Onisija Ivanivna Buchalo

* 1929

  • "He remained missing in action so there was no father and we lived alone, me and my mom. We did a lot of hard work, we stayed on our own in the village and we had horse, cow, even pigs. Mom was ill all the time and I was a child. That's the way we lived. It was very hard life. Very hard. Such was my childhood."

  • "Mom said that she kept going to Mizoch for a week. There was no bus, nothing like that, she walked. I was at home, I was still young, and I tended to the cow, horse, pig and there were two sheep, too. Mom begged and pleaded and somehow managed to persuade them to let us see dad. One day, mom came home and told me: 'They will show him tomorrow.' Dad came, there was a soldier standing aside and mom said right away: 'Run.'

  • "I was there with my mom, there was a stream, and along the stream, they led them [village inhabitants and resistance fighters] one by one to the woods. The Bandera men [the Ukrainian Insurgent Army] did it so that the Soviets wouldn't see it because it had already leaked to the Soviets. The forest was already ambushed, they were ambushing it, they [the Bandera men] chased them there and where to hide now? Normally, the barracks are taken and there are people but this was in the forest. They killed many people there and my father was caught."

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    Dubno, 24.11.2020

    duration: 31:12
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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I and my mother were left on our own after the war

Onisija Ivanivna Buchalo, 24. 11. 2020
Onisija Ivanivna Buchalo, 24. 11. 2020
photo: Autor Olena Smolnikova

Onisija Ivanivna Buchalo was born on the 6th of November in 1929 in the community of Derman in Volhynia in what was then Poland. In her native village, she witnessed the Soviet (1939-1941) and Nazi (1941-1944) occupation of Volhynia and during the Nazi rule, the role of her father is noteworthy. Her father cooperated with the Ukrainian Insurgent Army which operated in the forests around Derman. He was arrested and shortly imprisoned in Mizoch. In 1944, he was drafted to the Red Army, he never returned and he is listed as Missing in Action. Onisija Ivanivna had no siblings so after the end of WWII, she stayed with her mother. She worked in a kolkhoz, married and had one son. From Derman, she moved to Dubno in the Rivne province where she lives nowadays (2020)