Любомир Полюга

* 1925

  • -It was very awful. Usually it happened at night. The soldiers came. The soldiers and party members together with the army began the arrests. They had come to some house, some family and ordered them to... gather their things immediately. They had half an hour to collect everything that they could take. Almost certainly only what they could take by hand. This is the way they were taken. Families were deported together. Cars waited outside, or cart if it happened in a village. Then they were transported to transit centers, where people were loaded into so called “cattle wagons” that were closed with bars. Then they were deported. They were deported in terrible conditions. -Was anybody from your family or friends was deported in that time? -Not during the first deportation. During the first wave of deportations nobody from my family was deported apart from my uncle. The rest were deported during the second wave. Among our family 16 people were arrested.

  • "Yes, the Nazis were shooting as well, and terrorizing the same. They were also shooting many people after denunciation. The difference was that the Nazis did not abuse the people much, they shot quickly unlike the Bolsheviks. Certainly we cannot compare, except for the prisons they used. Because they were against the OUN, against Ukraine. They were against everything Ukrainian, they considered Ukrainians their enemies..."

  • -The Cinema showed all the events taking place in the Soviet Union. Moreover, everything was shown with a patriotic, Bolshevik spirit… There were performances. There was a press service as well, but all Soviet. In the press everything Soviet was beautiful, but everything Ukrainian was ridiculed. Everything Ukrainian should be destroyed. -What salaries were in that time? How did people live? -Salaries were small. They were so small. There were huge queues in the stores. There were no products in the stores. The trade was such. - Were there shortages? -What? -Were there shortages at that time? - Yes, absolutely. The shortages were absolutely everywhere. Some things were totally unattainable. It was possibly to buy some of them at the street markets. But in the stores and shops there was almost nothing. In the stores were only long lines for what was given. Sometimes they gave a bit of sugar, sometimes flour or something else. -Where did the products disappear? -The products… If the products were not replenished, they ended quickly – but reserves existed in some places.

  • I was led into a special, long, dark room without windows. And I sat down under powerful lamps. These lights were directed at me and the light burned my eyes, clouding my vision. During this time I was afraid of losing my mind. It lasted for three days. On the other side of the room the interrogator sat in the dark. They constantly relieved one another because they could not bear it; they asked me the same questions. I prayed to God not become confused; lose my mind or say something superfluous. By such methods the human psyche is being broken. I survived it. Then they used second method – sleep deprivation. They didn’t allow me to sleep for two weeks. It was like this: five minutes after the command "Release" they summoned me to the investigator. There they beat me, spoke to me and ten minutes before getting up they led me into the cell, so I just had time to lie down, and immediately they woke me up. In the day-time special guards had to watch me, making sure that I didn’t sleep. When I leaned on the wall and nodded off, the guard opened the “kormushka” – a little window through which they passed meal, and as strongly as he could, he slammed the iron flap… He drove me crazy.

  • -…in the next room Oksana cried all the time. I have already known my Oksana because I called her as Oksana. They beat her, tortured her. She was screaming, crying awfully. And in this atmosphere he interrogated me. Finally he took the revolver and aimed at me. I heard a shot. -Where was he aiming? -He aimed at t my eyes, my head. I heard a shot and saw a smoke from the revolver, but I was still standing. You know I had such a wild feeling at that moment. I thought, is it possible that a dead person continues standing for some time? I saw him laughing. “Are you frightened?” The interrogator said that I was lucky that that day there was a name-day of his son and he didn’t want to sin on that day. But he promised to kill me tomorrow. He said to me to think about that until the next day. And Oksana, who was in the next room, stopped crying and screaming after the shot. These were their methods of blackmail.

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    witness' home , 23.06.2009

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Despite all our ordeals we regretted never

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Любомир Полюга

Lubomyr Poluga was born in Lviv in 1925, receiving his elementary education at Prince Lev Public School. From 1937-1943 he studied in Lviv at the State Academic Gymnasium under Ukrainian instruction.From 1942 he was a member of ‚‘Unatstvo‘‚, the youth branch of the OUN. In 1943 he entered Lviv Medical University.In 1944 he organized the underground headquarters of UPA leader Roman Shukhevych (Taras Chuprynka) in a Kurkova street (now Lysynka st.).On December 21, 1946, Soviets authorities arrested him but he escaped. At the end of 1946 in Dashav, Striy, he organized secret underground headquarters.At the beginning of 1947 he was transferred to the underground headquarters at Knyagynychy in Rohatyn. He was the agent and guard of Roman Shukhevych.On September 23, 1947 he was seriously wounded and captured by the MGB. He was remanded at various prisons in Rohatyn, Stanislaviv, Kyiv and Lviv‘s Lonsky prison.He served his sentence in GULAG at Inta (Komi ARSR). On December 19, 1955 he was released and in 1961 he graduated from Medical University in Semypalatynsk (Kazakhstan).From 1961 he lived in Tsurupynsk (Oleshky) and since 2001 he has been living in Lviv.