Bank of Portraits / Stetsiv Lavrentiy and Hanna, Fediv Ivan

Lavrentiy and HannaStetsiv, Ivan Fediv

On July 1, 1941, German forces occupied Drohobych. The new census was taken almost immediately, which showed that there are 35 thousand citizens living in a town. 13 thousand of them were Jews. The repressions against the Jewish community started. Some of them worked in the labour camps creating goods for the German administration, others escaped and find shelter in the houses of their non-Jewish friends.

Samuel and Sara Eis with their daughter Maya and other relatives were imprisoned in the local ghetto. They survived the massive extermination in November of 1941 and decided to run away. Samuel remembered that before the war, while he was working on the shoe factory, he saved local Ukrainian man Hryhoriy Stetsiv from death. Samuel decided to ask him for help. Hryhoriy agreed to hide Samuel’s wife and daughter in the house of his brother Lavrentiy, who lived in the village of Monastyr-Lishnianskiy.  So Sara with her 2-year-old daughter ended up in the house of Lavrentiy and Hanna Stetsiv. The Ukrainian family was providing them with all necessary and hiding from German raids. Samuel also Joined them later, after he escaped from the ghetto. He also took his relative Sofia Tsukerberg and her friends with him. For few months all the escapees were hiding in Stetsiv’s house. After it became too dangerous they decided to remove them to Ivan Fediv. This lonely man lived on the outskirts of the village. Survivors were living at the attic of his house for 15 months.

«Mother told me how they were rescuing Jewish family. They were aware of the risk. It was a terrible time. Everything was happening in the yard of our house in Monastyr-Lishnianskiy village. There were two houses. Ivan Fediv was hiding Jews in his attic for almost two years. My mother Hanna was 16-year-old so she remembers everything. She is now 92, she has problems with hearings. There was a German headquarter in the new house and two meters from there was a shelter. The youngest child, Maya, was 4-year-old when the occupation ended.  My grandfather was so courageous… There was a kitchen and my grandfather was taking a bucket with food from there to feed the Jews. If Germans found out this he would be killed immediately…». From the memoirs of Myroslav Khomiak, grandson of Ivan Fediv

After the end of the war survivors removed to Poland. Jewish family asked Ivan Fediv to go with them, but he rejected and stayed in his native village. Ivan Fediv died in 1963.

Survivors and their rescuers were friendly for decades after the end of the war. Even now Maya Lis-Turleyiska keeps contact with the descendants of Fediv and Stetsiv families. Due to her, on October 10, 2018, Yad Vashem named Lavrentiy and Hanna Stetsiv and Ivan Fediv the Righteous Among the Nations. The award was presented to the grandchildren of Ivan Fediv – Stefania Hunder, Myroslav Khomiak, and Oksana Luzhetska. The award of Lavrentiy and Hanna Stetsiv was presented to their granddaughter – Oksana Yarushchynska. The ceremony took place on 5 of February 2020, in the city of Lviv.

Svitlana Demchenko

Kyiv

National museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War

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