Művelődés-, Tudomány- és Orvostörténeti Kiadó
Folyóirat: 2020/20

Title: Ukrainian Insurgency against the Post-War Sovietization: The Case of the Female Teachers from the East in Western Ukraine
Szerző(k): Olena Petrenko, Ph.D. Candidate - Ruhr University of Bochum Universitätsstraße 150, 44801 Bochum, Germany
Rovat: Kultúrtörténet neme
Kötet: 2014/9
DOI: 10.17107/KH.2014.9.169-181

Post-War Sovietization, Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, Ukrainian Insurgent Army, gendered violence, western Ukrainian woman, “Easterners”

In 1944, after the entry of the Red Army on the territory of the Western Ukraine,the Sovietization, which has been stopped by the war, proceeded.TheSoviet power pressed aheadwith the industrialization, collectivization and cultural transformations of the Western Ukrainian areasat a good pace.Thespecial role of thesetransformationsoccupiedthe changesanddevelopmentsofthe educational system, which wassupportedbythousandsofspecialistsfromEasternUkraine andpartlyRussia. These specialistsrepresented among others functions as propagators of the socialistic ideas and as fightersagainst West Ukrainian nationalists. In large part, their majority (medical and educational sector) was composed of women. The author focuses on the dispositions of arriving female “strangers”, “enemies on the territory“, who were situated between observing and pressure by the Soviet power on the one hand and punitive actions by Ukrainian nationalists on the other.

The documents point to an ambivalent situation: on one hand, there was a wide spectrum of cooperation between the youngKomsomol girls with the OUN; on the other hand, there were acts of violence against the specialists from the East by the nationalists.


In April 1949, inthe midst of the post-war Sovietization in Eastern Galicia and Volhyniathe journalist and later the deputy of the Soviet Union Supreme Kuzma Pelekhatyi compared the Western Ukrainian woman with “wheat rising up after warm and heavy rain in May”. Observing official gender ideology of the Soviet Union, Pelekhatyi urges to engage women in all the spheres of production, and first of all in public life of the country at the regular meeting of party activists.

Women are a great power! (…) Women of the Western oblasts of Ukraine are filled with desire to be heroines of labor of the same kind, to be as progressive and active in the public life, as their sisters – women from the Eastern oblasts of Ukraine, just like Russian women, as women of the Soviet Union” energetically Pelekhatyi appealed at the oblast council of women activists of the Lviv region in April 1949 (Ivasiuta1974: 158). However the principle of equal rights, which was consistent with the gender perceptions of the Soviet government along with the patriarchal attitudes, was aimed not only at pulling the “backward” western Ukrainian woman up to her “sisters from the East”.

The region of Eastern Galicia and Volyn, which definitely joined Soviet Union after the signature of agreement with Poland in August 1945, turned out to be a special problematic zone for the Soviet power. Sovietization, the carriying out of which was executed by actually legitimizing violent actions of the power, met the opposition from the population side. Many of them were somehow connected to Ukrainiannationalisticunderground(OrganizationofUkrainianNationalists (OUN) andUkrainianInsurgentArmy(UPA)the representatives of which fought for the independence of Ukraine.[1]In the context of intense concentration and mobilization of the Ukrainian nationalistic Underground there was a kind of struggle for “female resource” between the rebels and the Soviet government. After the advance of the Soviet troops to the territory of Eastern Galicia and Volhyniain 1944 and complication of legal presence of men in the cities, the underground starts mass “reorientation” to women. At the same time the Soviet government, noticing women’s mobilization to the underground resistance, intensified work among them, trying to engage the woman in “civil Soviet works”. Their assistance was expected even in the most dangerous sector of “works” – “struggle against the remains of gangs of Ukrainian German nationalists”. During the first post-war years it was especially difficult to agitate local population to participate in such activities. Thousands of young specialists – teachers, agriculturers, doctors went to support ideological bastions in the context of growing tension in the political situation, in the center of which confrontation of violent practices becomes especially notable. Officially legitimate violence of the Soviet government, which was the basis of Sovietization, encountered the resistance of local population, significant part of which was in one way or another connected with the nationalistic underground or cooperating with it. In such a way the violence self-dynamics was developing from part of the representatives of the underground, which had been traditionally building the enemy’s identity on physical elimination, from the times of the Ukrainian Military Organization (UVO)[2] and early period of OUN activity.

It is the representatives of the Soviet government: officials of district executive committees, village councils, farming sector, medical personnel and teachers that the underground perceived as the double threat: on the one hand, in the eyes of the underground Security Service (SB) they could be specially sent agents of Soviet intelligence, on the other hand, in the personnel from the East, who were born and grew up in the socialist system, they saw a certain potential for the putridity of the local population, persuading it in favor of the Soviet government.

