"Then Sodom and Gomorrah began. At first, it was quiet. My friend's father was a doctor in Sichovi Striltsi in WWI, her mother was an aristocrat - her name was Larysa Herasymivna, she lived in Germany, I don't know if she is still alive or she has passed away. I visited her once in Germany and she came here twice, we found each other 55 years later. Her grandfather worked for the city. When those protests against the Jews began, he helped everyone - he wrote certificates, helped in various ways here and there - he was like the mayor. He worked during German time, but he also worked there before. I forgot his last name, but he was the father of both Herasymiv daughters, Iryna and Yaroslava. He was taken to Stanislaviv and that's it - he disappeared to this day. They don't even know when he was shot."
"Then, when the Germans were withdrawing, our river Sukil flows through the city - and there were Russians on the other side, and on this side there were Germans. Where could we go? A German headquarters was built in our house, and everything was dug up in the garden. We dug a bunker in the beam and we, all the children from two streets, settled there. The adults found shelter somewhere, and we were in that bunker. I remember how the water came up, the boards were floating and we sat there for almost two weeks on such prycha ("lavytsia" or "banch" - transcriber's remark). Mom had to go home and give the cow food, and sometimes to milk them. Sometimes she brought us a liter of milk and the rest of the milk she left to those Germans. Once she was walking, talking to a tall German and suddenly he falls. The head is shot through. The second one came, he said, I'll shoot you, what did you do to him? Mom says, "How can I reach to him like that? You can search me." He was shot by a sniper from the other side. They said if you come to your house again, we will kill you. For three days everything was screaming and squeaking there, but my mother did not go there. When the Germans were leaving with those coils and wires, in front of that bunker from another house, along the frontline they had many such points - and the German was walking with a rifle. He approaches my mother, and she stood in front of the entrance to the bunker and told him in German: "There are children. Do you have children? If you want to shoot, shoot me!" He left us alone. Then they left, and we came out of that bunker and left. I remember going through someone's garden, I don't know where my mother went, and I was walking. Suddenly - bam! And a hole in a bean leaf appears. I hear someone knocking me to the ground from behind. The Germans fired their rifles, and we were so hungry and cold that we could barely walk. This is how I remembered the beginning of that whole tragedy."
"When the partisans appeared, the terrible things started - it was difficult to understand who shot at whom, who killed whom: the Pole was killed, the Ukrainian was found - it was a catastrophe. Each street put a bell and was on duty at night because they could come to chop you down and say that it was the Bandera people. Everything was blamed on the Bandera people. They practically incited some people against others - Ukrainians against Poles, Poles against Ukrainians. Terrible chaos began. How many times have I sat in the corner between the stove and the furniture! That was my place for hiding if someone would be shooting through the window. The rest of the brothers went on duty with dad and everyone on the street took turns. If they ring a bell, the whole city rings. It was a nightmare."
"We had a house, the second house - a farm-house and a huge garden. The garden bordered the neighbor’s garden. There were two women - one worked in court, the other - a lawyer, and they, it turns out, kept a Jewish family. Someone reported about this. No wonder Franko called us in a not pleasant manner, you know? But we deserve it. They were not at home, but they allowed to have a smoke, they broke these rules. And someone (turned in?) their bunker in the house - it was located under the floor in the cellar. There were father, mother, son and someone else, I do not remember. I think the women were called Sidliak, I don't know, time erased my memories.
My mother was not at home, she went to the field somewhere. My brother was in the second garden near our house, grazing a cow with calves - everyone had a farm, because otherwise during the war you could die of starvation, there was no money. I was alone at home and my mother when she left the house, she said - you see, I brought beets here, you need to clean them, sit on your bench and work. In front of that bench near the well, there was a fence and there hung a vessel from which people eat in the war, it used to be called "menashka". I was sitting so that she was in front of my head and suddenly I heard - some terrible shooting started. I got a little scared, closed the house, put the key in my pocket and ran to my neighbor. We went to school together nearby, 100 meters from us. We sit and suddenly hear: shooting, dogs barking - it was hell. The Gestapo all had dogs. Just then my mother had not yet returned, but my brother was there when everything started. He was hiding behind the pile of stone, and the stone was completely cut, but he remained intact. But then he got the disease - sleepwalking. You see, we had to lock the doors out of fear. My father was at work, my mother and older brother came and saw them dead - a Jew woman was running away, she was caught by a bullet on a field. The senior got stuck in the fence and was shot. There seemed to be his son shot a short distance away."
“Jsem válečné dítě” - život na Ukrajině během druhé světové války a okupace
Rostyslava Fedak (za svobodna Teleha) se narodila 4. června 1933 ve městě Bolechiv, v dnešní Ivano-Frankivské oblasti na Ukrajině. Paní Rostyslava si zřetelně vybavuje události z 1. září 1939, začátku druhé světové války, stejně jako nacistickou okupaci. Starosta města Bolechiv se pokoušel zachránit místní členy židovské komunity pomocí fiktivních potvrzení o národním původu. O něco později bylo ve městě zřízeno ghetto. Matka Rostyslavy Fedak nosila do ghetta jídlo skrz tajný otvor v oplocení, což ji málem stálo život při setkání s německými strážci ghetta. V roce 1944 při ofenzívě Rudé armády si nacisté zřídili ústředí v domě rodiny Telehových, kteří se v té době skrývali v bunkru.
Po válce čelila paní Rostyslava hrozbám a manipulacím, kvůli kterým vstoupila do komsomolu. Po škole pracovala ve zbrojním průmyslu ve městě Sambir. Tam později pracovala také jako učitelka. Stala se členkou Společnosti Volodymyra Kobilnyka (etnolog a disident), Unie ukrajinských žen a Lidového hnutí Ukrajiny (opoziční hnutí založené roku 1989, nyní menší politická strana).
Rostyslava Fedak se brzy poté stala předsedkyní Unie ukrajinských žen v Sambiru.