Nina Talbot

Painter - Writer
painting, Burning Busk, by Nina Talbot
Burning Busk, 2020, oil on linen, 24 x 18 inches

Places in Galicia

Burning Busk

Our guide drove us to Busk on the way back from Brody. I didn’t know why we were going there, as I didn’t have any records of family from this town.

I learned about Father Patrick DeBois, the French Catholic priest who made it his mission to identify mass graves in Ukraine and Poland. In his book, “Holocaust By Bullets”, Father DeBois describes his visits to Busk, meeting elders who witnessed the shootings of the Jews of their town. Many of them had not spoken about this horror until the priest recorded their testimonies. One witness recalled that the Nazis forced local Poles to cook extravagant meals for them, served on tables next to the killing site. The Jews were shot into the ravine and buried, but the earth above the pit would move for two or three days. After a while, blood would begin to come to the surface and seep out of the pit
[Testimony from Anna Dychkant].

We visited the site of the mass grave in Busk, where many gravestones still stood. It was a beautiful sunny September day, a farmer and his cows from a nearby farm looked at us. A stream from the Bug River meandered through the land. I wondered if on May 21, 1943, when the Jews were murdered on this site if it was also a beautiful sunny day …