Дарія Гусяк

* 1924  

  • “My father was very active: he worked in “Prosvita”, was the head of the “Peasant master”, he sang in the “Prosvita” choir and was a member of a drama club – he was the top performer. With a friend they always performed comedies with both of them as leading characters. For twenty years he played the part of Saint Nickolas. Nuns prepared a religious play. Then my father went on the stage, asked children how they behaved, what prayers they knew, and gave out presents. Those presents were brought by parents as well as given by the church. Every package had its addressee. My dad read out loud the name on a package, kids came to get it, and they did believe that he really was Saint Nickolas. And dad, using the church clothes that he had, also came to his children as Saint Nickolas. I did not recognize his voice. We were very afraid to say something wrong. And when Saint Nickolas left I told my mom, “Saint Nickolas has exactly the same finger cut as our father”. He had a bandaged finger. And even because of that finger I did not realize that it was our father.”

  • “We wrote letters to men’s cells. If somebody, who was one floor above you, wanted to send you something, he knocked to let you know that he is sending something. It was a sign, to keep the knocking to a minimum. And you could see how in the window (there was only a pilot window opened, not the actual window) the so called “horse” appeared. It is a note or a few notes tied to a robe. There were a few people who wrote notes both here and there. And they were in correspondence with each other. The note was untied from the robe and then a response was tied to it. And they took it up. From time to time we were caught while doing this. Then the punishment was either to sit in the lock-up room, or confiscation of the letter, or prohibition to buy something at the kiosk. There were these three forms of punishment.”

  • “Members of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists were the most authoritative and the smartest boys in the village. All of them, as a rule, had a longing for education. But their parents did not have enough money to give them education. So they acquired secondary education by themselves. They bought or borrowed from somewhere the books that they needed and studied by themselves. All those boys had an inborn intelligence. In general spiritual level in the village was rather high. Especially when in the nineteen-twenties – nineteen-thirties the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists did some work in villages. It was such a powerful wave of revival that I don’t know, whether there were any other moments like this, when so many people perceived and practiced what they’ve heard. It is worth mentioning some campaigns that were carried out by the OUN: “Boycott of tobacco and alcohol”. It was a state monopoly. When they carried out this campaign for a few years – the result was astonishing. First of all, the Polish state lost millions. While in villages people were healthier, they did not waste money on tobacco and alcohol, they paid more attention to their kids and family. Members of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, as a rule, neither drank, nor smocked, because they gave a promise. And until nineteen-thirty-nine people perceived themselves as one nation to such extend that they were ready for armed resistance.”

  • “It was a miracle that she survived – Katrusya Zarytska. She was already called out to come for the execution by shooting… She was called out, so she got ready and was standing at the door. But they were not coming for some time. They just did not come in time. Boys started to tumble out doors and liberated girls. Later they started coming out to the yard. There was a machine gunner who killed very many of those who came out to the yard. But Katrusya was clever and sharp, she realized that it was dangerous. Moreover, she knew that they would most probably be shot if somebody sees them. She left the prison and saw somewhere nearby a yard and there she hid in some shed or something of a kind. She took along with her two other girls who could hardly walk. She helped them. They were hiding there until the evening. It was a clever move, since the KGB workers who were the last to run away were forced to come back because not everyone was shot yet. Even on their way, when they saw a pale person with short hair, they shot him/her right away. Thus, Katrusya and those girls survived. And when it grew dark, she went home. And she took care of those girls there.”

  • “They were beating up my mom to make me talk. This method was not applied to everyone. But I was not saying a word. They already gathered a lot of information about me – two folders from those who were arrested before me, everyone said something. They knew me, that’s why they did this. I did not pay attention to it when I was at home… My sisters moved and I stayed with my mom. I was afraid that something may happen to my mom while I was away. I was always very worried when I left her alone. I was always trying to come back as soon as possible, to help my mom with the housekeeping. And I was given such characteristics. I did not know and did not understand this. I did not think that I loved my mom in some special way. But this is how they saw it that is why they chose this method. I heard my mom screaming when they hit her. I heard it. Later I had hallucinations. They did it behind a very thin wall, so I heard everything – every stroke, every scream. They brought her in again and were beating her up again. Even then I did not understand why they were doing it. Once mom came up to me and said, ‘Why, Darcyu, aren’t you saying anything?’ I understood this as why I’m not talking to her. What my mom had in mind – I don’t know. Maybe she made it so ambiguous on purpose. And I said, “There is no need to talk now.” And they stopped it. They saw that I’m not going to talk anyway.”

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    м. Львів, 03.06.2009

    (audio)
    duration: 02:34:28
    media recorded in project Living History
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“I was persuaded by our superintendent, ‘Come, everything has been decided. You will only have to sign some documents – and you will be free’. I did not go. I was stubborn enough to serve my sentence until the very end… I was already imprisoned for 23 years, so I didn’t mind spending another 2 years behind the bars”

Dariya Husyak, 1943
Dariya Husyak, 1943
photo: ЗУЦІД

Dariya Husyak (pseudonym “Nusya”) was born on February 4th, 1924, in the town of Truskavets, Lviv province (now Lviv region). She studied at an elementary school until 1939. During the years of the Nazi occupation she gained education at a trade gymnasium in the town of Drohobych; Dariya graduated from the gymnasium in 1943. Until the coming of the “second Soviets” she worked as an accountant-assistant in Truskavets. During 1941-1943 she actively cooperated with the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists. In 1947 Dariya avoided arrest and started working illegally. She was assigned by Kateryna Zarytska (pseudonym “Moneta”), who was a messenger of the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army Roman Shukhevych (pseudonym “Taras Chuprynka”), to organize a hiding hut in the village of Hrimne, Komarno district, Lviv region, where she started to live “legally” using fake documents. Leader of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army “Chuprynka” resided in the hiding hut for three weeks of the winter of 1947. In 1948 Dariya Husyak became a messenger of Shukhevych. Dariya was arrested on March 2, 1950, and she was kept in the prison “on Lontskoho Street” in Lviv for a year. For further interrogation she was transferred to a prison in Kyiv, where she was also kept for a year. According to the decision of the Special council of the Ministry of the State Security of the USSR, Dariya was sentenced according to the article 54-1 “a”, 54-11 of the Criminal Codex of the Ukrainian SSR (“treason”, “participation in a counter-revolutionary organization”) to 25 years of imprisonment. Dariya served her sentence in prisons of Verkhnyouralsk and Volodymyr. In 1969, at the request of the global community, imprisonment was replaced by forced labor camps. Later Dariya was transferred to a camp in Mordoviya. She was released in March of 1975. Dariya did not receive a permission to come back to Galicia. She settled in the town of Volochysk, Khmelnytsk region, with a friend from the underground Kateryna Zarytska. Dariya worked at a tailor’s workshop. Since 1995 she lives in Lviv. Dariya Husyak is one of the founders of the All-Ukrainian League of Ukrainian Women, member of the Leadership of the Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists, and an active member of the community.