DAA Daily

Ukraine and Russian war revives war memories for the Jewish and Roma population

Ryan Oswald, Staff Reporter, The Pawprint

Trains taking young men east to war arrive in a station in Lviv and individuals are sending messages to wives and family before departure. 

On the western end of the country, refugees hold onto hope of boarding a train to go somewhere safer, such as Poland, Hungary, or Slovakia. 

The Roma Gypsies are among this amount of refugees fleeing from Kharkiv. The events happening in Lviv are summoning ghosts of Europe’s dark past. 

The city is filled with civilians who’s parents or grandparents experienced the mass genocide during World War II. Tens of thousands of Roma were killed during this time as well.

A Roma grandfather takes time to explain the state of Lviv. He says, “Everything is burning. Everything is destroyed. No one is listening. No one wants to help us.”

Lviv was the scene of some of the most brutal murders of the Jewish population in the summer of 1941. 

There’s now an estimated 1,500 Jews living in Lviv, but it’s guessed that the majority of them had already left Ukraine for safety.

It is also a place of comfort for the few remaining Holocaust survivors in Lviv. I met Tatiana Zabramnaya, 84, who remembers a childhood in a home filled with unspoken trauma.

“I asked my mum about the war – what, when and why – but she could not talk about it without trembling, without crying and asking not to reminded about the war. My uncle and my aunt were in Kyiv and my mother told me they were shot.”

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