– Were there any additional trainings during the German rule? – Yes, there were some additional trainings during the Polish rule, that ‘Sokil’ society, for example... So we used to ride horseback, we used to learn. Every Sunday. People with horses took part in it, and villages took part in it. We fought like at the front. But those were hunting rifles; there were no combat weapon. And later, in 1944... When the front came, we were told to go to the front. Then we were told to get dressed and escape from the front to the UPA.
Someone managed to do it, and someone not. It happened not like they had thought. They had reckoned we would be assigned to Drohobych to outfit there, but we were driven as far as to Demba in Poland. We were instructed, uniformed – and that’s all, we were sent to the front. And the boys escaped. There were some boys who escaped at once, so the Soviets caught them and shot our boys after show trials; a lot of them were shot. But I had no opportunity till the Odra River. There were some truncheons and we stayed at the corner. Shooting from here, shooting from there. Lots of us were shot, and a few of us endured. A German was knocked down there. But we were in their truncheon; the difference is that they were behind the Odra, and we were here, on the other side. And from there we escaped, three of us. One guy from Lviv, a literate man he was. He had studied at an institute so he knew Polish and German languages. And also one man from Zhovkva. And I, from Drohobych district. So we walked on foot as far as from the Odra. Only once we went for a drive, some people picked us up. And then, before the Vistula River, the pontoons... The control there was terrible. So we walked about a kilometre deep into the valley. There was a boat, and a Pole took us across. The man from Lviv spoke very good Polish. And he took us across. And that man wanted to pay him, but he said, ‘No, thank you so much, boys. God save you!’ (The Pole spoke Polish – translator.) He saw we were fugitives. That’s how we walked up to Przemyśl. And in Przemyśl… We walked to Mostyska, to Lviv; and to Drohobych, I walked alone. But that man told me how to walk, how to be safe in the forest, where is the west and where is the east. That’s how I reached Drohobych. And with Drohobych people, I felt like being at home. And I came home through the forests. I stayed there for two days. Then they came to take me. They had already learned that I was home and decided to take me to Synevitskyi kushch (a territorial unit composed of several villages – translator), to Yamelnytskyi kushch. I was fully armed, except for having a helmet and a digging tool. I had cartridge and really everything.’