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excerpt from the Interview with SISTER KHRYSANTIA


Date of birth – 10 February, 1924

Place of birth – Yaktorev village, Lviv oblast

Place of interview – Lviv, Ukraine

Date of interview - 2 June, 2004

Audio Interview (hard copy transcript available)

Language – Ukrainian


SK - A Ukrainian organization gave the Abbot of the monastery a building on Taborova street, 'Hlynyanskyj trakt'.

Interviewer - Which organization was this?

SK - Under the Germans there was this Ukrainian help, some kind of social organization, where they helped everyone.

Interviewer - So during the war they gave this building, yes?

SK - Under the Germans. 1941 I think. There the Abbot organized an orphanage. They gathered all sorts of children, orphans - I was there, my sister was there and other Ukrainian children were there. There were also 10 Jewish girls of various ages. One was my age.

Interviewer - Do you recall their names?

SK - Khomenko, Anna, but if this is her real name, I do not know.

Interviewer - There she was known as Khomenko. Do you know how old she was?

SK - She was my age. 15, or 16.

Interviewer - And the others?

SK - The others. Well I remember there was a Yasna, there was Dusha Filipina, Khoma. There were many different last names. But they were not Jewish last names; they were baptized. There were also 3 Jewish families in Ubich, at the monastery.

Interviewer - Here, in Lviv?

SK - In Lviv there were 3 Jewish families, yes. There were 3 older women - pani Yulia, pani Maria, pani Ela. Тhat is what they called them. And in the children's building, the one I told you about, on Ostrovska street, there was a pani Maria - the wife of Kahane, the Jewish rabbi. He was hiding at Yura church.

Interviewer - With metropolitan Sheptytskyj?

SK - Yes. And she was at this building because she was due to give birth to a daughter. She worked as a nurse, and her child was there, but the baby died. She also had an older daughter. At the time, the girl was 7 years old. She was a very nice girl. They called her Roma. The Abbot kept Roma with her, in Ubich. І always came there, to Ubich, so she [the Abbot] would send me with Roma to Kaizervald, for walks. She would also send me to see pani Maria...

Interviewer - On Ostrovska street?

SK - On Ostrovska street. I always made her 'gogel-mogel', some meat, so that she would eat. I would bring her food, yes, feed her. Later, when her baby died and she fell into a deep depression, the Abbot appointed me to visit her and make her happier. I was told to go on walks with her. Both of us would go to Kaizervald; take walks on Lisna street.

This was already near the end, when they started to remove people from the building and the Abbot took Maria too. She hid her in Ubich. Later, when the Germans left and the Bolsheviks returned, then all the Jews were gone from Lviv.

Interviewer - So they took all the kids that were there, on Hlynyanskyj trakt?

SK - Yes, yes. They took them and left.

Interviewer - So then these were the ones that helped?

SK - They left for Israel. Some to Israel, some to England, to America, to Switzerland. I know this because that is where the packages were coming from. The packages began arriving at the end of the 1960s. Somehow they found out that our Abbot was out of jail.

Interviewer - They tracked her down?

SK - Yes, and Kahane, and even Maria wrote to her. The Abbot even let me read it. She wrote a leader and sent an invitation.

Interviewer - To Israel?

SK - To Israel. She said she really wants the Abbot to visit her, and that she will show her and take her to all the holy places. But they did not let her go. The Abbot appealed to Moscow, but they refused her.

Interviewer - They didn't let her go?

SK - They didn't let her go.


• Full interview transcript (Ukrainian) can be found in the following book:

Винницька, Іроїда. "Незвичайні долі звичайних жінок. Усна історія ХХ-ого  століття." Львів: Видавництво Львівської політехніки, 2013.

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