An example is the destiny of many female teachers of post-war Western Ukraine, who got under special attention of the underground Security Service thereby facing significant danger, because they were teaching and in a certain way bringing up girls and boys from Western Ukraine – the hope of the nationalistic underground.

The purpose of this article is to give an outline of the disposition of the "newly arrived" strangers to Western Ukraine in the mid 1940s-50s. Based on the example of the female teachers from the East of Ukraine, who, together with dozens of thousands of other newly arrived became guides of the post-war Sovietization of Western Ukraine. I consider the forms of expression going through the violence used against them.  I will try to show the basis of the dynamics of the acts of violence, and factors that were decisive in their application to the female teachers from the East.

“The Wind from the East”[3]

That was the title of the film, which appeared on the Soviet screens in 1940. Ukrainian teacher Hanna, brought up in a monastery, cherishing her affection to everything Polish, arrives to one of the Galician villages. However, after seeing the impossible life conditions for the peasants under the guidance of harsh countess Preszynska, Hanna, according to the classical canons of Soviet propaganda film, is step by step being turned from the convinced supporter of the ruling power into principal fighter for peasants’ rights. She, together with the rest of the village population, meets the new power in the Eastern Galicia with hope: “People, great truth has come. We waited so long for it. We suffered. The great Soviet nation brings us this truth. The wind from the East will be heard soon. Let us swear to our brother with our love and friendship” declares one of the peasants in the end of the film.[4]

During the mentioned period, the teacher becomes one of the symbolic figures of socialistic transformations. Teacher is given a special status of agitational-ideological agent of the power. They, usually young women, are “liberated” in the double sense from “the behindhand relations of the bourgeois world” and they become a symbol of the new power in the Western Ukraine. Local teacher Maria Perestyuk, who was given a role of women representatives at the First National Meetingon October 26- 28, 1939, proclaimed from the tribune about the “finally realized liberation” and the opening of new working and studying opportunities for women in the recently accessed lands.

These possibilities were immediately demonstrably shown by the election results: after 25 minutes of applause and praises for the comrade Stalin, the hall met with their ovation 251 elected deputy female members. Expansive propaganda work started towards women’s inclusion into the active political life, Soviet state needed ideologically reliable staff with an experience of Soviet past. This role was given to the so-called authorized, who flooded Eastern Galician and Volynian cities beginning from September 1939. This “women’s import“ continued rightafter the units of the Red Army entered the territory of Western Ukraine. The Soviet rule develops industry with fast pace, as well as the implementation of the collective farming system and cultural transformations.

A particular role was given to the system of education, which in the first place had to carry out the educational and propaganda function. The female mobilization for the socialist projects in Western Ukraine is showed very well by Youshie Mitsuyoshi in her dissertation. According to Mitsuoyshi the creation of the women’s departments (zhenotdely) in Western Ukraine was ordered and received the support primarily from Communist Party but not from initiatives of women how it was in Soviet Union in the 1920s. Moreover the socialist transformations among others also women’s policy met the tough violent resistance from the side of Ukrainian nationalistic insurgency. Mitsuyoshis work concentrates mostly on the Soviet authorities and their measures regarding the promotion of women in all spheres of life (Mitsuyoshi 2004; 2006:20-36).How exactly did the Ukrainian insurgency respond to the new Soviet women and how these women interacted with rebels remained untreated.

The teachers, just as the new Soviet activists in the region in general, had to face an ideological task which consisted in the "struggle against remaining Ukrainian German bourgeois nationalists"that was becoming a propaganda element of the Soviet rule struggle in addition to the military operations and Secret Service activities. What was expected from the newly arrived, was first of all political activity that could be expressed both in preparing for  election, organization of Komsomol members' meetings, communist holidays, club operation, as well as in "calm" work of an informer.

Women were often engaged into the activity of the Soviet lifestyle propaganda, and they made up a significant part of the newly arrived staff and had to campaign Western Ukrainian women to work. So, in the mid 1940s the departments of work for women and women's councils were established where women from the Eastern oblasts were recruited due to the lack of consent from the part of the local women (RGASPI, f.17, op. 44, d. 1658, l.5). The focus on the female resource both in the political activity and in the Security Service activity was connected with the aspiration to re-recruit young people to their files, to engage as much as possible those women that used to be actively engaged by the rebels. Certain “struggle” for the “female resource” was taking place (Petrenko 2011: 257-278).Partyorganizationsmanagedtoengagearound150 thousandwomento active work throughfemalecouncils (Ivasiuta: 158). 

