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Date of Interview: November 26, 2015

Place of Interview: Toronto, Ontario

Interviewer: Sophia Isajiw

Length of Interview: 02:52:27 (raw)

Mother (Survivor): Oksana Lahoda (maiden: Pushko)  b. January 25, 1919 in village of Khutir ‘Yar’ (Deikalivka), Zinkivskyi raion, Poltava oblast, Ukraine Father (Survivor): Michael Lahoda b. May 31, 1922 in village of Khutir ‘Yar’ (Deikalivka), Zinkivskyi raion, Poltava oblast, Ukraine


When they talked to me about these things, I didn’t have any knowledge. And all that came to life only in 1990, when my little cyber dream of what the village looked like and the community lived, had disappeared and the real one came into place [ie: after he went to Ukraine] And then everything started to come together, the names meant something, when I started writing down names at first in 1990, that first little family tree as I was heading into the airplane trying not to embarrass myself, and trying to be able to know which cousins belonged to whose parents, kind of thing. That was the beginning of it. And I realized that, that is that part of your life, what’s the best way to put it – that you have been victimized also. I think, that that reality kicks in. Because, if you can’t connect to family, that means you’re an orphan, right? So, you act like an orphan. You have to basically go back to find those roots. If you can find one or two, you’re lucky. So what I had was a source that knew more than one or two. When I finally got there, that just opened up the field, totally opened it up.

In 2006, Michael was 12 years old. It was really important for me to get my parents and him there to bridge that connection – because if not, then in this wonderful country of Canada you will lose your kids, they will be yours but they will belong to someone else. They will become strangers in your own life to some degree. You will have to be victimized a second time to forget more, to fall into where your kids are going. So if your kids marry outside the community then the genocide continues in most cases. It’s a hard thing to tell some people, particularly to a son, less so to women, because our families are more matriarchal.


• Victor Lahoda’s mother and father, interviewed by Victor on October 28, 2010, Excerpt 1 from 15 hours of videotapes, “1932-33: Голодомор – Спогади,” on Victor’s Youtube channel LightOnTheDarkness. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KswCu7e1wlA&index=30&list=PLA6B6824ABAE10B66 

• Victor Lahoda’s mother and father, interviewed by Victor on October 29, 2010, Excerpt 2 from 15 hours of videotapes, “1931-1933 Спогади, Розкулачення та Голодомору/Holodomor” on Victor’s Youtube channel LightOnTheDarkness.


excerpt from the Interview with VICTOR LAHODA

The interviews can be accessed at the UCRDC. Please contact us at: office@ucrdc.org