HOME  |  ABOUT US  |  FILMS  |  EXHIBITS  |  ARCHIVE  |  PUBLICATIONS  |  EDUCATIONindex.htmlhttp://livepage.apple.com/About_Us.htmlFilms.htmlExhibits-Internment.htmlArchive.htmlPublications.htmlEducation.htmlshapeimage_1_link_0shapeimage_1_link_1shapeimage_1_link_2shapeimage_1_link_3shapeimage_1_link_4shapeimage_1_link_5shapeimage_1_link_6shapeimage_1_link_7

A Documentation of Ukrainians
who rescued Jews during the Holocaust

The following is a list of oral history resources that can be found in the UCRDC Archive on the topic of Ukrainians who assisted Jews during WWII. A short description of each interview is provided.

Approached by Leonid Finberg of the Center for Studies of the History and Culture of East  European Jews, National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, the UCRDC agreed to collaborate on a project on Ukrainian-Jewish relations, titled “I am my brother’s keeper”.

The UCRDC focuses on identifying and documenting cases of Ukrainians that have a Canadian connection and will undertake research in Canada to review what is already known, and covered by the media; locate and organize materials from the UCRDC archives and oral history collection; and conduct interviews in Canada regarding Ukrainians who hid or saved Jews during World War II.

The project has the support of the Ukrainian Jewish Encounter Initiative (UJEI), a privately organized, multinational initiative whose goal is to deepen scholarly and broader public understanding of the breadth, complexity, and diversity of Ukrainian-Jewish relations, with a view to the future. Canadians, including notably Jim Temerty, are playing an important role in the development and leadership of this initiative.

Ukrainian-Jewish Relations


Date of birth – 1928

Place of birth – Zhmerynka, Vinnytsia oblast

Interviewed 18 August 2011, Toronto

Video interview

Language – Russian

Describes relations between Jews and Ukrainians in Zhmerynka before the German invasion. Describes life in the Jewish ghetto in Zhmerynka during the Romanian occupation, where Drobner and his family lived for over two years. Describes the murder of Zhmerynka’s Jewish population by German police. Discusess help he and his family received from a German local woman and a Ukrainian family, who provided them with food, clothing and shelter. Describes liberation of Zhmerynka.

anhelyna Yatsyshyn (nee Kotsaba)

Date of birth – 1932

Place of birth – Kotsaby farmstead, outside Zahirya, Poland (on the Polish-Soviet border)

Interviewed 29 June 2010, Toronto, Ontario.

Video interview

Language – Ukrainian

Describes German mistreatment of Jewish Ukrainians, and how her mother gave her food to sneak to Jewish Ukrainians forced into labor by the Germans. Describes how her two brothers Mykhailo and Volodymyr helped the daughter of a local Jewish Ukrainian, Brandt, cross the river Syan into Soviet territory. Describes how the Germans came to arrest her brothers after someone had betrayed them. Explains that both Volodymyr and Mykhailo were sent to Auschwitz. Volodymyr escaped en route while Mykhailo, as the family found out only years later, was murdered at Auschwitz.

Krystyna Korpan (nee Sikorska)

Date of birth – 17 December 1933

Place of birth – Pidhaytsi city, Ternopil oblast

Interviewed 12 May 2010, Toronto, Ontario

Video interview

Language – Ukrainian

Describes how her mother, Kateryna Sikorska, hid their neighbor’s two sons, Anatoliy and Leonid Kresel, and Klyar, a photographer, from June 1942 to March 1943. Describes how her mother assisted in obtaining fake documents so that Jewish Ukrainians could escape from the ghetto. Describes the arrest of her mother and the three men she hid after someone betrayed her to the Germans. Her mother was tried and executed. In 1995, her mother and sister were recognized as Righteous Among the Nations.

Zenon Tatarsky

Date of birth - 27 February 1930

Place of birth - Sadova Vyshnia, Lviv oblast

Interviewed 29 June 2010, Toronto

Video interview

Language – Ukrainian

Describes how his father, in 1943, gave three Jewish Ukrainians a ride from Bilgoray to Novi Sanchi, going some eighty kilometers out of his way. Describes how his mother fed a Jewish Ukrainian man who was hiding as a garden guard. Describes how his mother gave food to an old Ukrainian Jewish woman who lived in the ghetto in Sambir.

Brother Lavrentiy Kuzyk

Date of birth – 10 November 1912

Place of birth - Turya, Starosambir, Lviv oblast

Interviewed 23 June 1981, Waterloo, Ontario.

