Stephan Horlatch

SH – That’s why they did the process of collectivization, so if you didn’t want to give anything to, to kolhosp, they would take it by force. Everything was taken by force. And, because my family, my father was arrested, just because he was not supporter of this process of collectivization, and not only he was arrested but also they took everything that we had, threw us out of the house and took us to another raion, other region.
SH – She was baking the bread, before even Holodomor, she was baking the bread, was crushed it in a "stupa," we called it, it was made out of wood, a hollow part and you crush the crumbs, like bread crumbs. And that, those bread crumbs, she was putting in little bags and hiding them in different places, in the house, in the stall, even outside, in the "polovnyk" what we called the place where there was hidden, not hidden but kept, straw, hay. There wasn’t anything in there but the polovnyk was existing there. So, when this hard time came she was finding these places, boiling the water, adding about 2, 3 spoons of these bread crumbs, and that’s how we were living during the Holodomor.
Interviewer – So did they ever find anything in your house?
SH – No. My mother wasn’t that stupid to hide it in such a way that they can find it. Even, I remember when she was always praying for good spring, and spring arrived, she started to she counting one night and she started to from corner of the house, so many steps, and then west or east, I don’t remember, so many, so many steps. "We have to dig here," she says. And I start to dig there and there was some flour or some grain, and some "sonyashnyky," that’s sunflower seed, in there over the straw around there. So in the spring when there was weather already warm, we had that stuff out for us.
Interviewer – Who was tortured?
SH – Oh, that’s my mother. She was tortured.
Interviewer – Tortured.
SH – Yeah. Because, I think that, just because, you see, she was a woman, she had 5 children, small children. People, the families, with a father and mother, you know, young and strong, and they were dying from holod, from Holodomor, but we weren’t dying. And they were searching and searching and they couldn’t find anything in our homestead, so one day, I don’t know why was the reason, either they were asking, demanding to find out where is my father, like her husband, or just why, because we were not dying, we were very, very, very, I would say dry, very, very
Interviewer – Thin.
SH – Thin, looking, one night they took her to the kolhosp building, and physically, they were beating her and kicking her, hanging, hanging her hands from behind the back, tied up and pulled up until she fainted, yeah.

File size: 8.74 Mb
Duration: 1:56

Date of birth: 9 January 1921
Place of birth: Krylovka village, Zaporizhzhia oblast
Witnessed Famine in: Krylovka village, Zaporizhzhia oblast
Arrived in Canada: 1948
Current residence: Toronto, Ontario
Date and place of interview: 24 July 2008, Toronto