The teachers of schools and colleges who were entrusted with the actual role of agitators for becoming members of Komsomol, for collective farming, the role of attentive "observers" of the moods in teacher's offices and classes.

"I had to feel if the young people sympathize with them (Bandera adherents- a.), and if so, then who does. In my speeches my task was to admonish the young people against Bandera movement, showing them examples from the lives of the great Soviet people. I was supposed to win young people's souls", - Olga Manich reported during her interrogation carried out by the Security Service of the OUN (b). She was a teacher from Kamianets-Podilskyi who was sent to Ternopil oblast after a 9-months course of teachers' training college. In June 1945 all of Manich's fellow students were sent to junior secondary schools in Western Ukraine (Litopys UPA, Vol.43, 699).[5]

The basis of the propaganda relied not only on engagement into struggle against the rebels but also on the preventive measures against "contamination with banderism" which, as it is registered in the archive materials, affected not only local people. In one of the partisan reports to the military, command was informed about the case of the “traitor“Tamara Karagina:

“SB agents that were disclosed by us, informed that they had been recruiting not just from among local people, but also from among people who arrived to Western Ukraine from the Eastern oblasts and from other places. For instance: on January 29, 1944 Karagina Tamara Alekseevna, born in 1924, native of the city of Kemerovo, Western Siberian Territory,arrivedto the unit (partisan unit - a.), and expressed her wish to be a part of the partisans units and informed that she arrived to western Ukraine in 1943 and worked as a teacher in Melnitsy and Kolki villages: she was persecuted by the Ukrainian nationalists, and due to that she had to leave that place.

The carried out verification and investigation established that Karagina used to be a teacher at the school of Ukrainian nationalists for a long time, and disposed of large connections among them. Karagina was arrested and with further investigation she confessed that had business connection with the SB and UPA for a long time and had been recruited with the purpose of espionage and terrorism in favour of Ukrainian nationalists. She received her personal password of "Surzh Styr", and a nickname, that was her own name "Tamara". She was given a task: upon arrival of the Red Army, she had to stay for residence in any of the towns in Volyn oblast, and realize espionage and terroristic activities against commanding and political officers of the Red Army, for that purpose she had to strike up acquaintances using her beautiful appearance with commanders and political workers, decoy them into dark places and kill them with the help of nationalists. With the purpose of using Karagina's wide connections among the nationalists and SB workers for fighting against them, or, if possible, pass them over to the Red Army, she was released from custody and was appointed into one of the subdivisions under intensified manned surveillance which resulted in establishing the fact that she was in moral decay, and was strongly interested in acquiring a grenade and poisoning substances. Based on these materials, Karagina again was arrested and executed by shooting"(TsDAGOU, f.62, op.1, spr.252, a.105//Antoniuk 2007:196).

Unfortunately, there is no other data about Karagina and it is hard to establish what exactly was meant by moral decay of her personality judging by this document. Analyzing other materials of partisans, a female partisan or as in this case a “post-nationalist” engaged in a partisan group could play an explicitly passive role in her “moral decay”. Falling in love and flirting of partisans with single women who were in the forest could already be treated as inadequate behavior of a woman who “seduces” men to such behavior.

The fact of Easterners presence in the underground already during the war is confirmed by many memoirs of the rebels. In this context the memoirs of Shumuk, the nationalist-rebel with the communist past, a man who has spent over 40 years in the camps, are of special interest. Unlike his comrades, Shumuk quite frankly pays much attention to women in his memoirs. Having a low opinion about “clamorous butches” who were always “inclined to love”  (Shumuk1998: 114)and being surprised by their sexual courage (Ibid, 191-192), he was teaching the course of ideological training for women from the East during the war, most of which, according to him, were the newcomer teachers from Russian and Eastern Ukraine          (Ibid, 132). The attempt to enroll as many “eastern resources” as possible is gathering pace however at the end of the war, when the rebels were interested in the inflow of new forces as well as engagement of the East in the struggle.

The Head of Ternopil Ministry for State Security, Leonyd Malinin, during the party meeting in December 1944 mentioned the method of the “blind recruitment of potential agents” from the side of nationalists. According to this “approach” “Banderas people” treated party activists in the national spirit and after that offered them to take part in the propaganda about humanity of the OUN people”(RGASPI, f.17, op.44, d.1837, l.184). In their recruiting methods insurgents often concentrated on the poor living conditions of the majority of the village teachers. The teacher Kovalenko from Zaporizhzhiaarea who worked in the Ternopil region was offered by insurgents to provide her with food, because “the government cares badly for her” (Ibid,l. 202).

