For Ukrainians who fled in the midst of World Warfare II, taking a look at right now’s information is like reliving a nightmare

When the sirens sounded in the course of the night time, Olena Matwyshyn trembled so actually arduous her dad and mother couldn’t get clothes on the tiny lady — selecting out as a substitute to wrap her in a blanket forward of hurrying to the bomb shelter.

For consolation, minimal Olena clutched a teddy bear — “Misio” in her native Ukrainian. She nonetheless has the bear, whereas it’s worn easy from being “hugged and kissed,” Matwyshyn said.

Matwyshyn, now 83, is reminded of that bear as she’s bombarded on a regular basis with information illustrations or pictures of individuals — significantly like her have just about 80 years in the past — shopping for by means of utilizing tobacco rubble or tightroping over rivers on a plank bridge as they flee the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“It’s terrible given that I positively can set up with the households and the babies … and the horror of it, and never recognizing what tomorrow will present. It’s horrible,” said Matwyshyn, a retired Sears govt who now life within the Sauganash group, many years after her family escaped the combating in her homeland all through World Warfare II.

The teddy bear Olena Matwyshyn took with her as a child as her family fled Ukraine almost 80 years ago.

The teddy bear Olena Matwyshyn took along with her as a child as her family members fled Ukraine almost 80 years in the past.

Tears completely and anger simmers amid Ukrainians in depth settled within the Chicago area who assumed tales like theirs could solely be noticed in file publications, light letters or their very own reminiscences.

Luka Kostelyna, 91, has been glued to his Tv established in his Mount Prospect dwelling because of the reality the Russian invasion began in February, paying a number of hours every working day seeing CNN and Fox Data.

He’s annoyed at what he sees as a failure of American administration to face as much as Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“I would love we skilled [President] Ronald Reagan,” Kostelyna talked about. “If he was president, gadgets would have been loads, loads various.”

Kostelyna, then 14, his father and anticipating mother fled western Ukraine within the early Nineteen Forties because the battle strains shifted in Europe and the 2 the Germans and Russians occupied his homeland. Kostelyna’s father, a Ukrainian nationalist, feared at present being arrested by the Russians and despatched to Siberia. The Russians skilled already shot the son of a single of Kostelyna’s neighbors.

The members of the family headed west, touring in a wagon pulled by two horses. They slept in barns alongside the way in which. The members of the family created it to Germany, and an individual morning, Kostelyna’s mother wakened in a hay barn and introduced she was about to offer begin.

“My brother was born in a German navy companies truck,” Kostelyna talked about.

The household used 4 a few years residing in Germany in a camp for displaced people. They lastly made it to New York after which to Chicago, wherein Kostelyna labored, amongst different jobs, as an operations supervisor for a enterprise that created aluminum merchandise.

Luka Kostelyna, 91, points to a picture of himself at the age of 14 with his parents before they fled Ukraine during World War II.

Luka Kostelyna, 91, components to {a photograph} of himself on the age of 14 along with his mom and father prematurely of they fled Ukraine all via Total world Warfare II.

Olenka Pryma was solely 6 months earlier when her household left Ukraine in 1944. What she appreciates of the journey arrived from her mother, who died in 2001. Pryma, 78, grew up talking Ukrainian.

“It was a query of patriotism and to keep up what was taken absent from us,” claimed Pryma, who life in Ukrainian Village.

She claimed it’s been “very painful” watching the “depravity” of the Russian invaders.

She and her husband, additionally Ukrainian, expend considerably of the day seeing the information popping out of Ukraine.

“We get lost, possibly swap it off for an hour or so, then we rework it again on,” talked about Pryma, a retired language coach. It’s like “deja vu,” she said.

“I pray, pray and pray, and that gives me peace of mind,” she said.

There’s a important variance, she reported, regarding what’s occurring once in a while within the Nineteen Forties: video.

“As we speak, individuals can see the atrocities from only one second to the opposite, and so individuals cannot produce tales which might be completely not true,” she stated.

Pryma has taken her kids to Ukraine and, just a few years previously, her grandchildren, far too — displaying them the residence precisely the place she was born.

“Thank God I did it then given that now what am I heading to show them?” she defined.

Like Pryma, Matwyshyn spends loads of time trying on the info.

“I take pleasure in it, then I cry, then I can’t take pleasure in any further. I’ve to finish for a few a number of hours,” she defined.

Matwyshyn claims she sees herself within the frightened kids fleeing collectively shattered streets and muddy fields.

“I do not neglect possessing to function off a apply given that the educate was at present being attacked, and we needed to go to the closest ditch or right into a small forest,” reported Matwyshyn, whose partner and youngsters arrived in Chicago in 1949. “That was very terrifying, and that could be a single of the gadgets that stays with you.”

And he or she remembers her mothers and dads reminding her in extra of and over as soon as extra of her establish, their names and the place she was born.

“In order that if for some goal they obtained killed or we ended up divided, I’d at the very least know who I used to be,” she reported.

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