Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Margaryta Zatuchna

Forced to flee from the Nazis as a baby, 82-year-old Margaryta Zatuchna has been pushed out of her home again -- this time by Russian President Vladimir Putin's brutal invasion of Ukraine.

Margaryta Zatuchna pictured with her mother in 1940 

Days before the Nazis invaded her hometown of Kharkiv in October 1941, she was evacuated to a village in the Ural Mountains.

Back in Kharkiv, the Nazis rounded up and murdered an estimated 16,000 Jews. Many were shot at close range or pushed into mass graves and left to die.

After the Red Army regained control of the city in 1943, Margaryta returned to Kharkiv with her family and grew up under Soviet rule. She finished her university education and became an engineer.

Peace lasted until February 24, when Russian forces launched an unprovoked attack on Ukraine and encircled Kharkiv's estimated 1.4 million residents.

The siege and relentless bombardment took its toll: Margaryta awoke on the morning of March 20 to find her husband had passed away in his sleep.

"We couldn't bury him because of the fighting," she said. "His body is still in the morgue."

Margaryta reached out to her younger brother in New Jersey, and he hastily set in motion her evacuation with the help of multiple charities across three countries.

Margaryta insists she does not want to become a refugee. The survivor -- of both the Holocaust and now Russia's onslaught -- hopes to return to Kharkiv to bury her husband of almost 40 years and see her beloved city at peace again.

Thanks, Frans

No comments:

Post a Comment