“They were telling me something about the electroshock device. Back then I did not know what it meant. They brought me into a room, and laid me down on a trestle bed without handles. They put me there and turned something on here (points to her temples - ed). They turned on two contact points, and put some kind of a rubber into my mouth. It was like a rubber rod… That rod slipped out of one girl’s mouth, so she bit her lips very badly after she was shaken all over. – What did they use to attach those contacts to your head? – It was like a phonendoscope, they pushed them in both of my ears, and put rubber in my mouth. As I was lying on that trestle bed I felt that they turned on the current. When they did it to me for the first time I did not know what it would be like. But I was praying. I was praying as I was going in there. Every time I was praying and I was asking God to keep me from talking but to keep me alive. From there I was carried to a ward. I know that my shirt was soaking wet when I came back. – What did you feel? – I did not feel anything at all. As soon as they turned on the current I passed out. I turned off completely. When I regained consciousness I could hardly remember where I was. And when I realized where I was I involuntarily smiled. I was glad because I realized that I didn’t have to talk to them”.
- Museum "Territory of Terror" |
- Witnesses |
Hanna Ivanytska (Bardyn) (1925)
Hanna was born on March 31st, 1925, in the village of Dmytrovychi, Lviv province (now Mostyska district, Lviv region). At the age of 17 she became a member of the OUN-Youth. Until 1944 she studied at the pedagogical seminary in Yavoriv. Having finished her studies, she worked in the Ukrainian aid committee in Sudova Vyshnya, and at the same time she was a messenger in the underground forces. She worked as a teacher in a village. Later she studied at the Physics and Math faculty of the Lviv pedagogical institute. She was arrested on October 5th, 1945, for being suspected in cooperation with the OUN. She was kept in the prison “on Lotskoho Street” in Lviv. Having refused to provide evidence during investigation, she was sent to the 5th (prison-type) department of regional psychic clinic, where she remained until 1948. From 1948 and until March 9th, 1954, she was imprisoned in a psychic clinic of the Ministry of Home Affairs in Kazan. In 1954 she came back to Lviv. She was a member of the organizing committee to set up the Lviv Society of Ukrainian Youth. Now, Hanna lives in Lviv.
Interrogation in Lviv psychic clinic, 1946-1948
Being treated at a psychic clinic in the town of Kazan, part 1, 1948-1954
“They brought me into a building and then into a basement. I had to live in a horrible basement. It was full of rats. It was scary; I was sitting there shaking all over. I heard some kind of a machine working outside. I thought that probably they were executing people there. But it turned out that it was a sawmill. I heard the sound of some machine so I thought that it was a machine that executes people. I was in a horrible basement, with horrible conditions. I thought that probably I will meet my death here. I had not stayed there for a long time. They were watching me, trying to see in what condition I was; they wanted to know what I was like in order to know in which ward they should put me, because there were many ill people…I was brought to the second floor again. Maybe it was the first floor, maybe it was the second floor. It was a room full of light. They put me on a bed. I was lying there. I don’t know whether I was on a trestle bed, or…maybe I was sitting on something, lying, sitting. I was covered with some rags that they gave me. Everything was horrible. When I was transferred to a different place there were some more or less acceptable sheets. They were washed out, dirty… And again I did not know where I was. Once per every six months the man who was the head of that commission came, his last name was Torubarov, he was from Moscow. They came, commissioned, and sent for investigation again. I had understood this… I had understood this when we started… We were taken to a workshop. They gave me a needle, gave a thread, and showed me how to embroider. I am very good at embroidering, and I can make lace. We were making curtains, it was after the war, they did not have blankets for turtle beds. I was not talking much, but I was working a lot. The commission came and they commissioned me. I overheard that they said in Russian, “She is calm, she is working, but she doesn’t make contact with anyone, doesn’t talk, doesn’t read…”
Being treated at a psychic clinic in the town of Kazan, part 2, 1948-1954
“ – How did that hospital in Kazan look like? – Like a prison. – Was it big? – Big. It was a big house, fenced with a big tall brick wall. All four sides of it (we took walks there) were guarded by security, there were sentry boxes. Guards were armed, of course. – Were you taken out for walks? – Yes. I don’t remember how many times a week, but we took walks. – How many people were at that clinic in Kazan? – Oh, I don’t know how many people were there altogether. I have no idea, because that clinic was huge. There were professors; I saw them in workshops, from the year 1939, from our University. I don’t know their last names. I was told that there were very nice people. Artists, doctors, people who held PhD degrees, professors, many people from Lithuania. They were very smart and very beautiful people. And we were among them.”