Page 26. Myroslav Prokop: The origins of the UHVR program and activities
This article analyzes the political developments in Ukraine during World War II which led to the establishment of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council (UHVR). At the time, the author was the political section head of the OUN Leadership. In 1941, he was a member of the Initiative Committee for the Establishment of the UHVR. At the First General Assembly - the founding convention of the UHVR, he delivered a speech about the political situation in Ukraine and was elected to the UHVR Presidium. Thus, his report is the testimony of a participant of the described events.
At the outbreak of the German-Soviet war in 1941, Ukrainian community and political life lay in ruins. The Soviets had destroyed it in central Ukraine during the Revolution and the Stalinist terror of 1928-1941, and in western Ukraine, during 1939-41. The only remaining political party was the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN). It conducted its activities underground in Western Ukraine and thus managed not only to escape destruction by the Soviet police, but to grow in strength and extend its network. However, in 1940, the OUN broke into two factions - the less numerous OUNm (led by Andriy Melnyk) and the larger OUNb (led by Stepan Bandera, and after his arrest, Mykola Lebed, 1941-1943, and Roman Shukhevych, 1943-1950), which were in conflict with each other. Other political parties did not resume their activities because of the German prohibition and terror.
During the German occupation, both OUN factions tried to build up their networks in central, eastern and southern Ukraine. The OUNb was more successful because it had more members, conducted radical anti-German action and changed its position from that of integral nationalism to democracy and social reform. This change of position was formally codified during the OUN Third Extraordinary General Assembly in August 1943. In the autumn of 1942, the OUNb began organizing military units under the name Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), in order to defend the population against German terror, economic plunder and the deportation of young people for work in Germany, as well as to counter similar action by Soviet partisans. In 1943, this armed resistance spread spontaneously through all of Volyn and Polissia and in part, the right bank of Ukraine and Halychyna. It immediately outgrew the OUNb’s manpower capabilities. The leading positions in the UPA, underground administration and various services (medical, educational, self-defence, etc.) were held by people from various former political parties, or those not affiliated with any party, who had a variety of political views. For this reason, the UPA was declared a non-party, pan-Ukrainian formation which was to become the nucleus of the future Ukrainian army. The author provides detailed analysis of the political and organizational developments which required the establishment of a non-party national leadership centre to direct the armed struggle. This leadership centre was also needed for the purposes of foreign representation - discussions with the Polish underground, Romanians, Hungarians and planned contacts with the allies. That is why, at the initiative of the UPA Supreme Command, the Initiative Committee for the Establishment of the UHVR was formed at the beginning of 1944 and charged with preparing the founding convention, or First General Assembly, of the UHVR.
The author briefly reviews the preparation of the UHVR founding convention, describes how it took place and analyzes the UHVR program and tasks. The OUNm refused to join the UHVR. The UHVR was organized on the basis of individual representation by political and community activists, who were required to recognize, as a minimal political program, democracy, a progressive social program and the need to struggle against both the Soviets and the Nazis. The founding convention was attended by twenty people, about half of whom were OUNb members. The authors of the constitutional documents of the UHVR were: Vasyl Potishko, author of the political program, “Platform of the UHVR”; Daria Rebet, author of the constitution, “Organization of the UHVR,” and the Rev. Ivan Hryniokh, author of the “General Proclamation of the UHVR.” In conclusion, the author expresses his views of the historical role of the UHVR.
Page 69. Lew Shankowsky: Initiative committee for the establishment of the UHVR
As head of the Initiative Committee for the Establishment of the UHVR, the author gives a first-hand account of the work of this committee. He provides detailed information about the formation of the committee, the discussions that took place with different circles and activists who were targeted as future UHVR members and the formal registration of candidates. The detailed footnotes provide short biographies of the individuals concerned and descriptions of the activities of different groupings.
The author was called to membership in the Initiative Committee by the UPA Supreme Commander, Roman Shukhevych, on September 21, 1943, in Lviv. He learned that there were two viewpoints regarding the method of organization of this highest leadership body of the Ukrainian people for the period of the liberation struggle: (1) on the basis of the exile UNR and Carpathian Ukraine governments and the representatives of former political parties, or (2) on the basis of individual representation by the UPA and community and political organizations. This question was to be decided in the process of preparation for the UHVR founding convention. The basic concept of the UHVR remained under discussion for a long time and the Initiative Committee had not yet been formed. However, at the recommendation of the UPA Supreme Command and the OUN Leadership, various people were holding discussions about the establishment of the UHVR with activists who were living in the open. In March 1944, a meeting of all these people took place. The work accomplished to date was discussed, plans for the future were made and the Initiative Committee for the Establishment of the UHVR was officially formed, with the following membership: Lew Shankowsky, UPA representative, chairman; Daria Rebet (vice-chair) and Vasyl Okhrymovych, OUNb representatives; lawyer Mykhailo Stepaniak, community-political sector representative; and Illia Semianchuk (vice-chair), community sector representative. The author emphasizes that the honour of chairing the committee fell to him because he was not a member of any party and represented the UPA Supreme Command. At this time, it was decided that the UHVR would be organized on the basis of individual membership. In addition, it was resolved to hasten the preparation of the UHVR founding convention because the Soviet-German front had already reached the borders of Western Ukraine and was threatening to move further west soon.
