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A Mother to My Mother

It is the summer of 1941, and Malka is ten years old. Her small town of Romanov, Ukraine, has just been occupied by the Nazis, and the life that Malka knew — her Jewish traditions, culture and community — is under attack. Soon, Malka is faced with unimaginable loss as the Nazis and their collaborators brutally destroy everything that she holds dear. Malka and her mother manage to escape, hiding in fields, forests and haylofts as danger forces them to continue moving. As Malka relies on her faith and instincts to keep herself and her mother alive, she finds them refuge with strangers who become like family along the way. After devoting her energy toward caring for her mother, Malka must grapple with the complexities of their relationship as she struggles to find her place in a world after war.

A Mother to My Mother is the culmination of Malka Pischanitskaya’s decades-long project to tell her riveting story of survival through writing and art.

Introduction by Nataliia Ivchyk

Foreword by Nina Krieger

At a Glance
Pre-war Jewish life
Postwar Soviet Union
Arrived in Canada in 1975
Includes nineteen artworks conceptualized by author

168 pages, including index

Recommended Ages

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Photo of Malka Pischanitskaya

About the author

Malka Pischanitskaya was born in Romanov (now Romaniv), Ukraine, in 1931. She returned to her town in 1944, after liberation, and lived there until graduating from high school in 1950. Malka continued her education in Zhitomir (now Zhytomyr), earning her high school teaching diploma from Ivan Franko State University in 1954. She married and had two children, living with her family in Tashkent and Uzhgorod (now Uzhhorod), before immigrating to Vancouver, Canada, in 1975. Malka Pischanitskaya lives in Vancouver.

I cannot close my eyes without seeing and remembering all that I went through.