Nadya Slesareva (Viktorovska) Надія Слєсарєва (Вікторовська)

* 1930

  • "In the institute, of course, I immediately forgot about my Germany. Right away. I forgot about everything while living in the dormitory. The only thing I remembered - I'm ashamed to mention it in from of you - but I will say, I'm in the age when I can say it. I was very, I was uncomfortable and worried that they would think of me as of those girls. You understand? I didn't want to go out with anyone, absolutely. And was a good guy, "How can I approach you? It's impossible! There was no way to approach you!" It shows how much I was afraid, I thought that I had a stigma sealed on me. "This girl was in Ge..." - the whole institute knew that I was in Germany, the whole institute, everyone. It was a miracle I was accepted into the institute from Germany. That was unbelievable…"

  • "And then I remember a larger echelon came, and they brought Jews from Norway. And all of us were completely taken away, they put us on a train and sent to the place called Puritz. Puritz was a branch Stutthof. Porits is 7 kilometers from Szczecin. But who needed old and sick people there. People were not old, they were about 50 years old, but they were exhausted. They brought us there, and there was no use from us, and later they sent us to Szczecin. And it was already May 1944. We were expelled from that city on September 25, 1943, and we were wandering around until that day. In the work records books, they put the date - end of May. We got into a labor camp. In the work record book it says, camp No. 2. And that city of Shtatin was terribly bombed, it was one of 4 cities that the Americans bombed - Berlin, Shtatin. And there was an announcement "ahtung, ahtung, ikh tede medl, tsvakh tauzen, tukh tsendr (inaudible) flying to Berlin, Shtatin and Brauschwein." Everyone was running away, the whole city was hiding somewhere, and a factory was near the mountain. Near the mountain, there was also a stadium, and behind the stadium, there was a mountain. And near the mountain mountains - there was the factory where we worked, it was a tile factory. And the owner also had his house there, next to the factory. And he had some influence because he bought the mountain. That is, he had the right to take us. And he was a very good man - Walter Kuk, I'm writing about him. I would be happy to find his family, probably his daughter already passed away, she was probably 5 years older than me. Everyone worked there, people worked hard, dug ditches, dug a bunker where the whole city could hide. So there were these Italians - it was something terrible, I saw with my own eyes how they ran around, I saw how they found feces and picked peas from the feces and fought each other over it, I saw it with my own eyes. They fought for those peas. Poor people, they left the frontline, and I still remember in Ukraine how they were leaving, and we asked "where are you going?" and they said "going to our dad, to mom," they left the frontline. It was all interesting, and it's interesting to recall it and bring up those memories in mind. Then, this Walter Kuk, he wanted to help us with food. The situation with food was quite bad, we were given something that was... It was impossible to eat. And he came up with an idea. He fought in that war, he lost one leg, and he brought a woman named Lota there, she was a very bad woman. She didn't admit she was from Russia and she treated us very badly. But he was a very good man. And he engaged us in tidying up and cleaning. Halia and I worked there, this other girl was Halia. And then he let us go to the port, and in the port the Germans they didn't eat tripes, so you could find caviar, etc., everything was sent there. So usually, we filled 2 buckets with all that stuff and brought them to our camp. And it was very good. Everyone was happy."

  • And then the war began. We had poles, then all the information was transmitted through the radio, there were radio speakers, there were poles and announcements were made through the speakers in the city. And somewhere during the day, we heard "Attention, attention to all the radio stations of the Soviet Union. Today, exactly at 4 o'clock in the morning…" and so on. Levitan's voice. Everything became a mess in the city, people began to rake everything that was in the shops. We also ran to buy everything we could. People were taking everything, even tea, tea that usually no one was buying - the berry tea. And then quickly enough, I don't remember the date, the Germans came. We also stood and watched their arrival. I'm telling you the truth, everything just as it was. And we went out on the road and saw motorcyclists passing by, they didn't shoot at us, nothing. They stopped, asked something, and left. And then the troops began to enter, everything was quiet. It was an occupation, occupation. And we... Several people came to our house right away, they didn't look like officers. They began to look around, they settled senior officers in apartments. And we had a two-room apartment, it was Aunt Liena's apartment and a kitchen. They occupied, they occupied one bedroom, they settled some very high-ranking official there, his name was Stefan. And... Maybe I'll skip some parts here. So, that Stefan was a normal person, he had a batman named Walter. Stefan was an Austrian, and his batman was also an Austrian. And the batman was saying "tsu nats krik? Why do we need this war?", "Ikh bin eyermacher. I am a beer craftsman, I don't need this war." And then... The terrible tragedy happened with that person, at the officer's family - his family was bombed at night and all family died. The officer was white as paper the next morning, he looked white, white. And he disappeared. He was apparently transferred somewhere. And I saw this white hair. And I wanted... I'm not a historian, but I wanted to find out who was bombing them then, the bombs were falling on... Austria. Someone was bombing Austria then. Who did it, it should be researched. How did we live.

  • "So a ´black crow´ car arrived, my mother and I were put there, they had a document for confiscation. My mother and I were put in the ´black crow´ car, my mother was imprisoned, and I was taken to an orphanage for the children of the people's enemies. Everyone knows and everyone writes what kind of houses they were. There was a terrible huge hall, there were about 30, maybe 40 students, children, all the children were different, all the children fought, the children were separated from their families. I write about this in my books. And there was Shurka Atanasov, and Shurka Atanasov was older and he managed to escape, and he had Aunt Lisa, she was unmarried and lived somewhere in the Crimea, and he ran away to Aunt Lisa, and Aunt Lisa said that it was her son. And he graduated from military school and was a pilot and everything went well for him. So Shurka survived best of all others, he escaped."

  • "In 1933, the father brought a very beautiful girl, very beautiful, she had a beautiful braid! And he said that this is your sister. He had relatives in the village, he had sisters in the village. So he says - this is your sister and she will live with us, you can tell everyone. And the sister's name was Motia. And we never, ever...Motia didn't tell us anything about herself or her parents, how she lived and where she lived. We never... she didn't even say anything to my mother. That's how it was. She had a beautiful braid, and my mother in her spare time was taking care of the braid, she was trying to fix it. I remember it very well, she took a comb and practiced for hours."

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    Kyiv, Ukraine, 03.10.2020

    duration: 01:32:46
    media recorded in project Memory of Ukraine
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Daughter of “enemies of the people”

Nadiya Viktorovska, 1930s
Nadiya Viktorovska, 1930s
photo: Personal archive of the witness

Nadiya Sliesarieva, maiden name - Viktorovska, was born on September 23, 1930, in the city of Dnipropetrovsk (now Dnipro) in the family of Ivan and Paraskoviya Viktorovski. On July 7, 1937, her father was arrested by the NKVD. On September 16, 1937, he was sentenced to death by firing squad. On September 9, 1937, the mother was also arrested. On November 2, 1937, she was sentenced to 8 years in a labor camp. She was serving her sentence in Syblah. Nadiya was submitted to orphanage No. 4. She was adopted and taken from the orphanage by Olena and Marcel Reingard, the mother’s older sister and her husband. She became a founder and head of the Women’s Center “Nadiya”. A theatrical performance was created based on her memories.