Bohdan Kostelnyi Богдан Костельний

* 1945  

  • But mostly, mostly there was almost no local population. There were some... There were Muscovites with the last name Panamariovy, then they had their own mansion. And they... So they were in need, they were keeping goats, cows, and so on. You know. And during the first frost, they threw the potatoes on... outside for it froze, and they cleaned and ate it like an apple, because it was sweet, you know. And everyone, both old and young ate it. Including dogs and cats, they all ate raw, frozen, frozen potatoes. Later it grows again, and it... Nothing grew there well. There were no apples. As our Ivanka was married, she became a daughter-in-law. And then they went to Ukraine, I don't remember when exactly, but they went as if on vacation to Ukraine. And from there they sent a parcel. And I, it was dark, it was autumn I think. And I came to her and she told me, “I'll give you a pear.” And I had never seen a pear before that, only in the picture. I touched that pear, you know. And I was thinking, “I'll try it.” I was thinking... As started eating it, I ate it all, with that. Then I stand in the middle, and I say, “Show me another pear.” And she says: “But I left you just one pear, because all other rotted, the parcel was delivered in 10 days.” She said everything was rotten, and she said she had to throw everything away.

  • There was a hospital. Yes, we had a medical center there, it was, it was near the place where we lived. And my mom's (...) fell ill, and then she was taken to Prokopivsk. It was called the “white hospital”, you know. Then I was about 10-11 years old, everyone packed everything for me, my sisters, my mother, and I got on the train and I went there. And my older brother lived in Novokuznetsk, and he also, we somehow agreed that he would take the same train. And he had a girl, he had to get married already, you know. She was Russian, but she was, she was a beautiful girl, they studied there together. And I got on the train with them, and my brother took the same train. And he was older, he was a fancy man and he said: “Oh, you did not wash your ears.” But how could I wash my ears, I didn't go, I didn't go much to the river in the summer. Like that. You know. And once I also went to my mother, to the hospital there, and the auditors took me and locked me. He said: “You don't have a ticket, maybe you escaped to your home.” I tried to explain, “No, I'm...” And they took me to the final station of Usiata. I was taken there, then I had to return to Prokopivsk on foot, then released. How to say.

  • That was, I remember, how we were starving, how we went for bread. And at school, when I started school we already went to carol. I have a dear friend here, Ihor, he lives here in Lviv. And we sang carols, then went to school. And we were expelled from school. The teacher said, “You went to glorify God.” And, and they expelled us from school. But my dad went to the school principal, and we were reaccepted at that school. Interviewer: "Do you remember how it was, how you were caroling? What carols did you sing?" So, we learned one carol and we went to the barracks, to every barrack. Like that. We were singing some сarol verses, this and that, we ran around. And she, the teacher, asked us: “And how much did they give you?” (In Russian) We answered: “1 Ruble and three”. “Oh,” she said, “that's a lot.” (In Russian) And at that time people used to give kopecks, like five or ten kopecks usually. Because when I was in school, we had a buffet there, and my mother gave me 10 kopecks, so I ran to that buffet, and usually bought 100 grams of candy, those “Pillow-candies” sprinkled with coffee, they were delicious. And in that buffet, the priest from Kyrdytsia worked as a counterman.

  • Well, then when we lived there, and we were boys, we were running around. This bakery was like, like, it was on the other side from the stables. And we all ran to the bakery, and there was an old woman carrying bread, by horse carriage. And as soon as she harnessed the horses, we, the boys, immediately opened this thing and swept away the crumbs, because we wanted to eat, we were hungry. And then, they gave little bread, around 300 grams per person. And then, as they gave the bread, it was possible to take it. And we boys were running around near the store, and there was a moskal who said: "they are giving as much bread as you want." And we ran quickly, there was a wooden bridge over the river Obushka. There was the Obushka river. And there was one railway bridge. And we are on the other side. And we ran across the railway, we were are afraid that our feet don't get trapped between the cross-sleepers, we running so quickly. We ran and created a stir in the barracks. We say: “They are giving as much bread as you want.” And people started running, going quickly to get bread. And that Moscal says: “Don't worry, women. Now you will take as much bread as you want.” Well, the bread there was good, so white, in huge loaves. They looked like, like this. Then they got a lot of bread, like that. When there was some bread left, my mother cut everything, dried it, and put it in a bag. She said: “Who knows where we can be taken.” That's what she said.

  • In [19] 59 we left for Donbas. When Stalin died, we were allowed to leave, but not to Western Ukraine. So we moved to the Donetsk region. We arrived in Donbas. And in Donbas... But before that the brother-in-law moved there, he was a coalman. And he got an apartment in the Donbas. And then my sister went there. My sister, she was married, she had two children. The younger one (sister), that stayed here. And she, and her husband died in the mine. She was... Her husband died in 1959. Well, she didn't live there anymore, she lived with us. She lived with us, and she also went with her brother-in-law. And here she got a job in Donbas, and they gave her an apartment. Then there was the village of Belytskyi, the mine opened, and people came from all over. It was the Soviet Union, people arrived from various places, you know. And she also got an apartment. And we had already arrived, my dad had already taken the containers. Because, as they were allowed to build a house there, they were given materials for free, otherwise people would not stay there. They were doing it intentionally to mix up the nation, for people to forget. And we, and I remember, my dad and I helped there, we built a barn. And later we kept pigs there.

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    Lviv, 18.07.2021

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    duration: 01:08:03
    media recorded in project Lost Childhood
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Childhood in a mining settlement

family photo of Kostelni family - from left to right: 3rd row: Anna (from Kostelni house, the narrator's sister), her husband - Dmytro Kish, sister Mariya Kostelna; 2nd row: neighbor, Mykhailo - father of the respondent, respondent, mother Kateryna (from Dembitski house), son of Hanna and Dmytro sitting in her arms; 3rd row - sister Ivanna Kostelna. Yuzhnaya mine, Prokopyevsk, Kemerovo region
family photo of Kostelni family - from left to right: 3rd row: Anna (from Kostelni house, the narrator's sister), her husband - Dmytro Kish, sister Mariya Kostelna; 2nd row: neighbor, Mykhailo - father of the respondent, respondent, mother Kateryna (from Dembitski house), son of Hanna and Dmytro sitting in her arms; 3rd row - sister Ivanna Kostelna. Yuzhnaya mine, Prokopyevsk, Kemerovo region
photo: Pamětník

Bohdan Kostelnyi was born on October 24, 1945 in the village of Tuchapy, Horodok district, Lviv region. In addition to him, the family had five other children. His eldest brother Fedir was a UPA fighter and was killed in a raid in 1953. The family was evicted in October 1947. Earlier, in 1944, his mother’s parents, Fedir and Yeva Dembitski were evicted. During the arrest of the family in 1947, the parents decided to hide their daughter Ivanna, who was not in the documents - she was left alone in the village until later the parents wrote a letter to fellow villagers and asked someone who would go to Siberia to take her with them. So she joined her relatives who lived in a special settlement at the Yuzhnaya mine near the Spychenkovo station, the city of Prokopyevsk, Kemerovo region, the RSFSR. In 1959, the Kostelnyi family moved to the Donbas, to the Bilytskyi settlement, to the mine of the 21st Congress of the CPSU, Dobropil district, Donetsk region. They lived there until 1969. Later, Bohdan Kostelnyi joined the army, and after demobilization, he moved to Kalush, Ivano-Frankivsk region. Then he moved to Lviv, where he worked as an electrician and welder until his retirement. Now he lives in the Tuchapy village.