The committee’s tasks were not easy. Not only was there need to prepare the convention program and drafts of the organization’s principal constitutional documents, there was also the more difficult task of contacting all the candidates for membership, obtaining their agreement and providing them with warrants to attend the UHVR assembly. It must be noted that all of this had to be done in the hurlyburly of the front zone and under strict German police control. Furthermore, many candidates had changed their places of residence and had to be located. In addition to the previously selected candidates for the UHVR, new candidates were also put forward by the higher UPA commands and OUN leaderships. All candidates had to meet the following political requirements: (1) recognize as the highest aim of the UHVR the establishment of an independent united Ukrainian state; (2) accept the necessity of revolutionary forms of struggle; (3) recognize that Nazi Germany was as much an enemy of Ukrainian statehood as Soviet Russia; (4) accept democracy as the organizational principle of the UHVR and the future Ukrainian state. Not all candidates accepted these positions and many could not be contacted. After three months of tireless work, warrants were prepared for 25 candidates, who were invited to the First General Assembly of the UHVR. The author describes these activities in some detail, at the same time providing brief biographical sketches of all the persons mentioned. He personally held discussions with the candidates representing the UPA Supreme Command - Ivan Vovchuk, Vartolomiy Yevtymovych, Vasyl Potishko, Pavlo Turula and Petro Chuyko. He also describes the events of the UHVR First General Assembly, which took place on July 11-15, 1944, and put an end to the work of the Initiative Committee.
In his description of the work of the Initiative Committee, the author also gives a historical overview of Ukraine during the period of the Second World War. In particular, he gives a detailed analysis of the barbaric occupational policy of Erich Koch, which gave a major impetus to the formation of the UPA. At first, the OUNb Leadership hoped that the Germans would tolerate a Ukrainian state. That is why the renewed Ukrainian state was declared in the Act of June 30 in Lviv. However, the Gestapo immediately arrested the leader of the OUNb, S. Bandera, the head of the government, Ya. Stetsko and the members of his government and many leading OUNb activists. The new OUN Leadership, led by M. Lebed, responded to this challenge by a determined underground struggle against the German occupying power. In the author’s view, the main achievements of this struggle were the extension of the underground network over all of Ukrainian territory and the organization of the UPA. He states that on the eve of the establishment of the UHVR, the forces of the armed struggle, that is, UPA combat units and the underground administration, controlled one-third of the territory of Ukraine. This was the “material base of the UHVR.” A non-party, pan-Ukrainian leadership centre was needed primarily because the armed struggle encompassed people of all viewpoints, belonging to various political parties. It was also needed in order to represent this struggle abroad. And it was to become the unifying centre for all Ukrainians in their struggle for freedom. The author states that leading underground and UPA activists hoped that the war would end with the rout of Nazi Germany and the collapse of the USSR. However, this did not happen. Germany collapsed sooner than expected and the western allies gave the USSR not only Ukraine, but half of Europe, including their allies, for whose sake, supposedly, they had entered the war.
Page 89. Daria Rebet: The origins of the UHVR (memoirs, commentary, reflections)
At the time of establishment of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council (UHVR), the author was a member of the OUN Leadership and chaired the OUN Leadership’s Commission for the Establishment of the UHVR, which was part of the UPA Supreme Command’s Initiative Committee for the preparation of the First General Assembly - the founding convention - of the UHVR. She was also the author of the “Organization of the UHVR.” At the UHVR founding convention, she was elected a member of the presidium. Thus, her memoirs and commentaries are the testimony of a person who was at the very centre of activities related to the preparation and establishment of the UHVR.
The need to establish the UHVR was first raised at a forum of the newlyelected OUN Leadership under R. Shukhevych during the summer of 1943. The Ukrainian armed resistance, which was being organized by the OUN, was growing. In many areas of Ukraine, the UPA and other fighting formations had been established and the underground administration was being built up. The people taking part in this struggle were Ukrainian patriots of various political viewpoints and a pan-Ukrainian, non-party centre was needed to direct their activities. The foreign representation of the armed resistance also needed direction. The author provides a broad analysis of the prevalent situation and recounts the discussions that took place at the time about a national leadership centre.
At first, there was no clear idea of the principles on which this centre would be established. The decision was made to authorize a member of the OUN Leadership, Mykhailo Stepaniak, to conduct talks with the leaders of the OUN faction led by A. Melnyk, as well as activists of former political parties and community organizations. This task was not easy, as legal Ukrainian parties and organizations had been destroyed by the Soviet police organs. All that remained were individual activists from these parties and organizations, particularly in Western Ukraine and abroad. The organization and program of the pan-Ukrainian leadership was to be determined with them.
At the end of February 1944, the second OUN Leadership meeting on this question took place near Lviv. M. Stepaniak and the Rev. I. Hryniokh reported that the talks with A. Melnyk’s OUN faction had failed to bring about co-operation. The author explains the reasons for this failure. The front was approaching and there was a need to speed up the efforts to establish a national leadership centre. It was decided during this meeting that the centre would be organized on the basis of individual representation by political and community activists. During the meeting, the OUN Leadership Commission was elected. Its members were Daria Rebet, chairperson, and Vasyl Okhrymovych and Myroslav Prokop, members. The Commission was to take charge of this question, in co-operation with the Initiative Committee for the establishment of the UHVR, which had been formed by the UPA Supreme Command. V. Okhrymovych was responsible for discussions with candidates for the UHVR, D. Rebet prepared the draft constitution of the UHVR and M. Prokop prepared the political speech for the UHVR founding convention.
