In 1933 the Nazis took over the power in Germany. Immediately they started developing a system of isolation and destruction of their political opponents, unreliable and “harmful” groups of people. In their policy the Nazis used the experience of Soviet Russia as an example, since the first concentration camp in the USSR appeared in 1918.
Independent Ukraine inherited from its history of occupation many unexplored and controversial topics. Prisons, ghettos, concentration camps, places of mass murder are monumental witnesses of crime committed by totalitarian regime. Now there is a great need to study all those topics, which for a long time were marked as “top secret”.
We want to declassify Ukrainian history with the help of documents and facts that we have gathered together, and also using our research projects.
If you are interested in the topics discussed by the Museum or if you want to find historical truth – we encourage you to cooperation. We invite all researchers to use digital archive of the Museum. Your researchers may be sent to the following e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (Please type “publication” in the subject of your e-mail).
An underground organization Ukrainian National Front (UNF) existed in the territory of Western Ukraine from the first half of the 1960s to 1967. Its aim was to achieve the independence of Ukraine. The periodical Volya i Batkivshchyna was an important tool of ideological struggle and criticism of Soviet government for the UNF. Authors of publications that appeared in the magazine rose the topical problem of political harassment.
Everyday life of participants of Ukrainian insurgent movement during the Second World War and post-war period was an experience of survival and struggle under difficult Spartan conditions. Soldiers of the Army were constantly threatened by danger and death. That is why basic personal needs were of minor importance.
Life changed drastically for population of Western Ukraine in September 1939. Local people got “cultural shock” because of the level of culture that was imposed by the so-called “liberators” in 1939-1941.
The role of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church in Western Ukraine was always more important than it was in Over Dnieper Ukraine. Confession-wise the church was subordinate to Rome, but according to its form and content the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church remained a Ukrainian church. Many leaders of Ukrainian national movement were sons of Greek-Catholic priests.
Retreat of the Red Army from the territory of Ukraine in summer-autumn 1941 was marked with columns of prisoners of war, disorderly evacuation of population, forced mobilization, burnt bridges, ruined enterprises and means of communication as well as ruined urban and rural objects, poisoned provision and water.
The biggest camp for prisoners of war in the territory of the district “Galicia” during the years of German occupation was a stationary camp (Stalag) #328 – “Citadel”. It was set up on July 1-2, 1941, on the second day of the Wehrmacht invasion, in the downtown of Lviv in the territory of the former “Citadel” fortress and functioned until July 1944.
Mass flee of dwellers of Carpatho-Ukraine to the USSR in 1939-1941 was one of the greatest migration movements of the civil population in the beginning of the Second World War. This was the reaction of local people to Hungarian occupation in March 1939 and invasion of the Red Army to Western Ukraine in September the same year.
The Jewish ghetto and Yaniv camp of forced labor in Lviv occupy a special place in the system of German places of forced labor. Their role in national memory of the Jewish people and of civil population of Galicia during the occupation period can be compared with Auschwitz-Birkenau and Majdanek in Poland and it won’t be an overstatement.
The Bolshevik repressive system started the liquidation of Ukrainians in the 1920s. Taking into consideration strategic location of Ukraine and the fact that Ukrainians put up resistance, Kreml decided to conduct a more intensive policy concerning the population of the country.