‘I was delivering food to the fourth room. It had two entrances. There was the second entrance from the porch. I approached and opened the door slightly. I thought he could be asleep and decided not to knock. I opened the door slightly. He was sitting at the table, writing something and singing. Most importantly, I fixed in my memory, ‘My young brother, can you hear people crying in prisons? We heard their pains when we were little,’ he was singing quietly. ‘And, in our hearts, we said to ourselves, ‘We live for you, Ukraine! To gain liberty for you…’ Can you hear the Dnipro River drying up, and the rapids starting to sound louder? Cuckoos… are sitting down in a guelder-rose, forging luck for Ukraine.’ (In Ukrainian, the verb ‘kuvaty’, used in the original lyrics, can be defined as ‘to forge’ and as ‘to cuckoo’ – translator.) Then, I shut the door, knocked and said to him, ‘You know, I’ve heard the song you’ve been singing. Write its lyrics for me, please.’
Nadiya Anastasiya Liskevych (1923)
She was born on April 20, 1923, in the village of Turynka, Lviv province (now Zhovkva district, Lviv region). In the end of the 1920s, she moved to the village of Zamochok (now Zhovkva district, Lviv region) together with her family. In 1930–1937, Nadiya Anastasiya studied at a bilingual village school. In 1941–1943, during the German occupation, she worked for the OUN underground as a stanytsia leader and a courier. Her pseudonym was ‘Voloshka’ (‘Cornflower’). In 1946, the Soviet secret service detained her on the Christmas Eve. She was kept in the NKVD prison of the town of Zhovkva until February 15, 1946. Later on, Nadiya Anastasiya was released on condition that she would come to the regional office of the NKVD. However, after she recovered, ‘Voloshka’ went underground and continued working for the OUN. In the autumn of 1947, she was arrested by the military counterintelligence of the Soviet army while performing an underground task. She was thrown into a dugout situated in the Butyny forests, Lviv region, from where she managed to escape. In 1948, Nadiya Anastasiya married Myroslav Liskevych. She became legalized and received new documents. In 1954, she moved to the city of Lviv. In 1965–1969, she worked for the Lviv Wine Factory, in 1969 – for the ‘Kineskop’ plant, in 1970–1993 – at the canteen of the Lviv Psychiatric Hospital. Nadiya Anastasiya lives in Lviv.
Listening to an OUN member singing in the ancestral home, 1943–1944
Dispossession of kulaks after the coming of ‘first Soviets’, 1939
‘As ‘Soviets’ came, they organized a meeting in ten days or so, and proclaimed that kulaks were to be deported. It was necessary to get rid of ‘public enemies’. They organized the meeting in the reading hall. So, all the poor were saying, ‘You can deport anybody, but don’t touch our Hryshchak. We live because he has been helping us. He has never refused to give us anything. He has never refused to give us milk, cheese, lard, or anything else. When somebody needed something, he gave everything. Everything.’ They stood by my Dad eagerly. Therefore, ‘Soviets’ didn’t deport us and our Mum. However, they imprisoned my Dad. Later, maybe, six or seven days before the war, he came home and escaped into the rye fields together with the dog immediately.’
Resigning from her job because of her past as a ‘public enemy’, 1969
‘I got a job at the ‘Kineskop’. Well, my brother was friends with some girls. One of them worked at the personnel department, and she said, ‘Let your sister come. She can work for the LT-1, I will arrange this.’ I was working at the LT-1 for a whole month. Everyone was so pleased with me. I was doing my best to make sure that everything was fine. Everyone was so pleased. A neighbour came. In Zhovkva, we used to live next door. The house of Myroslav’s father, who had received it after being deported from Poland, from Belz, and their house. He said, ‘Oh, Hryshchakie is here! No, no, she’s not Hryshchakie now, she’s Liskevychie.’ What should have I done? I couldn’t linger there anymore. However, a relative from my Mum’s side worked at the LT-3. He was from the village of Vyazova. His surname was Nych. He was an engineer. I went to the LT-3. I said to him, ‘Listen, I’ve been already unmasked.’ He asked, ‘Why?’ I said, ‘A man recognized me.’ – ‘Move to the LT-3.’ So, I transferred to the LT-3. I was working for some time at the LT-3. Again, a man from the village of Turynka, who knew me, spotted me. I said to Nych, ‘You know everything.’ And my husband had already had the second heart attack. And I quitted. There was nothing to be done.’