Stepan Veremchuk

Mariya Veremchuk lived in the village of Borki, close to Luboml, Wołyń. After the Germans occupied the area, on July 3, 1941, Mariya’s husband, a member of the Communist Party, was murdered, and she and her eight-year-old son Stepan were forced to leave their village home and move to Włodzimierz (later Vladimir-Volynskiy). With the help of her late husband’s friends, Veremchuk was accepted into the urban underground and was assigned the task of collecting information about the movement of trains at the Włodzimierz station. For this purpose Veremchuk started at the station, and in her rented home, at the edge of the town near the swamp area, a transit station of sorts was “opened” for soldiers of the Red Army who escaped from German captivity. Sometimes there also appeared Jews that had fled the Włodzimierz ghetto. Every time a group of 10 to 15 people gathered, Veremchuk and her son would accompany them to the partisans in the forest. It took more than a day through the fields and the forest, and in open places, young Stepan walked at the head of the line carrying a basket, and if the area was vacant and aroused no suspicion, he signaled to the others to follow him. Usually the groups were taken to the Zabunda khutor in the vicinity of Uściług, where a courier from Nikolay Konishchuk’s partisan unit, or other units that were prepared to accept unarmed soldiers, would wait for them. In June 1943, the Włodzimierz police conducted a search in Veremchuk’s home and she and her son were arrested. A month later, the two were sent to work as forced laborers in Germany, and returned to the Soviet Union after the war in 1945. Veremchuk remarried and until the end of her life lived in the Dnepropetrovsk district. In 1997, her son Stepan immigrated to Israel and settled in Jerusalem.

On November 2, 1995, Yad Vashem recognized Mariya Stepanova (previously Veremchuk) and her son Stepan Veremchuk as Righteous Among the Nations.

(Excerpt from “The Encyclopedia of the Righteous Among the Nations: Europe Part II, Ukraine, Yad Vashem Publications)

 

Stepan Veremchuk and his wife Maria attending an army ceremony of one of their ATZUM volunteers, Diana Feygin, 2009