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Главная: Аудиозаписи


oil on canvas, 90x120cm, 2010, Yona Tukuser

The painting is owned by The National Gallery, Sofia


„Two great Bulgarian diasporas existed on the territory of Ukraine: Bessarabia and Tauri. During the two Holodomors from 1921-1923 and from 1932-1933, about 30 000 Bulgarians have died in Tauri. By the beginning of the Second World War the Bulgarians in Bessarabia were within the boundaries of Romania. In the winter of 1946-1947 the Stalinist government organized Holodomor in Bessarabia, when more than 70,000 ethnic Bulgarians have died. As a result of the three Stalinist Holodomors about 100,000 Bulgarians have died in Bessarabia and Tauri.“


„She ate one leg of her child“

  Yona, 2023

 size 135 x 267 cm, oil on canvas


She ate her little hand and one leg, it was a tiny child. She died by the evening and we buried her.​


My mother used to tell me that during the famine, our neighbor had four children. My mother thought she hadn't seen these kids outside for a long time and decided to go see what was going on. Entering the house, she sees that one girl is sitting by the stove and sucking her hair out of hunger. And the youngest child was lying in the cradle with a leg and a hand eaten by his mother.

April 30, 2018, Glavan, Ukraine 

Mutafchi Melania Georgievna (1954)


„We ate leather shoes and soles“

 Yona, 2023

 size 136 x 278 cm, oil on canvas



„I gave her a shoe to bake“

Yona, 2022

 size 135 x 250 cm, oil on canvas


A neighbor came, brought me clothes that she stripped off from the dead people, and said: "Give me a moccasin and take some clothes." “Get out of here!” I said. "Go away! We ourselves are dying of hunger, what could I give you?". My father felt sorry: "Zina, go inside the room, there are moccasins in the cupboard." "Give her a moccasin, let them roast it." I gave her a moccasin to bake. After roasting them, we'd scrape them well with a knife and crunch them, we'd eat and drink water.


„She ate her husband“

Yona, 2022

 size 135 x 250 cm, oil on canvas

„She ate her husband“. We heard that Simontsa ate Simon. A woman slaughtered her husband, boiled him so they could eat.​


Yona, 2022,

size 120 x 400 cm, oil on canvas.

"One boy's parents starved to death (1947); and the boy went hungry to the dump; and people have seen him hauling up with a hook the stinking, decaying body of a dead animal. And a man took this child to himself and did not allow him to eat from the dead animal. This child was raised by this person and survived". 

Story told by V.I.Tutova (born 1925), Glavan, Ukraine.

April 29, 2018. 

„To save the elder daughter from starvation, the mother slaughtered the younger“, 

220 x 160 cm, 2023, Yona Tukuser


Buziyan Elena Grigorievna (b. 1938) in the village of Ostrivne (Odessa region) recalls: "I remember my father's story that in one of the nearby villages, in order to save her older daughter from starvation, a woman slaughtered and cooked her younger daughter. The eldest daughter saw this, was frightened and ran away and never returned to her mother."

Pelivan, K. “The Famine of 1946–1947 in Southern Bessarabia: Artsiz District of Odesa Oblast.” Page 125. Artsiz, 2008

„Six Peas and a Shoe for Dinner“, 

oil on canvas, 220 x 160 cm, 2023, Yona Tukuser


On May 18, 2018, in the village of Golitsa (Odessa region), Yona spoke with Tatiana Stoyanova (b. 1971). The granddaughter of a famine victim said: 

"My father says that during the great famine he was 6 years old and went to the field where they were collecting grain. The foremen would let him take peas he found among the grain. My father spent the whole day sorting the piles of grain and brought six peas home. His mother made soup with those six grains and grass for dinner." 

„Two Sisters Killed the Husband of One of Them and Ate Him“, oil on canvas, 220 x 160 cm, 2023, Yona Tukuser


On May 20, 2018, in the village of Sambatar (Odessa region), Yona spoke with Mikhail Petrovich Ganchev (b. 1929). The famine victim said:
"Our village of Sambatar is very poor because the land here is very bad. About 600 people have died of starvation in the village.
During the famine of 1946, people died in our village. They went and took the wheat from the people by force. We had three big wicker baskets filled with corn cobs, each containing two or three kernels. A man from the town hall came with a cart and three others and took the corn cobs from us and said, "Die!" Do you hear what he says to us? "To die"?! This man is from Sambatar.
In the famine they were selling jelly, but where did they get this pig from? It was human flesh. Jelly made of human flesh. In one cemetery, there was an open common grave where every day they threw 10-15 people who died of starvation. There were people who used to go there and cut human flesh from the dead and make jelly and sell it in the village market. Great starvation, people bought and ate. The man doesn't know what it is, it looks like jelly. And that's how we lived. There are people left alive, as you see me.
There was a house in the next street where two sisters lived and they killed the husband of the one and ate him. Then they died." 

„My aunt ate her two daughters“, 

oil on canvas, 220 x 160 cm, 2023, Yona Tukuser


On May 21, 2018, in the village of Golitsa (Odesa region), Yona spoke with Zagorskaya Stefanida Stepanovna (b. 1939). She said:

“In 1946-47 it was very scary. Hunger. Death. We had nothing to eat. In the war they took what they could. After that, there were publicans in our village who took people's stored grain. My father starved to death in 1947. Our family was starving. My aunt, Belioglo, faced this unimaginable ordeal when her husband starved to death, leaving her without food. She slaughtered her two daughters, and ate their flesh. She even came to our house, knocked on the windows, but we did not dare to open the door to her, as we were afraid that she might eat my mother or me. Then the neighbors would say, "It's a good thing your door was locked, otherwise she would have eaten you!" My mother would answer them: "I'm old, it's better if she eats me, at least she won't touch my child!" She wandered the streets looking for open homes to enter, hoping to find someone to slaughter and eat. Eventually she died.”

„The raven pecked out his eyes“, 

oil on canvas, 220 x 160 cm, 2023, Yona Tukuser


"In 1947, when I was already in the collective farm, I worked in the fields all day. When I would come home in the evening, I would see here and there a dead man lying on the road... and the crows were pecking out their eyes."

Mitev P., Chervenkov N. "Bessarabian Bulgarians for themselves". Sofia, 1996, p. 346.

Exhibition «Anthropophage» in «The Red House Centre for Culture and Debate» 2011. Sofia, Bulgaria

Participation of Yona Tukuser in a video-bridge at an international scientific conference «Famine 1946-1947: historical, philosophical, psychological and pedagogical aspects» dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the tragic events. Izmail State University of Humanities, May 18, Ukraine 2017

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