“I WOULDN’T WISH FOR ANYONE TO EVER EXPERIENCE WHAT MY MOTHER, PORVINA PELAGEJA NIKITITSCHNA, AND HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF OTHER PRISONERS OF FASCIST CONCENTRATION CAMPS EXPERIENCED.”
I was born in Germany in Ravensbrück concentration camp. My mother, Porvina Pelageja Nikititschna, who lived before and after the war in the village of Gusarka in the Kuybyshev district in the Zaporizhia region, worked as a livestock specialist on a collective farm before the war. She was a member of the Communist Party. During the German offensive, she led cattle further to the east. However, she was not able to escape. She was betrayed by a policeman. At the beginning of the summer of 1943 she was arrested and sent to a prison in Berdyansk. There she was interrogated and tortured and in the autumn of 1943 she was sent to Germany. Her first stop was Buchenwald concentration camp, from where she was sent to Ravensbrück.
My mother is no longer alive, she died in 1991, so I can no longer write the exact facts about life in the concentration camp. But according to what she said, it was communists from Belgium and Holland that helped her and me survive in this hell. I can’t remember being in the concentration camp because I was too small. I only remember when we came back to our homeland that they asked me, “What did you eat there in Germany?” and I replied, “Beet and spinach.”
In 2000, as a member of the Ukrainian delegation, I visited the Ravensbrück Memorial on the 55th anniversary of the camp’s liberation.
Jevgenije Ivanovna Bojko
Porvina Pelageja Nikititschna’s daughter