Mykola Kostyshyn Микола Костишин

* 1941

  • "It has always been the most painful when my mother was telling us how apples grow in Ukraine, how pears grow, but there [in Siberia] there was no such thing. And I was always impressed, I went to Ukraine, - ´I'll eat apples, I'll have cucumbers...´, you know how children dream, you know. And I always was... I had this pain inside and I came here to have those apples, those pears."

  • "I also remember you know... My sister Liuba, was one year old. And suddenly - she's gone! And there were some nurses. She was a very nice baby girl. And the nurses took her. As soon as we got out of the cell, they somehow took her away. And my mother shouts: “Liuba is gone! My kid is gone!” I was looking for my sister, and there was a basement, I remember... Oh, God... I rushed into that basement, but there was no light, and I hear: “Oh, oh, oh”, they were beating someone... They were torturing someone. Ohhh. And there was no light, there was a small light bulb, I tried to escape as quickly as I could. And we lived, so to speak, on the second floor, on that Peltevna street. And when everyone heard about it, “so here” - they say – “there are doctors” - he says – “nurses, doctors”, he says, they took the girl to their ward, well, he took my sister and were trying to bring her back. She was constantly having some troubles, she was very beautiful, you know, how usually women are - there is a cute child, and they took her in their arms and took her to their office. That's what I remember."

  • "Then they put a machine gun, I remember it vividly, they put it on the doorstep. Two soldiers were posted there so that we couldn't leave the house. So we couldn't leave the house or take anything with us. He says: “You will be relocated” - said the one who took us out. Well, I still remember how he wrote off, well, how he indicated whose cow it was, whether it was my grandmother's cow or ours, or our horse. And my grandma was already an elderly person. Then my mother, by accident, touched the ink, the one they used for writing, there were no pens at first. He had a big, thick folder, and something was written there. My mother by accident dropped the ink, and it stained everything, you know. And he was yelling at my mother, you know, he says: “I will evict you”, he says, “in Siberia, where polar bears live” - he says – “they will eat you”. That's what I remember. That's how it was. And what else did I want to say? Well, things that we had inside the house, when they were taking us away, things that we had inside the house, like some shirts or underwear, we didn't have much, so we were allowed to take them with us. And things that were outside the house, we couldn't take with us. They were listing everything, and my mother told them “The cow belongs to the grandma”, the cow belonged to my mother, but she registered as if it was owned by my grandma, she did the same with the horse, pigs, and chickens, and a rabbit, we had all of them, what can I say. She wrote everything down, saying: “It's not mine, it's grandmother's.” And he registered it. And when my mom spilled the ink on his papers, there were other last names on that list, when my mother spilled the ink on those documents."

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Malekhiv, UA, 03.07.2021

    duration: 02:04:08
    media recorded in project Lost Childhood
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Employment record book in memory of Siberia

Mykola Kostyshyn's employment record book with a record of correcting the date of birth.
Mykola Kostyshyn's employment record book with a record of correcting the date of birth.
photo: Pamětník

Mykola Kostyshyn was born on December 17, 1941, in the village of Fernalivka, near the village of Murovane in the Lviv region (near Lviv) in a peasant family. His older sister Stefa was a UPA liaison, and his aunt Kateryna Shchupach was a fighter. Kostyshyn family included: father Vasyl, mother Mariya (from the Shchupach family), and their five children: Stefaniya, born in 1934, Romana, born in 1937, Mykola, born in 1941, Myron, born in 1946 and Liuba, born in 1949. They all were evicted in the autumn of 1950. Initially, the family was in transit prison No. 25 on the Peltevna Street (now V. Chornovola Ave.) After that, they were transported to the settlements of Timirov and Shora, in the Khakassia Autonomous Republic, Krasnoyarsk Territory, RSFSR. There Mykola Kostyshyn graduated from school and found his first job - he was accepted as a third-class worker in the Yulinskiy research detachment of the Sibirtsvetvetproekt institute. He later worked at factories and mills in the region. In 1962, his parents and sisters returned to Ukraine, and Mykola and his brother still had to earn money so that the family could live in Ukraine without work for some time, because without a residence permit, “they couldn’t even be accepted into a collective farm.” In 1964, Mykola Kostyshyn and his brother returned home. He was soon drafted into the army, where he served in the radio engineering forces associated with the Warsaw Pact. After demobilization in 1967, he signed a pledge of non-disclosure and constant residence in one place. He Lives in the Malekhiv village with his wife.