Bank of Portraits / Volodina-Vorona Paraskeva

Volodina-Vorona Paraskeva

The story of friendship between Paraskeva Vorona and Sofia Milstein began long before the war, but after the start of occupation it was brutally tested.

Paraskeva with her family lived in the village of Kalynivka, Vinnytsia region. Her husband Petro Volodin was drafted and went for the front, so Paraskeva stayed with her mother. Kalynivka became an important strategic location for the German army during the Second World War. The local airport was used by the leaders of the Nazi Germany. The Adolf Hitler’s airplane was landing here several times. Next to the airport headquarters of Adolf Hitler and German Goering were located. Two regiments of fighter airplanes were based here for the securing of the Adolf Hitler’s bunker.

Shortly after the beginning of the occupation the POW concentration camp was opened in Kalynivka and local Jews were forced to live in ghetto. Their labor was used for the building of runways and other objects of the airport.

Paraskeva’s house was located near the road which was used by the forced laborers. Thanks to this Sofia Milstein and her mother Shprynia had a chance to eat, drink and take a break. But exhausting labor and awful life conditions affected them. Sofia’s mother was losing energy. In 1942 she together with other exhausted citizens of the ghetto were killed. Only a few dozens of workers were alive and Sofia among. She decided to escape.

In one evening, Sofia managed to leave the crowd of workers and reach Paraskeva’s house. The salvation of Jews was extremely dangerous deed, deadly punished by Nazi authorities. Due to the location of the airport and Hitler’s headquarter there were extra security measures in Kalynivka. Paraskeva was constantly changing the Sofia’s hiding place. In this she saved her life, because the last Jews of the local ghetto were exterminated in August of 1942.  From 500 Jews of Kalynivka only few survived and Sofia was among them. She was hiding in Paraskeva’s house till October of 1942.

Paraskeva and Sofia meet each other only after the liberation of Kalynivka from Nazi forces. Their friendship tested by the Nazi occupation last till the death of Sofia in 1983.

On November 30, 1997, Paraskeva Volodina-Vorona was named the Righteous Among the Nations.

Kateryna Baranovska


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

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