At the end of June, the OUN Leadership Commission met with the Initiative Committee in the “Prosvita” building in Lviv. During this meeting, the Commission became part of the Initiative Committee and the details of the UHVR founding convention, which was supposed to take place in a few weeks, were discussed. In particular, various problems were settled regarding the author’s draft of the UHVR organization and the proposal by Vasyl Potishko for the UHVR political platform and program of action. These projects were later accepted by the UHVR founding convention without any substantial changes as the principal documents of the UHVR under the titles “Organization of the UHVR,” and “Platform of the UHVR.”
The author also briefly describes the UHVR founding convention. In particular, she focuses on the speeches by the UPA Supreme Commander, R. Shukhevych, about UPA action, and by M. Lebed, about diplomatic discussions with neighbours and attempts to make contact with the western allies, as well as discussions of the UHVR political platform and organization. She emphasizes especially the contributions to the preparation of the principal UHVR documents of such experienced activists as Kyrylo Osmak, Vasyl Potishko, Vasyl Mudryi and Zenon Pelenskyi. She provides detailed commentary on certain points of the “Organization of the UHVR” which later became the subject of polemics among emigre Ukrainians. The article ends with her personal recollections of leaving Ukraine as a member of the UHVR Foreign Representation.
Page 95. R. Halibey: In the forester's cabin in 1944
The author of this memoir describes the technical service and security arrangements made for the First General Assembly of the UHVR. The author was an OUN activist in Lviv. At the end of June 1944 he was assigned by Daria Rebet to travel to Sambir county to verify the preparations, including security, for a conference of 25 people. In order to deal with this matter, he was given a warrant from Daria Rebet to the local underground administration, OUN Leadership and UPA units.
The author quickly left by train. From the Bukovysko station he made his way to the mountain village of Nedilna, where he made contact with the local OUN leader, Bohdan Kuzma (“Bohdan,” “Morozenko”). Kuzma assured the author that all the preparations had been made and took him for verification to an isolated forester’s cabin located in the forest on a mountain slope. The verification showed that, in fact, everything was ready. The forester’s cabin was sufficiently large to house the expected number of people for the night and was supplied with the necessary bedding. It had a large room with the required furnishings for a conference (paper, pencils, etc.). It was also supplied with food, except for vegetables, milk and meat, which were to be brought fresh from the villages. Among the food supplies there were even good German wines, which one of the UPA units had captured from the German army.
The security arrangements also pleased the author. The forester’s cabin was located in mountain woodland, tens of kilometers from the main roads and German garrisons. The entire area was controlled by underground intelligence and UPA units, which would provide immediate information about any appearance of the German army in the area. Guarding the conference directly would be three UPA companies quartered all around the forester’s cabin at a distance of one to two kilometers; they would secure any required evacuation of the conference participants. The cabin itself was to be protected by an UPA platoon, quartered in the surrounding buildings, which would have telephone and horseback links with the nearest UPA companies. The only thing that concerned the author was that so many local UPA officers and underground leaders knew that an important conference was to take place. In Lviv he was used to stricter secrecy and he feared that information could get to the Germans.
The author notes with satisfaction that the First General Assembly of the UHVR took place successfully, with no noticeable hitches. He regrets that he did not attend all the sessions, but he had to go to Stryi, where one of the convention participants “got stuck.” In conclusion, he describes the bonfire held by the UPA company and the convention participants after the end of the convention.
Page 114. Vasyl Potishko: The social and political concept of the ukrainian national liberation struggle
V. Potishko (1895-1991) was a founding member of the UHVR and the author of its political program, “Platform of the UHVR.” During the Ukrainian liberation struggle of 1917-20, he was a leading military and political activist of the Ukrainian Central Rada and later, the Directorate. Under the NEP, he completed his post-secondary studies and worked in a co-operative. During the 1930s, he moved to Russia and often changed his place of residence in order to avoid NKVD harassment. During the German occupation, he again worked in a co-operative in Kiev and collaborated with the underground. After the war, he lived in Buffalo, USA, and worked with the Foreign Representation of the UHVR (ZP UHVR) and various community organizations.
The author’s article was the introduction to the book Pozytsiyi ukrayinskoho vyzvolnoho rukhu (Positions of the Ukrainian Liberation Movement), published in 1948, which made available for the first time outside of Ukraine articles by the underground political theorists, P. Poltava (Petro Fedun), O. Hornovyi (Osyp Diakiv) and U. Kuzhil. The author gladly welcomes the appearance of these new underground publicists, who shed new light on the political positions of the UPA and the Ukrainian liberation movement and provide deep and original criticism of Russian Bolshevism. The article provides a detailed appraisal of the underground’s political positions. The author notes with satisfaction that these are the same ideas as those held by the leading political activists of the Ukrainian liberation struggle of 1917-1920.
