Maria Sergijivna Cigankova, roz. Zbirun
“I lived in my parents’ house. If I would say I wouldn’t [cooperate - ed.], that I don’t want to because I have a child, they’d kill me. [Q: Who? The rebels?] Who do you think? Such things also happened. I had to say I’d [cooperate - ed.]. Several times, how many, ten times, I carried [a letter - ed.].”
“[The rebels said - ed.]: ‘We’ll give you 24 hours to chose [a different house - ed.], and will give you 24 hours to move in. Don’t expect to stay anywhere. Go to your own house. Because if we’re to help one family, we have to move another family out. No one will give you back your parents, no one will give you back your family, so move in.’ So I moved in, and sometimes they came, so I had to make [them - ed.] food. When I cooked it, they came inside. And sometimes I took them a basket - there was a basket [of food - ed.] in the shed.”
“We were five children, and the sixth was a boy. Six children. Our father served in the tsar’s army at sea, he was a staff scribe, and when he completed his five years, he came home and was elected mayor of the village. He was mayor for six or seven years. Then there was a piece of land near Pisnikiv, a piece of land there, and the children were being born, so they bought the Ignatovka, they came there, bought the forest, cleared it, and lived there until 1943. And in 1943 the whole family was killed.”
Dubno, Ukrajina, 19.04.2017
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Oh my God, what violence there was here
Maria Sergijivna Cigankova, née Zbirun, was born on 14 August 1924 in Pisnikiv near Mlynov in Rivne Oblast, which was then part of Poland. Her mother was a housewife and her father served in the Imperial Russian Army and then as mayor of Pisnikiv. Maria Sergijivna had five siblings, but in 1943 both her parents and all her brothers and sisters were murdered. From 1944 she actively cooperated with the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, she prepared food for the fighters and passed on messages. Seeing that she had moved from Pisnikiv to Dubno and back several times throughout the war, when West Ukraine was liberated, she decided to settle down permanently in Dubno. After the war she worked at a kolkhoz until her retirement. As of 2017, she lives in Dubno in West Ukraine.