Yevgenia B. – Lubny, Ukraine

LUBNY, UKRAINE – June 22, 2005

Hello…I received you letter and thank you so much for the money and warm words. My grandmother wants to thank you a lot. We are praying for you.

We are preparing for winter, we have fall of temperature and light morning frost to -5 degree (C); it’s especially uncomfortable for grandmother, she comes out only for 15 minutes and is freezing (despite warm clothing). Yevgenia Borisovna remembers deep autumn as a very hard time: during starvation she ate only frozen potatoes, plant roots and leaves. Now she remembers it as a nightmare dream. Thank you so much for your letter and the money. It is very helpful for my Grandmother. She uses the money to buy medicine. During the war she ate poor food, only rotten potatoes and cabbage and leaves from trees. Now she has problems with her stomach.

I continue to write you about her life during war time.

It is very difficult for Yevgenia Borosovna to recall these times without crying. In our previous letter we told the story about how she escaped from the work camp. Well, Yevgenia was hiding in some straw and she went to the forest with that boy and later he disappeared somewhere. In the evening they decided to return to their village. She snuck into the house which was near the outskirts of the town where a woman, Ksenya, a milkmaid lived with children and a husband who worked on a tractor for a living. She stayed there for a while and the host told her that her husband’s brother was an official in the village and he was a bad person, a collaborator, and he was betraying everyone. Once, during a raid Yevgenia left the house and hid in the straw. Germans were coming, searching house by house, and she had heard how Germans and the local police were poking the straw with bayonets but she succeeded in hiding.

Later Yevgenia recalled that Ksenya told her about a poor lonely old woman who lived in the outskirts of the village. Yevgenia went to her and asked to live there for a while, and the old woman didn’t refuse. It is really a pity that Yevgenia doesn’t remember her name. Grandmother was hiding there from September 1942 until March 1944. She used to live in a small pit and that lovely woman would bring her food there. When it was very cold, she hid in the house behind the stove. She was afraid to leave to go out in the street because there were a lot of Germans and local policeman around. So Yevgenia spent this time there until the Red Army came. Later she moved to the town of Lochvitza, Poltav region. It is 60 kilometers from the town of Lubny. She found her aunt there and stayed there. Yevgenia’s father also came there. Her brother Grisha was killed in combat during the war. It was very difficult to live during the post-war years. She had to take care of all housekeeping chores and they lacked money and she was forced to work in a Kolkhos (collective farm) and also she had to help her Aunt to take care of the cow. Yevgenia didn’t have anywhere else to live – so she had to do all that.

We wish you all the best, health and happiness,

With respect,

Yevgenia B. and Svetlana

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