Before the war, 16-year-old Zinaida Yukhnel almost did not interact with her Jewish classmate Alla Granovska. However, when the Nazis occupied the city and started to massively arrest Jews, the young ladies' fates interlaced tightly together. A few weeks after the occupation, Zinaida met
by chance Alla on a street. The latter told, crying, that her parents had been taken by the police. The young lady managed to hide behind a door, and she was unnoticed. Zina offered her classmate to stay at her house for a night. Next day, as Alla was going to leave, Zina's father, Vikentii Yukhnel convinced the young lady to stay and live with them. He strictly interdicted his wife and daughter to tell anybody about Alla. At that time, those who defended Jews, were treated severely in Kirovohrad region: they would be executed or their houses would be burnt.
Alla Granovska lived in the Yukhnel's cock-loft for six months. The family shared everything they had with her, although they suffered from hunger themselves. Later, the young lady started leaving the house – by her appearance, Alla did not look like a Jew. Granovska was planning
to escape to Odesa, as it was occupied not by German, but by Romanian troops, and persecutions of Jews were softer. A local theatre actor whose name was Khrystenko was supposed to help her in that. The man was actually organising an escape for a Jew he loved, and he agreed to help Alla. One day, Granovska, together with Yukhnel, were heading to Khrystenko, to definitely arrange for all details of the escape, and it was right then that Alla was captured by policemen on her way. Frightened Zinaida rushed to home to warn her parents – the family feared an arrest for hiding a Jew. That same day, the Yukhnels fled to the city outskirts and hid there in a semi-ruined house. Next day yet, the family returned home – it was late autumn, and it was unbearably cold to hide in an abandoned house.
To their biggest surprise, Alla returned to the Yukhnels the same day. By a miracle, the young lady managed to get
id papers with a Ukrainian name. It turned out that the policemen took her to the police station and told her to wait in front of the supervisor's office. She had ration cards in her pocket with the address and the name of Yukhnel, and therefore, in order to avoid revealing her rescuers, Alla ate those cards. She was lucky: the station supervisor turned out to be the former director of her school. The man issued her papers with the name of Tkach, and advised her to flee from Kirovohrad. That was what she did: she said goodbye to the Yukhnels and ran to one of the surrounding villages. In 1942, Alla was sent for compulsory works to Germany. After the war was over, the young lady returned
to Ukraine, but she had nowhere to go. The Yuknels hosted her again, until she got married and moved to Leningrad with her husband. Until her death in 1956, she kept connection with the Yukhnels through correspondence.