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Date of birth – 1 September, 1931  

Place of birth – Zbaraz, Ternopil oblast, Ukraine

Place of interview – Toronto, Canada

Date of interview - 1 June, 2016

Video interview

Language – Ukrainian


IP - So in 1943, the German occupation in Zbaraz, there were a lot of Germans, and then the persecution of the Jews, quite serious persecution, but they could, how do I say it, move freely. Because we had a big family - 3 daughters, my mother, my aunt was there because we had a building where we lived together... This expert tailor appeared one day and asked if he could sew or re-sew something for us and so we took him into our home. He stayed with us, had a sewing machine, and he sewed beautiful items including dresses for my sister, my mother, and my aunt. Very beautiful things. But one day, the German government was looking for them [the Jews]. They went into each house, simply broke into the houses and looked for Jews. Because we were so scared they would find him, because they punished people who hid Jews, we suggested that he go in the yard and hide in the corner, because there were a lot of places to hide oneself there. He went into the yard, and there was this fence made of reeds, from these sticks that formed a kind of screen. He hid there, but he didn't realize that his shoes were showing. Then the German was walking around the yard and he saw his toes sticking out. He snatched him instantly and took him to the place where they gathered all of them [the Jews]. They told them to get undressed, they threw their things around, and I don't know how this happened, but in any case, later on that evening this Yablonskyy, the same guy, appears beside our house. We were so surprised. And you know what he said? "Yes, I hid under all that clothing that they made us remove, and I sat there until now, until dusk, when there was nobody around, and then I calmly came out." He escaped, he went further into some village, and I think that is how he saved himself. I remember this very well because it was so stressful for us, and for him as a person. It was very sad, how the Germans behaved with these poor people.

excerpt from the Interview with IRENE PAWLIW

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