At such meetings official complaints regarding hard material state of teachers were presented(GDASBUkrainyf.13, sp.376, t. 81, ark.10).Reports on the districts of under-grounders often provide information on the meetings of teachers, detailed statistics on the number and geographical origin of teachers, which makes it possible to assume that the underground had its informers also among other representatives of the authorities(Ibid, ark.9-10).

However, the recruitment of the labor forces from the East in the Ukrainian Security Service was rather an exception. The attitude towards the arrivals even those who showed themselves in the “national matter” was in general reserved. The general disposition that existed around arrivals was quite ambiguousand different from region to region. Party activists and military staff welcomed teachers who arrived at an unknown place, without any ties to the local population (Litopys UPA, Vol.44.(2006:207-213).Under the information vacuum they were often the only communication partners of “the Easterners”, something that caused suspicion on the side of the Ukrainian SB in the denunciation and erected invisible walls between the local population and them.

Language misunderstandings, and moreover – mistrust as to the strangers and fear of being punished for having friendship with the Easterners, created an undoubtedly essential distance between the newly arrived and local people.

The special Soviet intelligence services actively cooperated with the Easterners, with teachers in particular. So special preparatory courses were established for teachers, often masked as "teachers' retraining courses"(GDASBUkrainy, f.13, sp. 372, t.60, ark.45).  Anexampleofsuchcourseswasgiven by a NKGB agent "Bergman", director of one of the schools in Ternopil oblast, who was a local himself, and had teachers' training courses in Chernivtsi university, where 200-people audience listened to a 6-hour lecture given by the head of NKGB of Chernivtsi "How to investigate anti-state movements in villages" where along with teaching history of the nationalists movement, in the first place the methods of a "teacher-intelligence agent" were described(GDA SB Ukrainy, f.13, spr. 376, t.55, ark.281-282).

The overall mood that dominated around the arrived staff was formulated in one of the notes of the Ukrainian Security Service dated 1947 where general suspicion and antipathy to the Easterners was set forth in the following way: "All civil persons regardless of the age and nationality, that arrived from the Eastern frontiers, are ordered to go back. Those who disobey will risk their lives"(Viedienieev, Bystrukhin2006:313). In 1948 upon disclosure of a bunker of the head of Alexandriskyi regional "Sagaidachnyi", an OUN directive was found which suggested the following solution to the issue of the new order propagation in the following way: it was ordered to send out warnings to teachers and doctors from the East regarding their fast departure from the territory. Otherwise, they would be shot(GDASBU, f.13, sp. 372, t.49, ark.211). 

At the same time cases of violent acts of the potential betrayers exclusively against the “insiders” were publicly reproved by the UPA leaders and qualified as a crime: thus, in the address of the UPA political department in Rivne region dated March 1944 the list of the crimes of the Soviet government includes a murder of a teacher from eastern regions, who was tortured before the execution, she was beaten in the head with the hard object”.(TsDAVOVU, f.3883, op.1, sp.188, ark.44).According to UPA, the reason was the teacher’s unwillingness to cooperate with the Soviet security service.

Under the conditions of intensification of fight against rebels, considerable losses and active intelligence work of the NKVD, these were the representatives of the Soviet rule that became one of the key areas of acts of violence of the insurgents. The countryside with its closed space, scarce possibilities for escape, and particularly for the newly arrived who don't know the territory, became a trap for the numerous newly arrived staff from the East.

The Dynamics of Violence

The fact of physical elimination of the supporters of the Soviet government during the first 22-months Sovietization[6] as well as in the post war period, has never been denied either by the representatives of the underground or directly by the executors – officials of the SB. However in their memoirs and interviews they insistently avoid any reference to “punitive measures” which were applied to whole families and women.[7]

Such collective post-silence is connected, first of all, to the rule of prevailing canons of memory: recognition of the fact of murder and torture of women would mean not only automatic recognition of imitation of the violent practice of the enemy – the Soviet government, but would also lead to public disapproval and symbolic demolition of the heroes’ pedestal “with their own hands”. Such a “performance” is clearly separated from the internal discourse, where understanding of violence of the underground resistance is based on the fact that general discussions about form and methods of struggle of the oppressed nation are misplaced and political blockade of the nation justifies any methods of struggle.

The Soviet Secret Services were using gendered stereotypes which later in no small measure helped to form the perception of women’s participation in the nationalistic underground resistance in the memory culture exclusively as the heroic sacrifice and suffering.