Audio interview

Language – Ukrainian

(Published, edited transcript in Ukraina Moderna, Nos. 4-5, Ivan Franko University, Lviv, 2000)

Describes how priests and monks in the city of Lviv hid Jewish Ukrainians in monasteries and churches, and Kuzyk’s  involvement in this activity. Describes a network of priests in the areas surrounding Lviv who helped Jewish Ukrainians go into hiding. Describes how priests in Lviv baptized Jewish Ukrainians in order to save them from the Germans, and the work of Metropolitan Sheptytsky, who helped hide and save over 200 Jewish children. Describes his involvement in the baptism of the two sons of the head Rabbi of Lviv, Kurt Lewin, who were eight and sixteen at the time, in order to hide them from the Germans. Describes how he helped hide Rabbi Kahane in the church library at St.Yuriy’s.

Sister Khrysantia (nee Maria Hnativ)

Date of birth – 10 February 1924

Place of birth – Yaktorev village, Lviv oblast

Interviewed 2 June 2004, Lviv, Ukraine

Audio Interview (hard copy transcript available)

Language – Ukrainian

Lived and worked in an orphanage in Lviv during the War. Describes how Hegumenia Yosyfova (the head of a convent of nuns) hid Jewish Ukrainian children from the Germans in an orphanage in Lviv. The Ukrainian Social Service Organization arranged a building to be used as an orphanage, where Hegumenia Yosyfova hid ten Jewish Ukrainian girls. Sister Khrysantia remembers the names (likely false) of two of these girls – Anna Khomenko and Dusha Filipina. Also recalls an orphanage for infants on Ostrov Street where Rabbi Kahane’s wife hid during the War.

Hanna Kontsevych

Date of birth – 1934

Place of birth – Berezhany city, Ternopil oblast

Interviewed 31 January 1997, Berezhany city

Audio Interview (hard copy transcript available)

Language – Ukrainian/Russian

Describes how her mother hid two Jewish Ukrainian families in their root cellar and attic. Remembers only the first names of some of the people her mother hid – Shimon (a young boy) and his mother and Vova and his wife. Describes the details of how they hid – where they slept, what they ate, etc. Her mother hid the families for two years, until the return of the Red Army, at which time both families left.

Nadia Oliynyk (nee Khmara)

Date of birth – 2 January 1926

Place of birth – Sokil city, Lviv oblast

Interviewed 11 April 2005, Montreal, Quebec

Audio interview (hard copy transcript available)

Language – Ukrainian

Describes how Jewish Ukrainians were rounded up into the ghetto in Sokil in 1941. Describes how she witnessed Jewish Ukrainians jumping off a truck in an attempt to escape and German soldiers shooting at them. Describes meeting her best friend from school, Deborah Gilbert, on the street in Sokil as Jewish Ukrainians were being forced into the ghetto. Describes how her parents hid a group of Jewish Ukrainians in their barn for two nights. Explains that her parents refused to let her into the barn. Does not remember any of the names of the people her parents helped hide. 

Maria Horban (nee Senyshyn)

Date of birth – 31 August 1919

Place of birth – Drohobych city, Lviv oblast

Interviewed 22 June 1995, Toronto, Ontario

Audio interview (hard copy transcript available)

Describes how she had documents made for two Jewish Ukrainian co-workers in Lviv so that they could avoid being sent to the ghetto. Describes how she helped a young neighbor, Witman, whose family had been arrested, find his aunt on the other side of town. Describes a chance meeting with this boy two years later, while he was still in hiding. Describes how she got word to a friend, Anna Aysen, who was in the ghetto, through a policeman that she, Maria, was willing to help them. Anna had helped Maria and her husband hide during the Soviet deportations two years prior. Anna and her mother came to Maria’s apartment, with fake documents. Maria helped them buy train tickets to Germany under these fake documents, paying a bribe to the ticket agent. Anna, her mother and her husband left for Germany, where they believed it would be easier to hide; Maria does not know what happened to them.

Anna Buriy (nee Bulelyk)

Date of birth – 8 May 1925

Place of birth – Zarichhya village, Lviv oblast

Interviewed 26 February, 1992, Toronto, Ontario

Audio interview (hard copy transcript available)

Language – Ukrainian

Describes how her neighbor hid two Jewish Ukrainians in her barn through the winter. Explains that they had to leave because people in the village had started talking and it was becoming dangerous for them to stay. Does not remember names or their subsequent fate. Describes mass executions of Jewish Ukrainians in the nearby town of Delyatyni.

Maria Holod (nee Prokopovych)

Date of birth – 16 January 1917

Place of birth – Lviv

Interviewed 18 May 1995, Toronto, Ontario

Audio interview (hard copy transcript available)

Language – Ukrainian

For a part of the War, Maria lived in Rohatyn, a small city outside Lviv, with her mother. She describes how her neighbors in Rohatyn – Nahorniak, Dr. Melnyk – helped to hide Jewish Ukrainians. States that her mother helped these men hide Jewish Ukrainians, and that her neighbor Nahorniak was arrested and tried by the Germans. Says that it was generally well known amongst the townspeople that Jewish Ukrainians were being hidden, but that it wasn’t talked about because of the danger. Describes the German policeman Devyante, who tried to find those who were hiding Jewish Ukrainians.