The author summarizes his analysis of the political positions of the Ukrainian liberation underground in 10 points, which he explains in some detail: (1) The liberation struggle is taking place for the establishment of an independent, united Ukrainian state on the ethnographic territory of the Ukrainian people. (2) This struggle is directed against the Russian Bolshevik empire of the USSR, which is the most brutal totalitarian empire in history and aims at the domination of the world and the spiritual and physical annihilation of its subject nations. Ukraine’s allies in this struggle should be the nations enslaved or threatened by this empire. (3) The Ukrainian liberation movement is fighting against all forms of Russian imperialism, which has aims similar to those of the USSR. (4) Ukrainians are struggling against all forms of imperialism for an international order built on equal rights and co-operation of all nations, on the basis of democracy, rule of law and peaceful resolution of conflict. (5) The world is presently heading toward such an order, because capitalist empires are crumbling and colonial nations are becoming independent or demanding economic and political self-rule. (6) The Ukrainian liberation movement is also struggling against chauvinism and imperialistic ideas in Ukraine, for equal rights of national minorities and for peaceful co-existence and cooperation with neighbouring states. (7) It favours a “progressive social-economic order” in Ukraine and the whole world in order to guarantee freedom and well-being to all. (8) “Revolutionary ideas” and “revolutionary action” are essential to the struggle because the ruling empires or classes will not hand over power willingly. (9) The liberation movement should seek support among the broad masses as the only guarantee of victory. (10) The liberation movement must be independent, free from external interference and orientation towards imperialistic states.
The author is concerned by the fact that Ukrainian emigre parties have outdated political programs and calls on Ukrainians to follow the political positions of the underground. Thus, he recommends that readers get to know the works of the underground writers P. Poltava, O. Hornovyi and U. Kuzhil.
Page 130. Mykola Lebed: External political activity of the UHVR general secretariat
The author was the OUN leader from July 1941 to April 1943, head of the Foreign Liaison Section (R-ZZ) of the OUN Leadership from the summer or 1943 to July 1944, and UHVR General Secretary of Foreign Affairs from July 1944. His article is a detailed account of the external political activity of the Ukrainian resistance during the war and the early post-war years. The article is divided into four chapters, covering relations with the Polish underground, discussions with the Hungarian army, discussions with representatives of the Romanian government and attempts to make contacts with the western world. In the introduction, the author sets out the difficult international situation of the Ukrainian liberation movement during the Second Word War. It was aimed against both the German and the Soviet occupying powers and for this reason, was isolated from the outside world, as none of the allies of the two warring sides wanted to get involved in the “Ukrainian problem.” The Ukrainian resistance was also isolated from the Ukrainian diaspora in the west, being cut off by the fronts of the warring armies. However, it was possible to some extent to break through this isolation.
Contacts with the Polish underground, which was connected to the Polish exile government in London, began in 1942. The participants on the Ukrainian side were Yevhen Vretsiona, Mykhailo Stepaniak, Myroslav Prokop, Zenon Matla and others. These contacts were complicated by the fact that the Polish government wanted to restore the Polish state on Ukrainian lands as well (pre-1939 borders) and until 1944 was unwilling to recognize the right to existence of any Ukrainian state. Furthermore, armed conflict broke out between the two movements in 1943. The author describes the contacts and discussions that took place as of the spring of 1943. Only at the discussions of March 8 - 10, 1944, did the representatives of the two sides sign a “Protocol” intended to normalize relations and begin cooperation. Taking part in these discussions were Rev. Ivan Hryniokh, Yevhen Vretsiona and Viktor Andriyevskyi. What was most significant about this “Protocol” was the recognition by the Polish side of the right of Ukrainians to statehood and the agreement by both sides that the freedom of both nations was threatened and they needed each other’s friendship and co-operation. The matter of settling borders was left to the governments of the future Polish and Ukrainian states. However, the agreement could not be put into effect, as the front soon moved west and the Red Army occupied all of Ukrainian territory and Poland. Further, the author describes the discussions that took place between UHVR and Polish government representatives in London in 1945-1946. Discussions were also conducted in Rome by Oleksander Sokil and Stepan Lenkavskyi. The author also briefly describes the co-operation that took place between the UPA and the Polish Armija Krajowa (AK, later WiN) in 1945-1947. They conducted some common battle operations against communists - the attack on the town of Verbkovychi and on Hrubeshiv. These discussions were conducted in the name of the UPA and the UHVR by Lt. Col. Yuriy Lopatynskyi.
In 1943, in Volyn, the UPA and the occupying Hungarian army corps arranged for a secret peace and some co-operation. Taking part in the talks were Andriy Dolnytskyi, Omelian Logush and Rostyslav Voloshyn. The author provides details of this agreement. Later, the talks moved to Lviv, to be conducted at a “higher level.” At the beginning of December 1943, the Ukrainian delegation made up of Myron Lutskyi, Rev. I. Hryniokh and Ye. Vretsiona flew secretly by Hungarian plane to Budapest to hold talks with the chief of staff of the Hungarian army, Colonel General Ferentz Shombateli (Sombatayi). During these talks, the previous agreement concerning peace and some military co-operation was confirmed. The UPA refrained from interfering in Hungarian army operations in the Carpathians and in exchange, it obtained arms, military equipment and other services. The liaison officer with the Hungarian headquarters was Captain Andriy Dolnytskyi and in the Carpathians, Yaroslav Strutynskyi.