But with regard to their enemies, Ukrainian nationalistic underground treated women as equal political subjects: violence against female representatives of the Soviet government was used to the same extent as against men. Separate examples of conversion of Komsomol members, party activists into the underground members leave the fact of direct physical violence against them from part of the underground irrefragable.

The policy of OUN and the Soviet government in general with regard to the “Easterners” was non-uniform: along with the mass propaganda regarding engagement of Eastern Ukrainians in the struggle against the existing rule, many documents evidencing extremely hostile attitude to the newcomers were distributed. Even the specialists from the East who have approved themselves in the “national cause” were generally treated carefully in the underground.

Similarly to the Soviet government OUN promulgated understanding of the individual through the group identity giving him a certain predefined rules of behavior: through unification of the personality there was unification of violence against the personality.

In the post-war period, confrontation of violent practices becomes particularly tangible: legitimate violence of the Soviet rule which lied in the basis of realization of sovietisation dashed against the resistance of the local people, the major part of whom – this way or another – contacted with the nationalistic underground, or cooperated with it. Thus the self-dynamics of violence developed from the side of representatives of the underground, which traditionally, since the times of the UVO and early period of the OUN activity, was building the identity of an enemy based on physical annihilation.

The category of potential enemy of the insurgents in the mid 1940s and this way, the perspective of intensive checks and arrestsfrom the side of the SB OUN (b) can conditionally include the following groups of people:

Situational group:

-OUN and UPA members captured and then released by Soviet security bodies

-OUN and UPA members, sympathizing people and adherents which before the Soviet rule used to be active, and after the war they lived legally with their own or forged papers, and were potentially probable candidates to be recruited as agents (it concerned mainly women)

-westernUkrainianswho were hiding before mobilisation, and those who during war times cooperated with the Germans, served in the SS "Galizien", were a potentially attractive target group for persuading into cooperation by means of fear of arrest.

“Useful” group:

The group of people who cooperated with each authority, seeking material use and all kinds of welfare. The most unclear category which can include those who suffered this way or another from the actions of the underground, and this way fell into the category of "revenge seekers" and the "use" of which was determined by the desire to take vengeance for family members and close ones, rather than by the material welfare.

Ideological group:

This category included both party activists and professional staff, newly arrived Russians and Ukrainians from the Eastern regions of Ukraine. The SB leaders were aware of the attempts of the Soviet special intelligence services to recruit the newly arrived people in the region, and this fact is corroborated by a number of documents of the underground itself.YetthelackofcontactswiththelocalNKVD, and, say, theactivityinthelocalclub, propagandaofKomsomolandSovietrule, wasturningthenewlyarrivedintoanenemy, againstwhichphysicalannihilationwasused.

As a rule, the direct act of violence was preceded by one or several warnings which could be accompanied by "instructive" actions: So, one teacher, Nina Kholich, had her hair cut against her will because of her active work on identification of documents set on fire by rebels in the village council(GDASBUkrainy, f.13, spr.372, t.49, ark.1). During lessons three rebels entered the classroom of Mariya Loienko, and made the teacher read the Lord's prayer aloud. And when Loienko started reading the prayer in the Old Slavonic, she was proposed to learn the prayer in Ukrainian, as well as a song about Stepan Bandera together with the children until next Saturday under death threat(TsDAGOU, f.1,op.46, spr.833, ark.117).

A kind of a warning action was setting fire to schools or clubs where the meetings of Komsomol activists were traditionally held, Soviet movies were demonstrated and voting stations were installed (GDASBUkrainy, f.13, spr.372, t.50, ark.36).  

The schools where polling stations were located, and where Komsomol meetings were held, often used to become a place of acts of violence. Buildings were massively set on fire. In Rivne oblast only, in 1944-45 50 schools were burned and destroyed(Ivasiuta 1974: 214).

For the purposes of interrogation the persons included into the “black lists” of the SB OUN (b) were captured by the militants and delivered to secret bases, forest shelters where they were kept during interrogations. The protocols of such interrogations are a unique source of information, which were kept undisclosed by both Diaspora and the Soviet government and remained unknown to general public for a long time.

In 2006 Canadian edition of “Litopys UPA” published the first volume of the protocols of interrogations of persons from “civil population and underground environment suspected in cooperation with the Soviet Security Service in Ternopil area in 1946-1948.” (Litopys UPA, 2004).In spite ofdoubtfulness of the majority of testimonies, which should be treated, first of all, as the narrative of the fear of death in the context of the second arrest with the survival tactics prerogative, Ozerna canisters[8]are a unique source regarding their volume and geographic density: among the people captured by the SB were villagers from adjacent regions of Ternopil oblast, local activists and supporters of the Soviet government suspected in cooperation with the NKVD, Red Army soldiers as well as the Soviet personnel from the East – teachers and Komsomol activists.

