Bank of Portraits / Vakulska Anna and Bondar Oleksandra

Vakulska Anna and Bondar Oleksandra

Anna Vakulska was a widow, she lived with her daughter Oleksandra in the village of Mykhailivka near the town of Sharhorod in Vinnytsia region. 20-year-old Oleksandra married shortly before the outbreak of the German-Soviet war and was going to move to her husband. However, he was drafted to the Red Army, and she remained in her mother's house.

One evening in July 1941, shortly after the occupation of the region by German troops, Anna and Oleksandra were visited by unexpected guests - their Jewish friend Olga Khazina and her two-year-old son Anatoliy. Many years ago, Olga rented Anna’s room while teaching at a local school. Then she got married and moved to the neighboring village of Derebchyn. During the early days of the war, her husband was also sent to the front. A woman and a boy were evicted from a rented house. They didn’t find refuge in the village of Derebchyn. Olga went to the village of Mykhailivka. She hoped to find people there who would help. Anna and her daughter hid their guests in the basement. The entrance was laid with a tree. The fugitives remained in hiding during the day, and at night, when the windows were closed and the doors locked, they moved freely around the house, having dinner with the households. Anna and her daughter kept Olga's presence in a secret even from their closest neighbors, which helped them survive three long years of occupation.

After the expulsion of the Nazis in March 1944, Olga and Anatoliy moved to Zhmerynka, but kept in touch with their rescuers.

On May 25, 2003, Yad Vashem recognized Anna Vakulska and her daughter Oleksandra Bondar as Righteous Among the Nations.

Nazar Polishchuk

Kyiv

Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

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