The second most popular Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail has published an article on the Holodomor witness – Tetiana Dashko.
Three sons of Tetiana – Yurii, Walter and Alexander shared the story of her mom to The Globe and Mail.
“Tatiana (Tina) Dashko: wife, grandmother, witness of the Holodomor, believer. Born on April 17, 1924, in Krasnosilka, Ukraine; died on January 2, 2019, in Toronto from heart failure at the age of 94,” is written in a statement.
Tatiana Dashko (Pastoshchuk) grew up in a family with eight brothers and sisters, whose childhood was destroyed by the Soviet authorities and the Nazis. The collectivization of farms led to the death of their father, forcing the girl to leave school after grade 4 to help feed the family.
Then there was the Holodomor. Tetiana remembered the death of her younger brother Volodia from starvation. Her mother’s mother died on her hands shortly before the Nazis invaded Ukraine.
In 1941, Tatiana was sent to Germany for forced labor. In the German city of Bielefeld, on the first day of her work, she met with Yurii Dashko, who was translating the instructions of the master. Soon, Tetiana and Yurii fell in love. In 1945, they married in a destroyed cathedral in Hanover, and in 1950 they moved to Canada.
The couple gave birth to three sons – Yuri, Walter and Alexander. Tetyana and Yuri worked hard: the husband worked in foundry, and his wife, at different times, worked in a shoe factory, a cotton plant, a chainsaw, as a cleaner and in the greenhouses. The family moved five times until it found a comfortable home with a large garden.
The horrors that Tatiana experienced at the beginning of his life left the mark in her memory, but not in her outlook. She cherished beautiful things. Colors and patterns in her embroidery for traditional Ukrainian shirts, pillow cases for family and friends, etc. – created real beauty around.
To help children learn the language, she spoke Ukrainian only. “We learned to speak Ukrainian and dance Ukrainian folk dances, join Ukrainian scouts and attend Saturday school; we learned how to collect Easter baskets and cook 12 dishes for Christmas dinner, ” the sons of Tatiana Dashko recall. The boys also took the lessons of the accordion.
Tetiana Dashko started and ended every day with a sincere, generous prayer. Having lived in Canada for more than 65 years, Tetiana and Yurii gave children a sense of family, culture, justice, and the wish to create a better world. During the last decades, Tetiana spoke at the Holodomor commemorative events in honor of the memory of her little brother and millions of other people who were starved to death.