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Date of birth - 16 January, 1917

Place of birth - Lviv, Ukraine

Place of interview - Toronto, Ontario

Date of interview - 18 May, 1995

Audio interview (hard copy transcript available)

Language – Ukrainian


MH - In Rohatyn, there were a lot of Jews. They formed a ghetto. The Jews had a system of self-governance there.  Some people even said that they were killing each other in there. A lot of Jews were able to hide in neighbouring villages.

Interviewer - Did you know anybody that hid Jews? Did you know of such instances?

MH - My mother's neighbour - Nahorniak was his name. He sold cars and also loved church music so he was the deacon at the church. He hid Jews, stood behind them. I don't even know what happened to him. They probably arrested him. Later people said that when he was on trial he said "if you were in that situation, I would have even helped you."

Interviewer - Who tried him?

MH - The Germans.

Interviewer - So his name was Nahorniak?

MH - Nahorniak. So that is what I know. After that, a neighbour of Nahorniak's was hiding one of the Jews. He [Nahorniak] was helping them both. Later there were others - there was a Dr. Melnyk who hid Jews and helped them, mainly doctors, and there were others still. I had my own troubles. My husband was in Kyiv and was sitting in Babyn Yar, so I was trying to walk on 'pins and needles'.

Interviewer - Was it generally known that these people were hiding Jews?

MH - Yes, it was generally known. The neighbours knew, but there were a lot.... that did this. Some said this, some said that. In any case, there was this evil police officer, the chief of the German police. His name was Devyante. It was his job to persecute those who were hiding or helping Jews, or the insurgents, or the communists. He was a very mean person. He put more than one person in jail.

excerpt from the Interview with MARIA HOLOD

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