Page 466. At the edge of a dream and reality
Memoirs of Ivan Lyko cover the period from the spring of 1945 to the spring of 1955. During that time for nearly two and a half years the author participated in the Ukrainian liberation struggle, as a member of the OUN underground in Lemkivshchyna, in the IV Raion, of the Nadraion 'Beskyd'.
On September 19, 1947 the author with five other insurgents went into a raid that was to take him to West Germany. On the territory of Czechoslovakia he was arrested and on May 18, 1948 together with other 113 captured UPA members he was extradited to Poland where he was jailed for 7 years. He was released from prison in 1955.
In the first part of his memoirs he describes his service in the raion SB (Security Service) unit from May 1945 to June 1946 and subsequently, until August 1947 as a secretary to 'Chornota', the OUN leader of the 4th Raion.
He was influenced to join the liberation struggle by the unenviable conditions of life that the Ukrainians in general and the inhabitants of his village Bos'ko (Besko in Polish) had experienced under Polish and German rule. He also ascribes a great deal of influence to youth organizations Plast and Luh ad to the Ukrainian school which were organized in 1939-1940 by the emigrants from Galicia who escaped the Soviet rule. The hatred between Ukrainians and Poles, which grew steadily in the twentieth century and culminated in the forcible repatriation of Ukrainians in 1945 from their ancient lands to the USSR is also described in detail.
The rest of the first section is devoted to descriptions of his life in the underground and the functions that he performed there.
The second part describes his raid to West Germany with five other insurgents. After only two days they divided themselves into two groups, each composed of three man. He talks about his trip trough Slovakia in positive terms and mentions that Slovaks generally were extremely friendly and willing to extend help to Ukrainian insurgents. After some six weeks of continuous march he made it to the Czech-Austrian border, where unfortunately he was captured by Czech police, sent to Brno, Banska Bystrica and finally to Koshytsi (Kosice) from where together with other 113 imprisoned Ukrainian insurgents he was extradited to Poland.
The third part describes the routine of prison life in Communist Poland which he had to endure for the next seven years. He was condemned to life imprisonment by the Military Tribunal in Peremyshl (Przemysl) on January 19, 1949 and transported to the Central Prison in Goleniow. The rest of this section is devoted to prison routine and the psychological trauma that he had to endure for the next seven years until his amnesty in April 1955.
Page 601. At the edge of two worlds
Mykola Terefenko ('Medvid') begins his memoirs with the attack on February 19, 1945 on his village Pashova by the 400 strong Polish band supplemented by the Polish State Militia (Police) from Ropenka., Mychkovets' and Lis'ko (Lesko). The village was pillaged, and seven inhabitants were killed among them a boy of 12 and a woman of 72. Also 19 houses were burned to the ground. The author survived by hiding in a well.
The author describes the national composition of the village where there lived 5 Polish, 7 Jewish and 250 Ukrainian families. After the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact the village found itself in the USSR. Terefenko describes in some detail the oppressive Soviet regime and the criminal destruction of innocent people by the Soviet State Police especially on the eve and at the start of the Soviet-German war in 1941.
Subsequently the author found himself in the Ukrainian underground where he served in the SB unit of the Vth Raion under the leadership of 'Orlyk'. In 1947, after the 'Akcja Wisla' on permission of leader 'Arkadii' (Ivan Kryvuts'kyi), with thee other insurgents he began his raid to West Germany. He describes Slovaks as being friendly and Czechs as being very unfriendly to Ukrainian insurgents. Near Ceske Budejovice he was captured, sent to Kosice in Slovakia and eventually after the events of June 19, 1948, when the Communists gained power, he was extradited to Poland. He spent 6 years in Jaworzno Concentration Camp, Montelupich in Krakow, Riashiv (Rzeszow) and Peremysl (Przemysl), and finally in the Central Prison in Goleniow, in latter prison some 5 years. He was released in August 1954. The author describes in great detail his harsh life and the life of other Ukrainians in Polish prison.