The published protocols of interrogations include the case of Maria Rudnik captured by the SB militants at the beginning of March 1948 from Burkaniv village of Zolotnykiv region.[9]Having finished two course years at the Teaching College 20 year old Maria was sent to Western Ukraine for teaching with the promise to come back in four years, in spite of being an employee of Chernihiv bank. The most aggravating circumstances for Rudnik at her arrest by the SB OUN (b) were often visits of NKVD employees to her house and frequent raids in the village, which became more frequent from the moment of her accidental encounter with the rebels. Based on aforementioned suspicions, that hadn’t been confirmed by Maria Rudnik, she was sentenced to death. Maria Rudnik was executed on March 13, 1948 after being interrogated by the SB militants for a week (Litopys UPA, Vol.43 2004: 213).Hundreds of other teachers haven’t come back home either: teacher Naidenko who was captured in April 1945 in Karachyniv village of Lviv oblast(GARF, f.9478с, op.1с, d.310, l.26).Pioneer leader Kudlai from Pidgaitsi village of Volyn oblast(Ibid.), the Head of the secondary school in Myshiv village of Porytskyi region Grygorenko(GARF, f.9478с, op.1с, d.358, l.281), Mariya Vyshnevetska, the Head-mistress of Bobruyiv secondary school (RGASPI,f.17, op.88, d.450, l.73)and many others. Most of them were eliminated in the early post-war period. Soviet historiography provides data that only during 1944-45 solely in Ternopil oblast 127 teachers died and 16 teachers died in Volyn oblast in October-December 1944 (Maslovskyi 1974: 215).

Liquidations of the qualified specialists are documented not only by the Soviet part. OUN reports explicitly confirm the facts of elimination of the newcomers from the East, including classification of the “actions”, as a rule, into the actions of OUN and SB. Thus, reporting about the district Bukachivtsi for October-December 1947, the reporter states that for aforementioned period SB eliminated: a teacher from Eastern Ukrainian region who “was informing the Bolsheviks about what is said by children; an Eastern Ukrainian, a candidate to the party for covert intelligence work; two shoemakers, Russian by nationality who were watching the villagers and informing the NKGB; a Ukrainian shoemaker for the same work; and 3 more Ukrainians from who were sent here to do the covert intelligence work among local population”.(GDASBU, f.13, spr.376, t.81, ark.150).Moreover it was the OUN network in the area of Bukachivtsi village which undertook responsibility for the murder of one of the NKGB investigators, the former garrison commander and his wife, a woodworker from Russia who worked as a teacher in the district, a shoemaker and “a Komsomol member-agent with his two family members”(Ibid.).

Numerous acts of violence, constantfear for life, especially in the hermetic conditions of the countryside led to the massive return, direct desertion from the workplaces (Terliuk 1997: 73). The above mentioned Nina Loienko left the region after the rebels "visit" to her school, and according to her many others teachersdid the same (TsDAGOU, f.1, op. 46. spr.833, a. 117).

The Soviet activists in the cities refused to go to the regions for meetings or to perform “mass political work among population”, especially when they would have to stay overnight in villages. The rural council employees, local agitators, teachers, doctors from the East were hiding in other houses, villages and even cemeteries at night (RGASPI, f.17, op.88, d.352, l.9).

At the meeting the teachers expressed mass fear for their lives, refused tohang the posters, agitate for voting turnout, meet the deputies, because if they hang the posters, “it is us, who will be hanged tomorrow”(GDASBU, f.13, spr.376, t.81, ark.10).

In Conclusion. Keeping the Memory of the Teachers from the East


The Soviet women who, according to insurgent’s propaganda were “enslaved” through their work and resulting from this, had no possibility to realize their natural vocation to be a “good mother”, were perceived at the same time as well as the male representatives of the Soviet rule as political subjects. This was not least emphasized by Soviet propaganda itself: Women, who from 1920s were presented by Soviet iconography as Pioneers of the appropriation of the new life, got during the second Sovietizationin the 1940s in Western Ukraine a prominent place. Young women - doctors, teachers, agricultural workers, were sent into the life-threatening areas because of their qualification but, actually, it meant for these 18-20 year old girls to hold the line for Soviet military forces and local rule that could not manage the escalated situation in western Ukraine.

