“When I was still in Radekhiv, we were collecting those weapons, that Polish soldiers left behind. We kept those weapons in my shed covered with hay. But we couldn’t keep a lot of weapons like this, and when the Soviets came, my uncle came to my yard with a full cart of hay and took those weapons away. We went and buried them in Stanyn. There were a lot of weapons, carbines and many other kinds. All of these weapons we collected ourselves. When the Polish were told to retreat, they left all their weapons behind. They left them, changed their clothes, and ran away to Romania. Very many of them passed through Radekhiv. There were a lot of corn, and very many weapons were hidden in that corn.”
- Museum "Territory of Terror" |
- Witnesses |
Roman Shumskyi (1924)
Roman was born on October 18th, 1924, in the town of Radekhiv, Lviv province (now Lviv region). From 1930 he studied at “Ridna Shkola” named after Taras Shevchenko, and later in a Polish-language gymnasium in Radekhiv. In 1939 he organized a branch of the OUN for youth in his native town. During the Nazi occupation he studied at Lviv technical college. Later on when the college was transferred to Krakow he finished his studies there. As a young specialist in the beginning of 1942 he was forced to go work to Germany, to the city of Kassel. He worked at the aviation factory “Henschel”. In the beginning of 1943 he illegally came back home, where he became a messenger of Radekhiv district subdivision of the OUN. In the summer of 1943, not to get arrested by the Gestapo, he became a member of the division SS “Halychyna”. For military training at first he went to the camp “Heidelager” near the city of Dębica. After infantry training he was sent to a French town Metz for the training in radio engineering, and after this he was sent to Neuhammer (Germany). After the training he was appointed to work as a radio engineer in the 2nd subdivision of communication. In the end of August 1944, after the fight near the town of Brody he was injured and held captive by the Soviets. He ran away from the captivity and came back to Radekhiv region. There military referent of the OUN Lototskyi (pseudo name “Sribnyi”) accepted Roman as a guerilla fighter of the Pavliv center of Self-defense division under the pseudo name “Kachalka”. On December 19th, 1945, Roman Shumskyi was captured by the NKVD officials in the village of Stanyni. He was held in Radekhiv and in the prison “on Lontskoho Street” in Lviv. On July 16th, 1946, he was sentenced by a military tribunal to 15 years of forced labor and 5 years of deprivation of rights. He served his sentence in Norilsk, where he participated in the Norilsk uprising. He was released in 1956 without the permission to reside in Galicia. According to the verdict of Taimyr national district of Krasnoyarsk region, on March 10th, 1958, he was sentenced for the second time according to the Article 58-10, part 1 of the Criminal Codex of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic to 10 years of imprisonment for “anti-Soviet propaganda and agitation”. He was held in camps in Tayshet and Mordoviya until 1962. In December 1962 he was released. He moved back to Lviv region. From 1963 he lived in Radekhiv and worked as a superintendent of tele-radio shop of the district consumer union. In 1965-1967 he worked in the department of electro connection in Radekhiv. In 1967-1989 he started working in the district department of connection in Kamyanka-Buzka, where he worked as an engineer of telephone connection for 25 yeas. He lives in the town of Rudno, Lviv region.
Preparation of weapons for the OUN, 1939
Escape from forced labor in Germany, beginning of 1943
“It was my second week there and I thought, “I will run away no matter what!” I already observed the territory. I saw the guards and how they were doing everything. So I made up my mind to try to escape on Friday evening. In that way on Saturday morning I would be already there. I came there, came to a ticket office and bought a ticket to Krakow. She did not ask me why I was going there or who I was. She did not ask me to show any documents. I put a ticket into the pocket and thought, “I will get through. I must get through.” And I saw that at the control point there was a window, and next to a window a passageway. On the one side there were those whose documents were already checked, and on the other side there were those whose documents were not checked as yet. A guard was keeping an eye on them. I observed him for several minutes to be able to rush by him. So as soon as he turned his back I rushed by the ticket office to the other side and sat there, afraid even to breathe. I thought, “He shall come now…” But everything was alright. He did not come. I couldn’t believe it; I thought that probably I was not done yet. I knew that there was another control point, on the train. They always did it like this. But there was no control on the train. A few border guards with dogs were going along the train. They were checking whether someone had something illegal. But they did not check any documents. I got on the train with those people, whose documents were already checked, and thought, “They would probably check again at the border. They would stop the train and check at the border”. But all carriages had transparent windows in them, that is why I could easily look from one carriage into another. So I thought, “It’s not far from the border, the train will depart, and when we cross the border, I will open the door (doors were locked in such a way that I could open them from the inside), and jump out into the snow. And the thing will be done.” So I was sitting next to that window and then I heard, “Krakow”. We arrived in Krakow. And I thought, “I’m here”.
Operation of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army soldiers in a collective farm nearby Radekhiv, 1944
Most of the time we were going somewhere. Only once we were involved in the operation in a collective farm, near Radekhiv. When people were deported, they took away their cattle from them. All people were taken to the collecting point in Radekhiv and kept there. So our leader told us, “Take some folks and go get those cows back.” We went there at night and brought those cows back. There were guards. Some of us were keeping the guards away, the rest were doing our job. The last ones to leave let the guards go and left, taking those cows along. We gave those cows to the people who were supposed to be deported, but who weren’t deported as yet, who were hiding. The rest was given to the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, we were preparing meat for the Army. This is basically what we were doing, we were preparing provision for the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, we were sewing clothes for them – this was our job.