her childhood in Soviet Russia. Her most painful memories apart from the ones described in this interview are the memories of the famine in her grandmother’s family. They lived in a small house (as a child I visited it and I can remember it). My grandmother, Raisa Tokarevych, lived with her mother, father, grandmother, an aunt, and a brother. She remembers her mother swelling up with hunger, her brother Tolya being on the verge of dying, her father (a teacher and the head of the collective farm) having been wounded during the war. My grandmother told me how she took turns with her brother to prepare their homework sitting at a small table and using the only candle. However, despite the constant misery she still tried to do something that brought her spiritual joy and inspiration. She used to embroider the on the stove in low light keeping out of her father’s eyes. These paintings are our pride today. Grandma’s life was not easy. Listen to her interview and you’ll find sincere emotions and memories of my family history.
Zinaida Laskova was born on August 21, 1926 in the village of Hnylozubivka into a large family. She survived the Holodomor of 1932-1933. My great-grandmother witnessed World War II. When she was 16 years old, she was taken to Germany, where she worked first at a factory and then in a local tavern, where the locals used to come for a beer. After the war, my great-grandmother turned back home. On her way home, she was accompanied by the scary-looking prisoners of concentration camps. After the war, she got married and had three children. Until the end of her life, Zinaida Laskova was considered by many to be a very cultured, honest, and kind person.
My grandfather survived the siege of Leningrad. After the war he studied Archaeology at the Department of History.
The war began when Nadiia was not even a one year old, but the worst memories are connected with the post-war times, the famine of 1946-1947.
Pavlo Levytskyi tells about the shooting of Jewish people in his village, his childhood during the World War II and his life in the orphanage.