Sadovy Stepan Stepanovych (1922 – 1989)


STEPAN SADOVY (1922 – 1989) was born on August 14, 1922, in the village of Obrazhiyivka. After graduation, Stepan worked as a locksmith at the Shostka film factory.

With the outbreak of the German-Soviet War in 1941, he was drafted into the Shostka Fighter Battalion, but was unable to leave the city due to the rapid advance of the Nazi troops. During the occupation, Stepan and his friends tried to resist the invaders, distributing flyers and collecting weapons. However, on May 10, 1942, along with his countrymen, he was forcibly deported to work in Germany. The Obrazhiyivka boys worked on the construction of a powder plant in Bromberg.

Through a local resident, Ekaterina Zhura, a letter came to Bromberg informing us that the Nazis had shot 18 activists in Obrazhiyivka, including my father and the father of my friend Ivan Varenyk. So, we swore revenge on the Nazis for their deaths. On August 23, 1943, I learned about the great defeat of the Nazis in Kharkiv, where they lost 18 divisions, so I announced this out loud to everyone who was out on a walk. But the Gestapo did not slumber. On August 25, Varenyk, Stepanishchenko, Sasha from Makhachkala and I were arrested.”

A new phase of the wanderings of Stepan Sadovy and Ivan Varenyk between the concentration camps of Stuttgof (August – October 1943), Buchenwald (October – December 1943), Dora (December 1943 – April 1945), Bergen-Belsen (April 5-14, 1945) began. The Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp is a large tunnel in the mountains where, in extreme secrecy, the Fau-1, Fau-2 rockets and jet engines were manufactured. It was a veritable underground hell where prisoners lived and worked without sunlight, fresh air or water. Stepan and Ivan were liberated by the British troops in April 1945. After returning to the USSR, they worked at the Donbass mines until 1948.

In 1948, Stepan returned to his home village and married a geography teacher, widow Nadia Pobegailo, whose first husband was killed in the war. In 1951-1952, he studied long-distance at the Putiv Pedagogical School. In 1953-1958, he studied at the Kiev State Institute of Foreign Languages. He became a German teacher and later the principal of a local school. At his initiative, a new school was built in Obrazhiyivka village in 1970.

Stepan Sadovy was a witness at the trial of criminals from the Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp, which took place in Essen in 1967-1970.