“The “cleansing” has started. People were deported. The gates were always locked at night. People who were late had to pay to get in. But later it was prohibited to lock the gates. Why? So that NKGB can easily come in and deport a family. Usually a family was given 20 minutes to get ready. What can a person take along? Almost nothing. Some warm clothes and a few other items and that was all. The rest of belongings had to stay at home. Do you think that that house was left empty? Never. After three or four days some commander or someone else started living there. But from there, from Russia, from the East, not from Ukraine.”
Yevhen Kutsyk (1927)
Yevhen was born on September 7th, 1927, in Lviv. In 1934 he started studying at “Ridna shkola” named after M.Shashkevych. After the coming of the Soviets in 1939 he studied at a secondary school #34. During the Nazi occupation he studied at the Second State gymnasium in Lviv. In 1943 he joined the Youth branch of air defence. He underwent trainings in Krakow (Poland), and in the village of Malta (Austria) as well as in the camp of the division “Galicia” in the town of Neuhammer (Germany) and training on radio communication in the town of Nurnberg (Germany). In May of 1945 Yevhen Kutsyk came back to Lviv. In autumn of 1945 he entered Lviv forest ingeneering institute. On October 10th, 1945, he was arrested by a counter-intelligence service “Smersh”. At first he was kept on the premises of “Smersh” on 17 Lysenka St. In January 1946 Yevhen was transferred to the prison “Brygidky” in Lviv. On February 28th, 1946, he was sentenced by the Military Tribunal to 15 years of corrective-labor camps. Until the spring of 1946 Yevhen was kept in Lviv Transit prison #25. On April 25th, 1946, he was deported from Lviv to the town of Nakhodka (Far East). He served his sentence in the camps of Magadan region in Kolyma (“Hvardiyets”, Ust-Omchah, Berlah). Yevhen was released in 1957. After he came back to Lviv he studied at the Lviv State University. He worked at the Lviv factory “Mikroprylad”. Nowadays Yevhen lives in Lviv.
Deportation from Western Ukraine, 1939-1941
Setting up collective farms in Western Ukraine, 1939-1941
“Collective farms were being formed. It was horrible. A farmer who was working, who had a few horses, a few cows, he was considered to be a “kulak”. What kind of a name is it, “kulak”? How can a person be called “kulak”? Kulak, as far as I understand, is a fist. So collective farms were being formed. They were collecting everything for them. Threshing barns were destroyed, carts were taken away. It would have been not so bad if it was used for people, but it was destroyed. They just destroyed everything.”
Trident in the courtyard of a Lviv school, 1940
“During the Soviet rule, in 1940, the courtyard was big. Now the last time I checked it was smaller, a part of it was fenced to use for other purposes. It was a very clean courtyard. The first snow covered the ground. And somebody trampled on the snow a huge trident – a national symbol of Ukraine. He trampled it with his traces on the snow. It created quite an emergency situation. How come? We were all under the Soviet rule and then all of a sudden there is a trident? Everybody was interrogated. KGB workers suspected everyone. Of course, little pupils were not suspected, but high school pupils and there parents were suspected. But somehow this issue was solved.”