Oleksandra Jamniuk (nee Leyba)

I saw mens’ corpses lying in the street.A truck drove down the road, and they threw the corpses on the truck like logs of wood. It was said that they were taking the corpses to the outskirts of town, where they buried them in a deep pit. People didn’t have anything to eat and they died from starvation. More and more often it was people from the villages, although the army and the militia blockaded the villages. They didn’t let people out of the villages, but somehow they got through, probably at night, to the city. But in the city they were not allowed to work to make money for food, and they died from starvation…
[Four years later in Lviv]
I found work at Maslo Soyuz a dairy. There were Jews employed there, who asked me about the artificial famine. I said, “What artificial famine? It was a failed harvest.” Having arrived in Lviv [at that time part of Poland], I didn’t yet know that it was an artificial famine. In [Soviet Ukraine], people didn’t know it was an artificial famine. They thought it was a failed harvest. But grain was sold for export, and for that reason people didn’t have grain. Only later did we find out that grain was sold for export and that that was why people had nothing to eat. And that’s why there was a famine.

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Duration: 1:56

Date of birth: 18 April 1914
Place of birth:Izyum, Kharkiv oblast
Witnessed Famine in: Kharkiv city, Kharkiv oblast
Arrived in Canada: 1973
Current residence: Toronto, Ontario
Date and place of interview: 21 August 2008, Toronto