Hryhorij Justynovič Moskaljuk

* 1927  

  • "My father was taken to the Red Army a month before me. I got to the anti-aircraft cannons. I served as a sight, maybe that's the reason for my survival. We were just guarding the planes. You can imagine what it was like. Planes... and we are shooting into them."

  • "The planes were already flying, the Germans were marching, and I can see people running past the village. I said to my father, 'And what shall we do?' He replied, 'It is after the Soviets. There's a war, so I ran to the village, my sister accompanied me, the middle one. My parents were hiding for month and a half. They had made such a hiding place under an apple tree, I made a small ventilation shaft there for them."

  • "At that time, mortars and rifles were transported with the help of horses, and I was to take the wounded horses. However, on a water channel in East Prussia, I fell under the ice in February. The war was not over. I don't even know how I managed to sail out [with coat] and munition from that channel. It was a wide channel. Somehow, I managed to rescue the horses, it all belonged to the army, it must have been saved. I had to be hospitalised afterwards."

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    Dubno, 19.12.2019

    (audio)
    duration: 40:29
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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In the army, we were unexperienced and seventeen

Hryhorij Justynovič Moskaljuk, historical photography
Hryhorij Justynovič Moskaljuk, historical photography
photo: Archiv Hryhorije Justynoviče Moskaljuka

Hryhoriy Yustynovich Moskaljuk was born on August 28, 1927, in the village of Berezyny in Volhynia in what was then interwar Poland. In Volhynia, he experienced the Soviet (1939–1941) and Nazi occupation (1941–1944) and after the re-arrival of the Red Army in early 1944, he was mobilized. He served as a sight for anti-aircraft cannons, he fought in the Red Army also with his father Justyn. Hryhoriy Yustynovich was demobilized only in 1951 because he had to complete his service in the Soviet army. Then, he returned to the village, where he worked as a librarian and secretary of the village council. Due to disagreements, however, he had to leave to the collective farm, where he worked as a combine harvester. He lived in the village for many years and eventually moved with his granddaughter to Dubna in the Rivne region of western Ukraine.