Remembering Pavlokoma, 70 years later.

With the recent events happening in Ukraine, I thought it would be fitting to write a post commemorating the anniversary of the infamous massacre that occurred in a small village of Pavlokoma (sometimes spelt Pawlokoma), Poland in the first days of March in 1945.

To give you a brief history, a (Polish) military group descended on the small village, inhabited mainly by Ukrainians; and annihilated 366 people. According to historian Peter Potichnyj,

Of the 366 victims, 189 were men and 177 were women. There were 153 victims aged 45 years or older (among them 86 people over 60). 65 people were between the ages of 35 and 44. 39 were between 25-34; and 49 were between 15 and 24. 52 were between 5 and 14, and 7 were younger then 4 years of age

Upon the survivors was my mom – Olga,14 years old at the time – was the oldest to escape the massacre and ended up taking care of the remaining children. To this day, she relives the events as if it was yesterday.

PavlokomaMem

It took almost 61 years for this event to come to light when in May 13, 2006, the Polish and Ukrainian governments opened a monument and held a memorial honouring those who perished. Unfortunately, there is a lot of controversy what lead to the massacre included the actual truth of what actually happened. My mother’s eyewitness accounts are a little different then what has been reported or what the governments will admit to. Regardless, the monument is a positive step to recognizing one of the many horrors of war that has been overshadowed by the Holocaust.

This post is in honour of my mom (the strongest woman I have ever known), my cousin(aunt) – Darka, 8 years old at the time – along with few other survivors and of course the 366 people who perished those fateful 3 days in March of 1945.

You can check out my sister’s blog Myrka Thoughts on some of her insights on Pavlokroma and here is an article on the memorial held on May 13, 2006.