Our museum staff recorded the testimony of Ivan Kashyn, a 100-year-old resident of Kyiv

8 May 2024

Employees of the Holodomor Museum visited the 100-year-old Kyiv resident Ivan Andriyovych Kashyn and recorded his testimony about the Holodomor.

Ivan Andriyovych was born on January 18, 1924, in the capital’s district Shuliavkawhich was then a suburb of Kyiv. In addition to him, there were three more children in the family (two – a brother and a sister – died on the fronts of the Second World War).

Father Andriy Illich was a shoemaker. During Holodomor, he was the only one of the family to receive bread cards, which provided only 400 g of bread. But it was too little for a family of six. For the rest of his life, Mr Ivan remembered how hungry people came from the villages and asked for something to eat However, the family itself was starving. Little Ivan was saved by the school – students were given a plate of soup and a tiny piece of bread. The family was forced to exchange all their jewellery for food. Ivan Andriyovych still has a picture in front of his eyes of his mother taking off her gold earrings and a cross, putting them in his father’s hat. In that hat, he brought the valuables to the torgsin and received a bundle of flour and a few fish for them.

During the Second World War, the boy was taken to forced labour in Germany, and after the arrival of the Soviet troops, he and other slaves were loaded into wagons and taken away. But not home – to Siberia. On the way, he and other boys managed to jump off the train in the Fastov district and escape, although the bullets of the “Soviet liberators” flew into their backs.

The German past prevented the boy from entering Kyiv Polytechnic University. For people like him, the road to this university was closed. Only later was he able to enter the Institute of Physical Education, so all his subsequent life was related to sports. Even while studying at the institute, he became interested in mountaineering and has been keen on mountains ever since. He climbed many peaks. More than once, he got into situations where his life hung by a thread. But every time, he came out the winner.

Ivan Kashyn is the oldest mountaineer in Ukraine. On the day of his 100th birthday, he became the record holder of the National Register of Records of Ukraine as the oldest master of sports in mountaineering.

We are proud of such long-livers, and thank you for the memories!