Contacts with the Romanians began with Tymish Semchyshyn, OUN leader in Transdnister region, who in 1943 had been imprisoned in Romania. In December 1943, he was released so that he could help make contacts with the UPA and the Ukrainian resistance. Discussions with the Romanians took place in Kysheniv on March 18 and 19, 1944. The Ukrainian delegation included Rev. I. Hryniokh, L. Shankovsky, Captain M.Duzhyi and T. Semchyshyn, representatives of the Initiative Committee for the Establishment of the UHVR, the UPA and the OUN; the Romanian delegation consisted of Dimitru Baranchu, legal counsel for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Col. Ionescu, Lt. Col. Perzhu and a major, military representatives. The two sides agreed to a peace, the release of Ukrainian political prisoners and military co-operation. However, no common “Protocol” was signed during these discussions because of the contentious Romanian point regarding recognition by Ukrainians of the permanence of the 1939 border with Romania. Later events, in particular, the movement of the front to Romanian territory, prevented this co-operation from developing any further.
Contacts with the western allies were impossible, because the Ukrainian resistance was not able to get its representatives beyond the boundaries of Germanoccupied Europe. In 1943, the Foreign Liaison Section decided to send a mission to the Yugoslav partisans led by Mykhailovych, where there were some allied missions. Only in March 1944 did this prove possible and K. Mykytchuk and Ye. Stakhiv left for the Balkans; they were later joined by Roman Myrovych, Yaroslav Yavnyi and Natalka Tiushka. Eventually, Mykytchuk reached the Italian democratic partisans, where he served as UPA and UHVR representative to the end of the war. He helped UHVR member Ye. Vretsiona and Roman Prokop get to Switzerland. However, they were isolated in a refugee camp. Mykytchuk also had contacts with representatives of the British mission and gave them a memorandum. Contacts with the allies became possible only after the end of the war, when the UHVR General Secretariat of Foreign Affairs and UHVR representatives found themselves on territory controlled by the allied forces. The author writes briefly about the memorandum of the General Secretariat of Foreign Affairs and other actions taken in response to various moves by the USSR, for example, the forced repatriation of refugees to the USSR, liquidation of the Greek-Catholic Church, deportation of Ukrainians from Poland, etc. These actions did not receive much coverage in the international press, because nobody wanted to annoy the USSR, but they had some influence on allied policy.
The article serves as a good commentary on the documents of the UHVR General Secretariat of Foreign Affairs published in this volume.
Page 153. Rev. Ivan Hryniokh: Forty years ago in Budapest
This article is an account of the Ukrainian-Hungarian discussions which took place in Budapest in the first half of December 1943. At the time, the author was a member of the underground, where he worked in the Foreign Liaison Section as a diplomat of the Ukrainian resistance, taking part in discussions with the Polish underground, the Romanian government and representatives of the German occupational government. The head of the Foreign Liaison Section, M. Lebed, informed the author that in Volyn co-operation had begun between the UPA and the Hungarian occupying force. Now the Hungarians had extended an invitation for discussions at a higher level to take place in Budapest. The Ukrainian delegation consisted of Myron Lutskyi (head), Yevhen Vretsiona and the author. The delegation was to travel, in secret from the Germans, by Hungarian military aircraft.
At the end of November or beginning of December, the author was informed of the departure time. At the specified time, he was picked up by a Hungarian car on a Lviv street and taken to the headquarters of the city Hungarian Supreme Command. The other Ukrainian delegates were already there. They were given Hungarian military uniforms and rifles with bayonets and taken by convoy to the military airport in Sknyliv, which had German security. The author was travelling as Col. Padani’s batman. As soon as they boarded the transport plane, it took off and headed south. The Hungarian officers were nervous, for they feared that the German could still discover them. They calmed down only when they had flown over the Carpathians and reached Hungarian air space.
Late in the evening the plane landed in Budapest. The Ukrainian delegation was surprised to be met at the airport by a large delegation of high-ranking Hungarian officer and state officials. Later it turned out that the coded telegram sent from Ukraine did not say that the arrival was to be secret. For this reason, they were welcomed openly as a delegation from a friendly country. The delegation was put up in the luxurious villa of Major Korponayi, who was responsible for providing food and all conveniences. However, they had to wait for the discussions because, unexpectedly, Hitler called Gen. Sombatayi to his quarters. So the Ukrainian delegation had time to look around Budapest, become acquainted with many eminent Hungarians and see how the residents of the city lived. Their hosts made every effort to make their stay pleasant and the author describes it in a lively manner. His strongest impressions were that the city was prosperous and did not feel the effects of war, there was no allied bombing and no persecution of Jews, although Hungary was in the German sphere of influence.
