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Research interview with Galina Koroliova

Oral History | Accession Number: 2010.445.41 | RG Number: RG-50.653.01.0020

Galina Koroliova, born in 1935 in Ardavskoye, Belarus (now in Verkhniadzvinski raion, Belarus), describes being five years old when the war broke out; her memories of the Germans arriving in her town and how they were very friendly and joyous; the roundup of everyone into a grain shed; escaping the shed with her brother and mother along with numerous others; hiding in a large bush in a field; how those who were unable to escape were burned alive inside the shed, including her best friend; the enormous black plume coming from the shed; the Slavic-speaking police officers who helped the Germans round up the townspeople; the survival of only 23 people from Ardavskoye; how after the young men left either to live in the woods or to join the army, the Jewish and Romani population was comprised of only children and the elderly; the destruction during the second summer of the German occupation of Belarus, including the burning of cities and villages; joining a community in the woods with her family and other survivors; a commotion one morning when the Germans were approaching and began shooting at them as they tried to flee; successfully escaping with her family; the gradual return of people to the village in the woods; how bakers made bread for the partisans with the grain they hid away in the ground; the arrival of the Romanians and being forced with her family and the small remaining population into a cellar; the good relations between the village and the freedom fighters; surviving an explosion in the cellar; the nature of her life during the war; how when the Fascists came, the partisans left and when the Fascists left, the partisans came; the forcing of the adults to dig trenches each morning while the children were free to do whatever they wanted, including going out into the surrounding town, where they begged for food or stole whatever they could; getting sick with typhus and not remembering how the camp was liberated; surviving villagers returning and being greeted by allied soldiers who had begun liberating Europe; seeing an enormous car by the side of the road just outside of the woods and being terrified as she nudged the bodies of dead German soldiers surrounding the car; not knowing if there were Jewish villagers from other towns in the camp; how there were no Jews left from Ardavskoye; and the mass grave in her current town of Sebezh, Russia, where the Jews were massacred during the war.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Galina Koroliova
interview:  2014 April 03
creation: Russia.
1 digital file : MPEG-4.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, courtesy of the Jeff and Toby Herr Foundation
Record last modified: 2020-05-04 15:48:27
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