“What kind of fate awaited your priest? Was he taken away immediately, in 1939? – He was arrested right away. He was even reminded of his son, who did something during the Polish rule. He was reminded of it. But he always said at church, ‘People, keep praying, because the red star is getting closer. You will be crying. The red star is getting closer’. But who knew what was that star? During the Polish rule we knew nothing about it. And he kept telling us that, because he was a nationalist. He used to say, ‘Pray, pray for your land, so no one would take it away from you’. Probably he knew, because he often went to Kyiv and he saw how Russians rule there. He knew it, but we did not. And told us all that. – Was the church closed after they took away the priest? – The church was not closed, but there was only one priest for five villages. And after he was taken away, only in one neighbouring village there was a single church left. We went to the neighbouring village to that single church. Only one church was left for five villages. We had a very old church, it was wooden, but now it is replaced with a new one. That wooden church saved very many of our boys. My father worked for the church for 22 years. We had a key to the church. And I hid very many of our boys in this church. Because it was an old church, so they did not go there, because they knew that it was closed. They took one key from my dad, and my brother-in-law had another key (he was very crafty), he made the second key. I usually went there at night, opened the door for the boys, and they hid there. In the wooden chuch it wasn’t very cold, so I used it as a hiding place for many boys.”
Pavlina Deyneha (1926)
Pavlina was born in 1926 in the village of Zhabokruky, Lviv province (now the village of Kvitneve, Peremyshlyany district, Lviv region). From 1939 Pavlina was a member of a local reading-room of the “Prosvita” society. During the Nazi occupation she took classes for teachers at kindergardens, and later she studied to become a medical attendant. In 1943 she entered the OUN, performed duties of the medical part of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, worked as a messanger. In the underground forces she was known under the pseudonym “Halya”. In 1946 she got married to Andriy Dorosh, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army soldier, who died during the NKGB raid in March of the same year. After the death of her husband, Pavlina was arrested in the summer of 1946. During three weeks she was kep at Strilychi prison (now the village of Strilychi, Peremyshlyany region). She was released due to the lack of evidence. After the release from the prison she helped the Ukrainian Insurgent Army soldiers as a nurse. In 1948 she moved to Lviv where she worked as a driver in tramway-trolleybus depot. Nowadays Palvina lives in Lviv.
Religious life in the village of Kvitneve, 1939
Attitude of local people towards German soldiers, 1943-1944
“We did not understand Germans and Germans were not nice. We did not greet them warmly. We greeted the “first Soviets” better than we greeted Germans. And Germans… in Lviv there was a man called fat Yusko. The whole Lviv region knew him. He was always riding on a horse. He could easily shoot a child, or a living creature…he always carried a gun with him. He would just take it out and shoot… Imagine then he did not like you for some reason, and you are just walking somewhere. He would shoot you and then go away. They showed themselves from a very bad angle. That’s why everyone was so afraid of them. When we had to sell some butter or some eggs we were terrified that a fat Yusko might catch us. And when he does catch you – then you did not have a chance to get out alive. We were very afraid of him. We were terrified of Germans. And then when thay were running away Italians were the last to leave. You know, Germans ran away sooner. And those Italians who were in German troops, they were the last to run away. We had a big field, and there we grew some corn. It was in autumn, so the corn was already big; we had not collected it yet. So those two Italians came up to us. My mom was very hospitable. We had cows. They were gesturing trying to explain that they were thirsty and my mom gave them a drink. And one of them asked what my name was. I did not understand him. My mom guessed what he meant and told him, ‘Pavlina’. And he said, ‘Pavlina, Andzhelina – to jest prima’. That’s what he told me. I remembered that phrase very well. My mom fed them, gave them a loaf of bread and they left. They asked us where the woods are and we showed them. We showed them and they went towards Lyubeshka, Romaniv, towards those woods.”
Interrogation in Strilychi prison, 1946
“ – What physical methods of influence did they use toward you? Did they beat you up? – Yes. He had a long pipe; he always took it with him when he came. It was made of rubber, and in the end of it there was tin that hurt very much. When he punched you with that pipe – wherever that tin landed: on your chest, on your arm, there immediately was a bruise. They were beating me up endlessly, and then knocked me down and started kicking me with their legs. I’ve been through a lot. And then…when he punched me…when “polar bears” came, they said that they are from “polar bears”… in white fur coats, they had white gloves. It was a horrible trial for me, when they took me to an interrogation room. When he punched me on a neck I fell down. Then out of nowhere another one of them appeared and tied my legs. One of them stood me on the back so I could not move, the second one stood on one arm and the third one stood on the second arm. They were stinging me on my heels with needles, and beating me up with… probably it was a kind of a hammer, but with nails, because my blood was splashing on the walls.”