The discussions took place around the middle of December. Disregarding secrecy, an honour guard of two rows of Hungarian officers was placed in front of the building and welcoming speeches were pronounced. The discussions took place according to the Ukrainian delegation’s program. During the introduction, M. Lutskyi said that the Ukrainian delegation was acting in the name of the pan-Ukrainian resistance leadership which was just in the process of being formed, that is, the future UHVR. He emphasized that Ukrainians were struggling against both communist Russian and Hitler’s Germany and wanted to establish a common front of all the smaller nations against these empires. He declared that Ukrainians did not see any reason for fighting against Hungarians, but rather, wished to co-operate with them, as well as with their other neighbours. After this, discussions of individual points began. The two sides agreed to put off contentious issues for settlement by the future governments of the two states and to put an end to hostile action between the Hungarian army and the UPA. The proposal that the Hungarian army help the UPA with weapons, military equipment and training engendered a longer discussion about how this could be done without discovery by the Germans. The Ukrainians suggested that weapons be supplied by means of UPA attacks on stores guarded by Hungarians, which the Hungarians would claim to have been unable to defend. And training personnel could be sent to the UPA in the guise of deserters. The Hungarians also agreed to give take in refugees from the Red Army and allow a Ukrainian representation with unofficial status to remain in Budapest. The two sides undertook to keep their agreement in strictest secrecy. At the end of the discussions, the Ukrainian delegation suggested that Hungary break off its alliance with Germany, which was surely going to lose the war. This caused confusion among the Hungarian officers and after a moment of silence, Gen. Sombatayi said, “No, I would rather be hung by Stalin than shot by Hitler.” Unfortunately, that is what happened. The author then describes the delegation’s return to Lviv and offers some conclusions. The peace with the Hungarian army lasted until the end of the war and there were no serious disagreements. An UPA liaison officer, Captain A. Dolnytskyi, remained with the Hungarian army headquarters and he organized training of UPA radio operators and assistance for refugees. The Hungarians also “handed over” to the UPA a certain amount of weaponry, supplies and equipment. But further developments prevented the points of the agreement from being realized. The front did not stop at the Carpathians, but quickly moved through Romania to Hungary. Because of this, some of the points in the agreement became non-applicable. Also, the hopes of the Hungarians that the western allies would protect the independence of their state did not materialize.
Page 163. Yevhen Stakhiv: With the UPA and UHVR mission to Italy in 1944-45
These memoirs recount the dramatic attempts of the UPA Supreme Command and later, the UHVR, to make contact with the western allies. In January 1944, the author and Karpo Mykytchuk joined the German construction firm O.T. (Organisation Todt), in Lviv, und_er the pseudonyms I. Kraus and S. Ivanytskyi. They were to go with this organization to Dalmatia in Yugoslavia and make contact with the partisans led by Gen. D. Mikhailovich, where there were supposed to be some allied missions.
But in Dalmatia they discovered that Mikhailovich's partisans no longer existed. It was more realistic to seek contacts with the Italian democratic resistance. On March 25, 1944, the author met in Lviv with M. Lebed and the Rev. I. Hryniokh and a new plan was made. Also assigned to the mission were Roman Myrovych, who knew Italian, and the Italian officer, Paolo Simon, who was a member of the UPA. Myrovych was appointed head of the mission. Later, Yaroslav Yavnyi and Natalka Tiushka also went to Italy.
The mission base was established in Trieste, from where the members travelled to other cities, seeking contacts with democratic partisans. The assignment was not an easy one, because the area was dominated by communist partisans, who were controlled by Soviet intelligence. Roman Myrovych made a miraculous escape from the communist partisans, only to fall back into their hands and be killed. Yavnyi was also killed. Only Mykytchuk managed to make contact with the Italian democratic partisans, around Udine, north of Milan, at the end of the summer of 1944. He stayed with them as an UPA representative to the end of the war and made contacts with the British mission, which he gave a memorandum on the UPA struggle. The author travelled on two more occasions to make UHVR contacts, to Krakow and to Bratislava, in July and October, 1944. He brought back with him Roman Prokop and UHVR member Yevhen Vretsiona. With the help of Italian partisans (contacts of K. Mykytchuk), they travelled to Switzerland, where they were to conduct informative work about the Ukrainian struggle for freedom.
The events recounted here took place under German occupation. The participants were in constant danger and often had to make bold decisions. The author provides lively descriptions of numerous adventures and tells how difficulties were overcome.
Page 181. Karpo Mykytchuk: Mission in Italy
At the beginning of summer, 1943, the author agreed to be part of the UPA mission to the western allies. The mission was organized by the OUN Foreign Liaison Section, which was led by Mykola Lebed, later the UHVR foreign affairs secretary. According to the first plan, the members of the mission were supposed to make contact with Gen. Dragutin Mikhailovich’s Yugoslav partisans, where they hoped to find some allied missions.
In October, 1943, the author left for Yugoslavia, going through underground channels, along with Lt. Ravich, a Serb, who had escaped from a German prisoner-of-war camp and joined the UPA. However, in Transcarpathia they discovered that in Uzhorod, the underground contacts were broken and the author returned to Lviv. The second attempt began at the end of February 1944. At this time, the author and Yevhen Stakhiv left for Dalmatia under the pseudonyms S. Ivanytskyi and I. Kraus, as part of the team of the German construction firm, O.T. (Organisation Todt). In Dalmatia, they discovered that Mykhailovich’s partisans were no longer active. So they left the O.T. organization and moved to Trieste, in order to seek links with Italian democratic partisans. They were joined there from Ukraine by Roman Myrovych, the mission chief, and Yaroslav Yavnyi. The search for contacts was not easy because in the cities there was tight police control and in the villages, communist partisans were active.
