Ludmilla Bereshko was born on the banks of the Dnipro River in Ukraine, some time around the first revolution, either in 1905 or 1909, into a khliborob family—people who plant and harvest wheat. Circumstances were such that she did receive some schooling. Therefore, she knew both the country and the city. Of course, travelling across half the world during the war taught her more about all that too. She also knew the years of fear and terror— forced collectivization, deportation, and the artificial famine of 1933. Shortly after came more terror with the German occupation of Ukraine, when she was taken into forced labour in Austria. She never saw her husband or sons again and was never able to find out if they were dead or alive. They seemed to have disappeared without a trace. In Canada she married again, to Mykola Haydchuk, though not legally.