The nature of acts of violence against Sovietisation and their representatives shall be sought from one side in the prolongation of the UVO and the OUN terrorist practices against their enemies, from the other side, the focus of the Soviet rule on the struggle against Ukrainian nationalists in the post-war period, intensification of military operations, conditioned fast arrests and losses among the rebels, which lead to the unfolding of aggressive, frustration moods. Own losses of the underground caused activization of counteraction, the basis of which originated both on the ideological and practical level yet in 1920-30s.

The political analyst, SerhiyKudelia,who paidattentiontotheviolenceofanti-SovietinsurgencyinWesternUkraineagainstthelocals, and the onewhojoinedcollectivefarms,raisedthepoint,that violence against the “own”, the locals, pushed them forward to the cooperation with the power and rejection from the rebels(Kudelia 2013: 149-181).Violence against women, particularly against young teachers, resulted in resolution of the image of a “good rebel”. The same as on the local level, where the population kept distance from the anti-Soviet insurgency on the media level there was an image of rebel distributed, who kills innocent families and kids.

But with regard to their enemies, Ukrainian nationalistic underground treated women as equal political subjects. Separate examples of conversion of Komsomol members, party activists into the underground members leave the fact of direct physical violence against them from part of the underground irrefragable.

Drastically polar perception of the history of nationalistic underground and its politicization are completely characteristic both for collective memory with regards to the destiny and for the role of labor forces from the East in the Western regions of Ukraine.

As of today, together with the memorials for "hero nationalists" and their glorification, a number of pedestals and busts for "victims of the OUN and the UPA crimes" are established. Among them memorial places and monuments stand out that are dedicated to the teachers who were killed in Western Ukraine in 1940-50s.In Glukhiv region of Sumy oblast three memorials were erected on the initiative of the representatives of the Communist party.[10]

The image of a late teacher, as a hero who fought for establishment of the Soviet rule, was outlined in the 1960s when in the woods and hideouts of the Western Ukraine solitary rebels still remained, and the struggle against them came to the final outcome.

In the end of 1950s alocalschool in Lviv region received the name of Raisa Borzylo who was found dead in 1945. She was a teacher in the Gai village. And in 1967 in the centre of the village a memorial bust was installed with an inscription "She gave her life for our happiness".[11] A poem "The immortality of a Komsomol member" was dedicated to Raisa as well, in which a local poet described Raisa's short life. Among a number of monuments that have been lately installed for OUN and UPA victims, there is one for Raisa Borzylo founded in 2006 in the Lugansk region. The establishment was accompanied by strong debates: UPA apologists tried to prove the guilt of the SB for her murder, or actually justification of her annihilation as an assailant of the Soviet ideas (Bublyk: 2010).For defenders of Soviet past Raisa was one of representatives of the successful establishment of the Soviet rule. But along with this, mass repressions and the massive resistance of the local population towards Soviet transformations is still ignored.

Due to the lack of well-considered investigations, comprehensive interviews and handling of archive materials, the fate of the professional staff from the East, in particular, of teachers, remains a subject of political discussions.


ANTONIUK, Ia.: DiialnistSBOUNnaVolyni[The activity of the SB OUN in Volyn] Lutsk,Volynska knyha,  2007.

BUBLYK; M.:“TakkhtozamuchyvRaisu?Ne kozhen nevynno vbytyi luhanets hidnyi zvannia zhertvy”[Who did torture Raisa? Not every one who was innocent murdered from Luhansk can be titled as victim] Ukraina moloda n. 096 (29.Mai 2010)

URL http://www.umoloda.kiev.ua/number/1663/163/58710/

CZAPLINSKA, J.(Ed.):Lviv: ACityintheCrosscurrentsofCulture, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 2002.

Interview with Kateryna Skoryna. URL http://reporter.delfi.ua/news/reporter/ochevidec-banderovcy-ne-zhaleli-dazhe-detej.d?id=1020042

Interview with Nadia Iukhyma from Odesa, who worked as Pioneer leader and teacher in Lviv oblast (1950s). (Source from Ukrainian Canadian Research and DocumentationCenter)

ІSHCHENKO, A.:ZahindaUkraiinaudokumentakhziizdivtaplenumivTsKKP(b) U: 1946-1953. [The Western Ukraine in the documents ofthe Communist party meetings 1946-1953]: ArkhivyUkraiiny(2-3, 2011):108-122.

ISHCHUK, O.:UzagalnenniaorhanamyKDBURSRdosviduborotbyzpidpilliamOUNtaUPA: dostvorenniavodomchoitematychnoikolektsiiarchivnykhdokumentiv(1959 1964 rr.)[The generalization of struggle experience against the OUN–UPA underground by KGB of Soviet Ukraine: dedicated to the creation of subject collection of archival documents (1959–1964)], ZarchivivVUChK-GPU-NKVD-KGBno.1(32)(2009): 87-120.

