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Date and Place of Birth: 1960 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Date of Interview: May 5, 2015

Place of Interview: Toronto, Ontario

Interviewer: Sophia Isajiw

Length of Interview: 01:39:14 (raw)

Father (Survivor): Petro Sydorenko, b. May 1926 in Ternovatka, (Kryvyi Rih), Dnipropetrovsk, d. May 6, 2007


The daily routine was his father had some job in some drug store, he wasn’t the druggist or anything, he just sort of worked as the hired help. And that drug store was beside a restaurant, and he would pick through the garbage, bring some of the food that was thrown out. But he would leave my 6- or 7-year-old father in the apartment, he would literally nail the door shut, he would leave a glass of water, piece of bread. And my father says he was so terrified, because the door was nailed shut so that these hungry people would not break in, and they would eat a child, cannibalism. My father, he cried hysterically, but so that nobody heard him he would bury himself under several pillows and comforters and that’s how he would stay the whole day. And my mother basically said his nervous system probably was so shot that he developed Multiple Sclerosis; because there was no family – sort of like hereditary – reason for him to have Multiple Sclerosis.


  1. Wasyl Sydorenko, Ukrainian Musicologist and Composer website

  1. Father, Petro Sydorenko (05.16.1926 – 05.06.2007), is in the book Ukrainian Holocaust: 1932-1933 #5/ Український Голокост: 1932-1933 #5, (UCRDC, 2008), Pp: 276-281.

  1. John Goddard, “Petro Sydorenko, 80: Artist, survivor,” The Toronto Star obituary article with self-portrait painting (05.14.2007)

excerpt from the Interview with WASYL SYDORENKO

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