Bank of Portraits / Chernova Anna and Nadia
Chernova Anna and Nadia
Nadia I. Chernova grew up in Dnipropetrovsk (current city of Dnipro) in the intelligent family. Her mother, Anna K. Chernova, was a lawyer in the court. Father, born in 1906, was a member of the Communist Party. The respondent did not told where he worked and why he died in the wartime.
“After the outbreak of war we could not live in peace. Some people regularly informed against us, because my mother and me were the Komsomol members, father was a communist. I lived in Kalinin avenue with mother. After the Germans captured Dnipropetrovsk, the court, where mother worked, was closed”. From the memories of Nadia Chernova…
The family became poor. In order to earn some money, mother started to sell valuable things. There were no certain perspectives of future. However, when in the autumn evening of 1941 the man, who needed help, knocked on their door, they opened with no doubts.
“It was dark when we heard knocking on the door. I opened and stepped back - I was shocked with how the man behind the door looked. He seemed to be bloodless, like the alive corpse. I saw the yellow armband “Juda” on his arm. I let him come in. He was dirty and hungry...” From the memories of Nadia Chernova…
That dirty and hungry man was Sevastian L. Chernikov. After Nadia and her mother fed him, let him take a shower, the man told how he managed to escape from the site where the Jews were shot. Despite the fact that police regularly came to the flat of the Chernov family, Anna decided to shelter the man.
“My mom realised how risky it was to shelter the Jew, however, she let Sevastian stay. When someone knocked on door, he was hiding in the large granny’s box in the kitchen. We put the stick inside so he could breathe, covered the box with some rags, shut the lid and I sat on it. We had some gold, but we had to exchange it for food. That is how we survived”. From the memories of Nadia Chernova…
Sevastian Chernikov had been hiding in the Chernov’s house during three months. They managed to cure the man of dystrophy. In March 1942 he left Dnipropetrovsk, passed the frontline and joined the Red Army. In 1943 Anna K. Chernova with daughter were deported to Germany as forced workers
“The labor was exhausting. There was permanent lack of food. In 1945 my mom got sick and soon died. She was buried in Germany, in Frankfurt-am-Oder. I returned to Dnipropetrovsk. There I graduated university and worked as a teacher of the Russian language and literature in the Zaporizhzhia secondary school No. 11”. From the memories of Nadia Chernova…
Sevastian Chernikov returned from the front disabled. He did not forget his rescuers, found Nadia and they stayed friends until his death in 1952. In 1949, on his own initiative, he wrote the documentary testimony of his rescue. In 1999 it was used by the Yad Vashem to honor Anna K. Chernova and Nadia I. Chernova the title of the Righteous Among the Nations.
Ukrainian Insitute for Holocaust studies