Lavrentiya Khariv Лаврентія Харів

* 1944  

  • "We returned in September...in August. We spent the night, for my father’s brother lived in Lviv. We waited for our luggage to arrive and came back home. You know, this trip from Lviv to Olesko - I saw it as something extraordinary. We came back to our house, but my grandma was already gone. My father let some people live there. When the truck arrived, there were many people near the house. I’ll never forget our neighbour - this woman has already passed away - bringing me a pear, and I’ve never had a pear before. I looked like something incredible to me. There were plum trees and apple trees in the garden. That was pure heaven. I went with my cousin to register for school, for I wanted to go to a Ukrainian school. However, my uncle told me to go to a Russian school in Lviv, but I didn’t. I’ll never forget this day either. The schoolmaster was a wonderful man. Our neighbour was standing next to him - I believe it was the neighbour, for I didn’t know people that well yet. I asked the headmaster whether I could go to that school, and that man told him: ˇ´Do you know where she came from?´. I started weeping, and the schoolmaster, God rest his soul, told him: ´This child isn’t guilty of anything”. So I went to school, to the 7-8-9-10-th form. I graduated from Olesko school, and the headmaster took care of me. He loved me dearly."

  • "The year of 1953 most likely was the happiest one for me, for children and all adults. When Stalin died, it was very cold and snowstorm hit. There were Misko, myself and a Moldovan girl, Milia Tatarchuchka, from our barrack - her family name was Ukrainian, for her grandfather was from Ukraine. The three of us always went to school in this snowstorm, holding hands not to be blown off by the wind. We probably covered half the way, when a local girl coming back from school saw us and said, crying: Come back. What grief - Stalin is dead´. We didn’t think twice. We returned to Milia Tatarchuchka’s home and we jumped with joy. According to Moldovan tradition, there were not beds, but long sleeping platforms there for the entire family to sleep. It was so nice playing there! We were happy. All of us rejoiced. ´They might let us go home´ - we said. A 7-year-old child had these things on her mind, that they’ll let us go home! Something might have stuck. Sure enough, amnesties started soon afterwards."

  • "We stopped beyond the Urals once, and there were Crimean Tatars. I remember those two women, though from behind only. My mom asked them to bring some hot water to wash the child’s hair. The didn’t come back for a long time. My mom was worried and said: ´They must have been caught and punished´. However, they came back and brough water and some hot potatoes. When I meet Tatars now, I thank them for the hot potatoes. They always act surprised, so I start telling them how it was. They get all teary and so do I. Somehow it was the thing I remembered."

  • "Neither do I remember how they took is from the cell to the train. But the train itself...I’m sure it was at Pidzamche railway station, because we were not moving. Our wagon was standing there, the doors open on one side. The convoy stood on the same side, on the left. My mother’s sister brought us something to eat. We were sitting on crossties on the opposite side. A guard was checking what she brought. Aunt Mariika had children of the same age as we did. I believe something was hidden there, money, I think, for the convoy didn’t get there. He went over chicken eggs and, most likely, got bored, so he left. I think my mom paid him to let my aunt take me home. The auntie already held me, but I saw my mother crying and came back. That’s how I went."

  • "My dad was taken to prison. My mom, she was regularly dragged to that prison in Lontskyi street for interrogations. Later they left her alone, but they came and took us. My sister and I were at the club that day, playing. I wanted to go home, but my sister wouldn’t let me. I still ran away. Well, the club wasn’t that far away. We lived next to the church, so this was a short [distance], just two streets. I came running to the gate, and there was a truck. I saw my grandpa and grandma, my father’s parents, on the truck. It was summer, hot May, but she was wearing a warm jacket and covered with a green checkered shawl. I saw it, and I ran out to the yard. I saw their rank slides through the kitchen window and I ran off. I was afraid of their rank slides, or, maybe, I had a gut feeling. Anyway, they caught me and brought me to the kitchen. I saw my mother holding a sack and my grandmother taking bread out of the stove and putting it into the sack. Then they put us on that [truck]. I don’t know, my mom must have taken some other things, I don’t remember that. They drove us to Busk, not far away, some 20 kilometres. There was a very popular brewery. According to my mom, dark beer was extremely delicious. They stopped to drink some beer, and we were sitting on top of the truck with the convoy. They came back and gave me a chocolate bar. You know, I didn’t take it. My mother said: ´I was surprised you hadn’t taken it´. First, it was nothing out of the ordinary for us, for we always had it. However, I felt it was the wrong person."

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    Lviv, Ukraine, 20.07.2020

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As a child, I was deported to Siberia. As an adult, I help others through volunteering

Bohdana and Lavrentiya Talanchuk in front of the barracks, 1950s
Bohdana and Lavrentiya Talanchuk in front of the barracks, 1950s
zdroj: Personal archive of the witness

Lavrentiya (Lavra) Khariv, maiden name - Talanchuk, was born on January 30, 1944, in the town of Olesko (now Busk district of Lviv region) in the family of Roman and Sofiya Talanchuk. Her family was actively involved in the activities of the Ukrainian nationalist movement. One of her father‘s brothers, Konstyantyn Talanchuk, served in the Nakhtigal Battalion and the Ukrainian People‘s Self-Defense (UNS). Another brother, Teodor Talanchuk, worked for the OUN underground in the Sumy region. On February 17-21, 1943, the 3rd OUN conference took place in the house of her maternal grandfather, Andriy Turchenyak, in the Voluyky small village near Olesko. In May 1949, Sofiya Talanchuk and her daughters, grandparents Andriy and Maria Turchenyak were arrested and taken to a transit point operating on the basis of a transit prison in Lviv. During 1949-1958 they were in a special settlement in the town of Baley (now the district center of the Trans-Baikal Territory of the Russian Federation). In Baley, Lavrentiya went to school and finished 6th grade. There she was forced to join a pioneer organization. After returning to Ukraine, Lavrentiya graduated from high school in Olesko, then from the dental school in Lviv. She worked as a dentist. Lavrentiya is currently retired. During the Orange Revolution in 2004, she began volunteering. In addition, she helps the Ukrainian military as a volunteer during the Russian-Ukrainian war.