Only at the end of summer, 1944, did the author go to Spilimbergo, near Udine, where he had the address of a family which was said to have a relative among the democratic partisans. There he made contact with partisans, but they were communist partisans (the “Garibaldi” organization). With difficulty, he escaped from them and joined the Third Brigade (“Justicia,” commanded by Giorgio Simonutte (“Miro”). This brigade was part of the “Osoppo Friuli” organization, commanded by Manlio Cencig (“Mario”). The author remained with the headquarters of this organization until the end of the war, first as an UPA representative and later, also as a UHVR representative. The author had at his disposal two couriers - Dino Menegon and Odetta Butti.
During his stay with the Italian partisans, the author held informational meetings, in which he talked about the Ukrainian struggle for freedom against the Germans and Soviets. He also assisted the command in their discussions with Cossack units, which were with the German army. He had several meetings with the commander of the democratic partisans, Candido Grassi (“Verdi”), who helped get the UHVR members Yevhen Vretsiona and Roman Prokop to Switzerland. The author also met with the British mission representatives Mac Ferson (probably a pseudonym) and Patrick Martin (“Smith”), whom he informed about the UPA struggle. He gave Patrick Martin a memorandum about the UPA struggle.
Roman Myrovych and Yaroslav Yavnyi sought other ways of making contacts with Italian democratic partisans. However, they fell in among the communists. Caught in a difficult situation, Yavnyi killed himself with a grenade, while Myrovych disappeared without a trace.
The author visited Italy in 1972 and 1975. There he was welcomed by former Italian partisan friends. He took a tour along the former partisan paths, visited the homes in which he was quartered and erected a monument on the grave of Yaroslav Yavnyi. With the help of Italian friends, he also made contact with Patrick Martin and obtained from him a copy of the underground memorandum he had given him in 1945.
Page 190. Andriy Dolnytskyi: Meetings with Col. O. Danylenko ("Danko")
We publish here a letter from the author to R. Petrenko, dated August 27, 1981, about Col. O. Danylenko of the UNR army and his wife, Natasha, who were in the UPA and later in the Hungarian partisan force. The letter also provides information about the author, who in 1943 was at the headquarters of the UPA Southern (Kremenets) Military Region, and later served as liaison officer from UPA General Headquarters to the Hungarian army headquarters. The letter gives some interesting details about UPA co-operation with the Hungarian army in 1944-1945, a topic on which Dolnytskyi was preparing to write at greater length when he died on July 6, 1982.
Before the outbreak in 1941 of the German-Soviet war, the author became an interpreter for an infantry regiment (later, division) of the German Wermacht. His division was moving through northern Ukraine from Kholm and Liuboml to Kharkiv and Oskol, where during winter the front remained stationary. In August 1942, the author went on leave with the intention of not returning to the front, because he was disillusioned with German policy towards Ukraine. After various adventures, he found work in a co-operative in Zdolbuniv, Rivne oblast, along with OUN activist Rostyslav Pavlenko. In June 1943, he entered the UPA and became chief of intelligence for the UPA Southern Military Region. At this time, he developed UPA co-operation with the Hungarian army in Volyn, which he described in a memoir (“Litopys UPA,” Vol. 5).
The author met O. Danylenko in 1941, when the front was moving eastward. Danylenko was then chairman of the raion council in Kostopil. In 1942, the Gestapo arrested him, because the raion police chief, Taras Borovets (“Bulba”), later a renowned insurgent commander, had entered the underground. Danylenko’s wife, Natasha, travelled to Berlin, where owing to the connections of Col. Rohoza she succeeded in having her husband released. He then became chairman of the raion council in Mizoch. He helped the author obtain a discharge from the army. In 1943, he and Natasha entered the UPA and using the pseudonym “Danko,” he became commander of a cavalry unit. This unit had success in many battles. “Danko” boasted of this unit’s skill to the representative of the Hungarian mission to the UPA, Col. Marton, in late 1943. Before the arrival of the Red Army in 1944, Danylenko was discharged from the UPA because of his age and he went abroad. However, in October 1944, the author sought him out at the request of the Hungarian allies, in order to have him train officers for the Hungarian partisans.
The author writes very briefly about his work as liaison officer to the Hungarian army. He says more about the organization of the Hungarian partisans under the name “Kopiashi.” In October 1944, when Ukraine was already behind the front lines, the Hungarian General Zako asked the author to help in the organization of the Hungarian partisan force by providing instructors. The partisans were to operate behind Soviet lines in Hungary. The commander of the partisan force was Miklosh Korpînai; another member of the staff was Col. Marton. They had already established a training camp for officers and non-commissioned officers commanded by Neimet-Frits in the village of Doba, near the town of Papa in western Hungary. The author brought Danylenko and other instructors to the camp and arranged for “secret” training to be provided there for UPA parachutists, who were under the responsibility of his adjutant, Yaroslav Strutynskyi. He recalls that later the camp was visited by the UHVR General Secretary of External Affairs, Mykola Lebed, UHVR member Ivan Bahrianyi and officers of the UPA foreign mission, Ivan Butkovskyi and Yuriy Lopatynskyi. I. Bahrianyi lectured the Ukrainian and Hungarian students about the USSR. After the fall of Budapest (March 13, 1945), the Hungarian army headquarters decided not to initiate partisan war against the USSR. At the end of April 1945, the camp was disbanded and the author, together with two “Kopiashi” companies, set out for the Austrian Alps, in order to surrender to the western allies.
