The library of the Holodomor Victims Memorial is complemented by the “The Taste of Birchbark.” The author of the book, Polina Coppens, the daughter of Holodomor witness, Nataliia Pohvatna, described the life of her mother. Natalia Pokhvatna was born in the village of Makiyivka (presently, it belongs to Bila Tserkva district of Kyiv region), and this was where she survived the Holodomor. After the Second World War, a woman emigrated to Belgium. However she could not forget the horrors of her childhood.
“After the winter ended, we had begun to cut the grass (for food). I still hear how my mom says, “What is good for a cow, that is good for us.” It seemed that there would be no end to the famine. People tried to get food by every possible way. They were walking aimlessly, thin, like skeletons, and with insanity in their eyes. Every day, somewhere along the roadside, a dead man lay. They were picked up on a cart and thrown into mass graves. But the most terrible thing was the silence over the village; it was like an unpleasant, cold curtain. After the crying and complaints of previous months, there was only this depressing calm. Death ruled over Makiyivka and the whole region. “
The book is available in our bookstore. The book is written in Flemish.