Conversation with a Ukranian Babushka in Skala Podolska

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Mary Wiesenthal Brill emigrated from Skala in 1899. More than one hundred years later, her great-granddaughter Rachel Brill visited the Wiesenthal family's ancestral shtetl.

During her trip to Skala, Rachel made a video of a conversation with a local Ukrainian babushka (grandmother). The video is shown above, in its entirety. However, a reader of the Skala website who is a native-born speaker of Russian and Ukrainian made the startling discovery that Rachel's translator had not revealed everything the babushka had said. The elderly woman had been talking about the Holocaust era, when she had been a child. She recalled a heart-breaking incident that had taken place at her school:

Once the police appeared in our schoolyard. I was a pupil of the Sixth Form. It was during an interval [recess], between lessons. In the cellar under the school two Jewish families were hidden -- eight people, parents and children. Probably someone denounced them. The policemen started to take these people out from the cellar. There was was a lot of noise and crying.
This page designed by Helene Kenvin
Text and photographs copyrighted by Helene Kenvin
Translation by Anatolie Dydik
Video copyrighted by Rachel Brill
This page created by Max Heffler
Updated May 28, 2016. Copyright 2005 Skala Research Group. All Rights Reserved.