In 1941, when the German Army took over the town of Pidhaytsi in the Ternopil Region, Canadian Filmmaker Iryna Korpan says that people in the village were hopeful after experiencing the brutality of the Soviet Regime.
Korpan’s grandmother, Kateryna Sikorska, a widow with three young children lived next door to a Jewish family, Dr. Kresel and her two sons Dolik and Leonid.
At the time, the population of Pidhaytsi was about 6,000-8,000. Approximately 60% of the citizens were Jewish, and everyone lived as neighbors, says Korpan.
Things began to change in Pidhaytsi when newspapers started publishing headlines such as ‘Poland Without Jews’ and the town’s Jewish population was moved to a ghetto.
When things became even more dangerous, Korpan’s family tried to save the lives of the Jewish population. Her grandmother’s actions cost her her life. In her documentary “She Paid The Ultimate Price,” Korpan travels to Ukraine and Israel to meet with survivors. “This tragedy cannot be forgotten; we have to keep the memory alive.”
Hromadske’s Josh Kovensky spoke to Iryna Korpan, Canadian Filmmaker on September 24th, 2016 in Kyiv.