Interview conducted in 2002 by Tatyana Chaika
Born in 1938, Mrs. Lukatskaya was just a toddler when the Great Patriotic War broke out and only has dim memories of the period before the war. Her father was mobilized to the army on the first days of the war and she recalls that when he came to say good-bye to his family she was screaming and crying: “I loved my father dearly and I must have had an inkling that he was leaving forever.” Her father was a radio operator and perished in late 1941, while she, her mother and older sister left Kiev for Turkmenia (today Turkmenistan).
In vivid details the interviewee describes the harsh conditions at the collective farm, where they lived and worked. Upon the liberation of Kiev they returned home in spring 1944 and eked out a meager existence, her mother mending shabby clothes that they sold in exchange for food at the market. Upon graduation from Kiev Polytechnic University, Mrs. Lukatskaya worked as a radio engineer and teacher of information science, and founded a family. Her moving account is accompanied by 11 photos.
Learn more about Ella Lukatskaya here on the Centropa website.