Historical data

From the Testimony of I. Minkina-Egorycheva, on How the Priest Aleksey Glagolev Saved Her Life in Kyiv

On September 29 (nine days after the fascist horde had seized Kyiv), an order was posted at intersections, on fences and walls around the city. It declared that all Jews living in Kyiv must report at 8:00 that same morning to Degtyarevskaya Street in the vicinity of the Jewish cemetery. They were to bring warm clothing, money, and valuables. The order threatened that any Jew who did not show up and any non-Jew who dared to hide a Jew would be shot. Not only the Jews, but all who harbored any human feeling, were seized with terrible anxiety. On the morning of September 29, my relatives walked their last mile. I went with them for several blocks; then, at their insistence, I went to see whether or not my daughter and I had to go. My husband was a Russian. My relatives and I agreed that they would wait for me in one of the squares near Dorogozhitskaya Street.

I went into various offices to get permission to stay in Kyiv as the wife of a Russian and to find out where they were taking the Jews. Of course, I received no permission and found out nothing. Everywhere I went, the Germans made dark, threatening faces and said: "Go to the cemetery."

I took my daughter Ira, who was ten, to her grandmother's (my husband's mother) and took some of my things as well. At about five in the afternoon I headed for the Jewish cemetery. There was no one in the small square where we had agreed to meet. They were gone forever. It was impossible for me to go home. I went to my husband's relatives and hid with them in a shed behind some stacks of firewood for about a week. Very soon it got out that over 70,000 Jews had been savagely killed in Babi Yar. My relatives on my husband's side turned to a priest named Aleksey Aleksandrovich Glagolev for advice and help. Glagolev was the son of a well-known professor of Hebrew studies at the Kyiv Spiritual Academy; his name was Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Glagolev, and he was the Father Superior of the Church of Nikola Dobry in Podol. In his day, Professor Glagolev had defended Beilis at the famous trial and proved that there were no ritual murders.

Father Aleksey went to consult with Professor Ogloblin, the mayor of the city, about me.

Ogloblin knew our family. He, in turn, took the problem to the German commandant. Ogloblin left the commandant's office very disturbed and pale. As it turned out, the comman¬dant had told him that matters concerning Jews were under the exclusive authority of the Germans, and that they would do as they saw fit. There was no way out for me. Hiding with my husband's relatives meant subjecting them to the threat of being shot. Father Aleksey Glagolev's wife Tatyana Pavlovna Glagoleva, came up with a desperate idea: she gave her passport and baptism certificate to me, Izabella Naumovna Minkina-Egorycheva. With these documents in hand, I was told to go stay with some peasants I knew in a village. Tatyana Glagoleva had placed herself in great danger by giving away her papers at such a dangerous time.

While searching apartments for loot, the Gestapo very nearly took Tatyana in as a suspicious person, since she had no papers. She barely managed to get away from them, thanks to the testimony of witnesses. As I have already said, I did not spend a long time in Zlodievka. The local village authori¬ties started eyeing me with suspicion. The problem was that partisans had begun showing up, and anyone who was "foreign" to the area aroused suspicion. In the end, I was summoned before the village authorities to prove my identity. I somehow got out of that trouble and hurriedly fled to Kyiv. I arrived at the Glagolevs' home late in the evening of November 29. From that time onward, I stayed with the priest's family. I was soon joined by my ten-year-old daughter Ira. We posed as relatives. For two years we did not leave their side and went everywhere with them. The Glagolevs saved several other Jews besides my daughter and me. Among them were Tatyana Davidovna Sheveleva and her mother Yevgeniya Akimovna Sheveleva. Tatyana Sheveleva was twenty-eight years old and married to a Ukrainian named D. L. Pasichny. They lived in a large house at 63 Saksaganskaya Street.

In all these matters, the priest Glagolev received active assis¬tance from a scholar of the Academy of Sciences named Aleksandr Grigorevich Gorbovsky. He did not want to continue his work under the Germans and became a manager for the buildings belonging to the Kyiv-Podol-Pokrov Church. He hid Jews on "his property," as well as many Russian teenagers who were threatened with being shipped off to Germany. He even contrived to obtain bread tickets for his "tenants."

Many of those who were hiding in the church buildings received papers stating that they were singers in the choir, church officials, sextons, and the like. If the Germans had paid attention to the fact that this poor little church had too large a staff and had figured out what was going on, the authors of those papers would have been shot immediately.

The Pasichny family I mentioned hid in the church's little house for about ten months.

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