IVASIUTA, M.(Ed.):Pravdunezdolaty [The truth can not be overcome], Lviv, Kameniar, 1974.

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GARF (The State Archiveof the Russian Federation) f. R-9478, op. 1, d. 135, 310, 358

GDA SBU (The Security Service Archive of Ukraine) f.13, spr.372, t.49, 50, 60;

f. 13, spr. 376, t. 49, 55

KENTII, A.: Ukrainska Povstanska Armia v 1942-1943 rokakh (Ukrainian Insurgent Army in 1942-1943). Kyiv, NAN Ukrainy, 1999.

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MARPLES, D. R.: Anti-Soviet partisans and Ukrainian memory. East European Politics & Societies 24 (2010): 26-43.http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0888325409354908

MASLOVSKYI, V.: V borbe s vragami socializma. Ocherki istorii klassovoi borby na sele v period postroeniia osnov socializma v zapadnykh oblastiakh Ukrainy. 1939-1950 [In the struggle against enemiesof Socialism. Essays of the class struggle history in the villagesin the time of socialism building in Western Ukraine]. Lvov, Vysshaia shkola, 1984.

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The web site of the city Svatovo.  URL  http://svatovo.lg.ua/people/upa/borzilo.html

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[1]Organization of Ukrainian Nationalistswas created in Vienna in 1929 by different nationalistic organizations in order to resist the polonization by using terroristic methods. When the Second World War began it was oriented towards the German authority in order to prepare for the insurgency against the Soviet power. In 1940, the OUN split into two parts, with the older more moderate members supporting Andrii Melnyk- OUN(m) while the younger and more radical members supporting Stepan BanderaOUN(b). The later leading caste of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, which officially founded in October 1942, belonged to the OUN (b).  From terrorist activities,subsequentactions against communists, their followers and families, anti-Polish and anti-Jewish pogroms to the physical extermination of insurgents, suspected betrayal, thehistoryoftheOUN and UPAis marked by a highly visible presence and practice of violence. This brutality in its various contexts and frames remains one of the crucial factors which contribute to the ambivalent assessment of the Ukrainian nationalistic underground in Volyn and East Galicia in the 1929-1950s.(See more Kentii, 1999; Litopys Ukrainskoi Povstanskoi Armii. Vol. 1-50, 1976-2013; Litopys UPA. Nova Seriia. Vol. 1 -22, 1995-2013; Marples, 2010; Motyka, 2006; Rudling, 2011; Viedienieiev; Bystrukhin, 2007).

[2]Ukrainian Military Organization (UVO) was founded as a secret military organization in 1920 in Prague. Due to its conspiratorial nature, the UVO was an organization with a limited number of members engaging in carefully staged acts of terror. Gradually its influence spread beyond the exile. UVO’s main undertakings now consisted in armed attacks on functionaries of the Polish state and Polish settlers. In 1929 members of the UVO and representatives of Ukrainian student organization in exile created the OUN.

[4]“The Wind from East” (“Veter s Vostoka”) is a film from 1940 (Direktor Abram Room).

[5]According to the data of the Soviet historian Maslovskyi up to 13 thousand of teachers from the eastern oblasts were sent to schools, and in general around 34.5 thousand teachers were sent to comprehensive schools and education institutions of the westerns oblasts during 1945-1950 (Maslovskyi1974: 135,211).

[6]The first sovietization of Eastern Poland began right after the formally annexing in September 1939 and took until the German invasion of the Soviet Union.

[7]See for instance the biographical book of Iaroslav Pryshliak “Dva braty idealisty” (Two brothers - idealists”) (1990).

[8]Materials of SB OUN (b) on the activity in Ternopil oblast were found in 2004 in Ozerna village in the yard of the villager Safron Kutnyi. The latter was entrusted to bury the canister in the 50-s. The canister had been searched for over 12 years, because of the loss of the codified record of its hidden location. In 2011 “Litopys UPA” published two more volumes dedicated to Ternopil region which are partially based on the materials of Ozerna archive.

[9]Currently Terembovlia region.

[10]The web site of the Communist Party, “The Sumy region remembers its heroes who died by bandits of the OUN-UPA”. URL http://www.kpu.ua/sumtschina-pomnit-pogibtshih-ot-ruk-banditov-iz-oun-upa/?lang=uk

[11]The web site of the city Svatovo: URL http://svatovo.lg.ua/people/upa/borzilo.html