TINA

HUSBAND EXILED. REFUGEE.

Tina grabbed her son, Viktor, from her bed, and knelt over him on the cement floor for hours, shielding him from the the gunfire with her body.

Tina Dyck Vogt, World War II, 1945

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Tina Vogt was born Katharina Dyck in the Mennonite village of Nieder-Chortitza, Ukraine, in 1920. Her family suffered during “war communism,” Lenin’s early policies of requisitioning. After Tina’s father died, the Dyck family, already not wealthy, became destitute. During the Holodomor (the genocide-famine of 1932-33), Tina had to live with an aunt in Neuendorf because she was starving. She fell in love with a local schoolteacher, but her husband was drafted into the Russian army, and then exiled to Siberia in 1941. Tina never learned of his fate. 

Tina and her family fled Ukraine in 1943 with the retreating German army. They spent several years in various refugee camps, ending up in Yugoslavia after the war. In May, 1945, they had a perilous flight out of communist-controlled Yugoslavia into Austria

© 2020 by A Nakhla