Famine survivor remembers Holodomor
By Erica Bajer, Standard Staff
Ewdokia Opariek’s family wasn’t just starved during the Ukrainian famine known as Holodomor, it was torn apart.
The 86-year-old Fonthill resident was only eight when a communist regime manufactured a famine to force Ukrainians to succumb to Soviet rule and work on collective farms.
She remembers it vividly.
“They took everything to the last seed, they even swept it up with a broom,” she said in recalling the day in 1932 when a group of communist villagers swarmed her family homestead, broke into their food storage shed and robbed them of their fall harvest.
Her mother wept, pleaded and pulled out her own hair, begging them to spare some food for her daughter and two sons.
“Look at these children, they’re gonna die from hunger,” Opariek remembers her mother crying. “Don’t take everything.”
The young girl’s father wasn’t there to intervene, he had fled after being jailed once for refusing to give up his family’s food.