Dear friends,

“Tkuma” Ukrainian Institute for Holocaust Studies and Museum “Jewish Memory and Holocaust in Ukraine” receive many letters and messages, in the center of which are family histories of World War II period. All of them are the human dimension of the tragedies that unfolded in our country in the turbulent XX century. Each testimony, and sometimes an inquiry, a request for help in finding relatives and friends is a unique source that serves to reconstruct the most difficult pages of the past – the Holocaust, the Holodomor, the deportation of Crimean Tatars and other Crimean peoples, Soviet repressions and the fight against dissent in the USSR. Incoming materials are becoming part of the common cultural heritage accessible to a wide audience. “Tkuma” Institute scientific publications, seminars, video presentations and Museum “Jewish Memory and Holocaust in Ukraine” (Dnipro) exhibitions are not a complete list of forms for preserving and popularizing family memory of the past of Ukraine.
Recently, Marcin Maryszczak (now a resident of Warsaw) turned to “Tkuma” Institute. Mr. Maryszczak is looking for a Jewish woman named Mila, whom his family rescued in Zhytomyr during the Nazi occupation. We present the story, keeping the style:
“My grandmother and grandfather, father and his sister, who have already died, were born in Zhitomir and survived the occupation there. They were Ukrainians. From old stories, I know that during the occupation they hid Mila and her small child from the Germans. When the Soviet Army liberated Zhitomir, they left Ukraine, lost contact with Mila and never met again. I only know that this woman was called Mila. My grandfather was called Petr Sekmedinov, and my
grandmother was Maria Sekmedinova (nee Litvinchuk). They lived on 22 Sennaya Street (this is the pre-war name of the street) in Zhitomir. My grandfather worked as a car mechanic at the Department of Roads in Zhitomir, in addition, he was engaged in the manufacture of leather. My grandmother worked as an assistant accountant at the Stalin factory. They had two children – my dad Georges (Zhora), 1938, and his sister Neonil (Nile), 1935. My relatives left Zhitomir just
before the liberation of the city. They were afraid of repressions from the NKVD, since they [authorities - translator's note] did not manage to mobilize my grandfather in the Red Army when the Germans arrived. Thus, they remained in Zhitomir, and fate pushed them to Mila. I would really like to know if Mila survived and whether there was an opportunity to find her or her relatives. I would be grateful for any help".
If you have any information regarding the Sekmedinov family, or your own testimonies and family memories of the lives of relatives during World War II, the Holocaust, the Holodomor, the deportation of Crimean Tatars and other Crimean peoples, and you would like to share them with a wide audience, please send them by email to “Tkuma” Institute: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., email of Museum “Jewish Memory and Holocaust in Ukraine” scientific department
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call +380567177016, +380504522163.