Page 198. Yaroslav Strutynskyi: Captain Andriy Kysil-Dolnytskyi
Captain Andriy Kysil-Dolnytskyi (“Holubenko”) served as liaison officer from UPA General Headquarters to the headquarters of the Hungarian army in 1944-45. The author was his assistant. He describes his work with Kysil from May 1944 to the spring of 1945.
The author met Kysil in May 1944, when he arrived at the UPA Stanyslaviv Military Region headquarters, commanded by Ivan Butkovskyi (“Hutsul”). Kysil informed them that an agreement, secret from the Germans, existed between UPA General Headquarters and the Hungarian army headquarters regarding non-aggression and co-operation. Kysil was named liaison officer from the UPA Supreme Command to the Hungarian front located on the northern side of the Carpathian Mountains for the defense of mountain routes through the Carpathians to Hungary. For this mission, he asked the command of the UPA Stanyslaviv Military Region to assign him an assistant who knew the terrain and the local UPA commanders. Ivan Butkovskyi named the author Kysil’s assistant.
During the spring and for half the summer, the author travelled through the Carpathian Mountains, where he visited various Hungarian staffs, initiated cooperation between them and the local UPA commanders, resolved conflicts, etc. This was no easy assignment, as until this time the two sides had been enemies and many conflicts had accumulated between them. The conflicts related primarily to brutal treatment of the Ukrainian population by Hungarian soldiers and UPA actions of disarming small Hungarian units and confiscating their goods. After the peace agreement, the UPA did not bother Hungarian units; they bought provisions and feed for their horses for cash or traded them for goods and Soviet weapons, which they took from the Red Army. In July 1944, the Soviet-German front moved westward, to the Visla River in Poland. The Hungarian army continued to defend the Carpathian lines. At first, the Red Army had only small numbers of troops on this part of the front. Kysil spent most of his time at the Hungarian general headquarters, while the author maintained contact with the UPA General Headquarters behind Soviet lines.
In the autumn of 1944, it became more difficult to cross the front. The author joined Kysil at the Hungarian general headquarters to carry out various tasks. The Hungarians had organized a camp for retraining of officers and non-commissioned officers for the Hungarians partisan force, which was to operate behind Red Army lines when the Red Army entered Hungary. They were asking the UPA to provide experienced instructors. Kysil also made contact with the group of the General Secretary of External Affairs, M. Lebed, which was in Slovakia. He tried to make radio and direct contact for the group with UPA General Headquarters. Kysil, the author and a small UPA unit settled in the village of Daba, where the Hungarian partisan training camp was established. From this base, they conducted their work. The author speaks of his travels and describes various details of hiswork. He recalls a visit to the camp by Lebed and UHVR member Ivan Bahrianyi. Before the arrival of the Red Army, the Hungarians decided not to begin a partisan war. The author headed west, followed a little later by Kysil and the Hungarian “partisans,” in order to surrender to the western allies.
Page 207. Liuba Komar: Memoirs of an UPA radio operator
In early spring 1944, the author was working as a courier between Ukrainian armed underground leadership centres. She was living in Lviv and, mainly as a cover for her underground work, was enrolled as a forestry student at the Polytechnical Institute. In April 1944, she was assigned to train as an underground radio operator. After completion of the training, she was to go abroad with an underground delegation and maintain radio contact between the delegation and the underground leadership in Ukraine.
The author travelled to where the course was held with Marta Hrytsai, who was given the same assignment. The course had about 25 students, most of them young women. They were taught by “Viktor” and another instructor, who was not known to her even by his pseudonym. Only from their accents was the author able to identify them as being from eastern Ukraine, probably Red Army officers. The classes were given at night in village houses, and later, in a school. During the day the students remained in their secret quarters. Every few weeks they were transferred to a different village, in order to avoid discovery. “Viktor” paid particular attention to the author and Marta Hrytsai, as he was apparently informed of the importance of their mission. Sometime during the summer, the students were moved to a forester’s cabin in the forests of the Mykolayiv raion, where they were guarded by the UPA unit commanded by “Holub.” There they began to do radio broadcasting. The students were divided into groups and sent into the forest, where they made radio contact with each other. Once they had completed their training, in early July 1944, the students left for their various assignments.
At the end of July, the author and Marta Hrytsai joined the group of the UHVR General Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Mykola Lebed, in the village of Bukovysko, Sambir county. This group was preparing to go abroad. The author still had to travel to the village of Lypa, Dolyna county, where the main UPA radio station was located, to settle the times of the broadcasts, wavelengths, codes and other details. Not long after her return, Lebed’s group made its way west, staying for some time in Bratislava, Slovakia, then in Vienna. They did not try to make radio contact with Ukraine, because there was tight police control and living conditions were very difficult. In March 1945, they got to Zagreb, Croatia. There the author had access to the powerful Zagreb radio station. However, she did not succeed in making contact with Ukraine.
The memoirs are written in an interesting and lively manner. They include many observations and details about underground existence and daily life. The author speaks in greatest detail about the radio operator course, travels along partisan paths and various adventures and events of that time. She speaks more briefly about the preparations for going abroad, the journey itself and the unsuccessful attempts to make radio contact with the base in Ukraine.