Лев Лебіщак Lev Lebishchak

* 1922

  • I lived on Akademichna street in Lviv when I was arrested in 1950. I went on a business trip to Kyiv in 1950 and stayed there for a month. I knew that I was being followed. A friend who worked in the Ministry of Health spent the evening with me. We dined in a restaurant, and I took the train home to Lviv (it was before the Easter holidays). I went into the train car and took the upper berth. At five o'clock in the morning the train arrived in Krasne. It was April 4, snow was still on the ground. I woke up, and saw two men near me. "Get ready!". They took my little suitcase and me off of the train into a room in the station where their chief was waiting. They searched all my things, put me in a car, "gazik". Two of them sat on either side of me, and their chief sat in the front. They drove me to L'viv. I still wonder why they didn't arrest me in the station in Lviv?

  • I lived there, and he built his house nearby. Не мowed himself, his sons helped him. He did everything with his own hands. Ivan Chmola - he was a man of a military discipline. He built a house for himself there. He woke those boys at six o'clock in the morning - there was that kind of discipline. At school he taught us geography and a subject, then called "rukhanka" (physical education). Before our lessons we came to play volleyball, basketball and so on. Chmola organized hiking trips to the Carpathians for the older boys. He was very strict. If one of the hikers got tired and couldn't hike any further, he could leave him in a village and go on. He was very strict. He was also the school librarian - during the long school break we borrowed books. The books were old, so he sewed and bound them himself at home. If there was even a small scratch on the table - it was horrible! When we came to his office we always checked, whether our predecessors had not put a scratch somewhere before us​​. We were responsible for this before Chmola.

  • When I was a student in the medical institute in Lviv during the German occupation (I am a physician, a gynecologist) troubles began between Poles and Ukrainians. Poles killed our Professor Andriy Lastovetsky, and ours killed Professor Jałowy on the street. Later, we students escorted our professors to the institute and back to their homes. The Polish students did the same with their professors. We all guarded our professors. I have a book with the portraits of those professors and descriptions of those incidents. The book is in Polish, entitled: "Wojna, ludzie i medycyna [War, people and medicine]."

  • Whenever I visited Drohobych, I always visited Chmola’s neighbors and inquired about him. There was a lady who had been jailed, but was released later. She was a girl when Chmola was arrested. At that time the so called "polutorka" (NKVD prison car) arrived. Two NKVD men came to the neighbor’s house and asked: "Where is Chmola?" They said, "Chmola lives over there." After a few minutes they brought him out, put him in their car, then came back. A veteran of the Ukrainian Sich Riflemen lived across the street, Dmytro Burko, a teacher. He taught German in the secondary school. So, they put Burko in that car as well and took both of them away. After that both disappeared. He was murdered there in Drohobych. They destroyed so many people in Drohobych.

  • There was an interesting story with Ihor Chmola . When he was a little child, he took a piece of chalk from school. His house was one kilometer from school, on the Lisnyanska street in Drohobych. He rode his bicycle and wrote on each pole: "Ihor Chmola, Ihor Chmolar, Ihor Chmola." Then (his brother) Taras told me, that when his father saw this "Ihor Chmola", he gave Ihor a bucket of water and a rag, and told him to go and wash his name off the poles. And his father told Ihor to repeat, that "nomina stultorum ubique locorum" [the names of the stupid are everywhere], which is rendered in Polish as "imiona głupie na każdym stłupie". That is what I remember about Ihor.

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    Львів, Україна, 25.08.2011

    duration: 54:17
    media recorded in project Plast living history
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At five o’clock in the morning the train arrived in Krasne. It was April 4, snow was still on the ground. I woke up, and saw two men near me. “Get ready!”.

Untitled-4.jpg (historic)
Лев Лебіщак Lev Lebishchak
photo: Музей-архів пластового руху

Lev Lebishchak was born on May 20, 1922 in Drohobych, Western Ukraine (then Poland). His mother was originally from the village of Medvezha. Father was a teacher of medicine in the Ukrainian Underground University. Lev Lebishchak studied at Drohobych gymnasium. He sang in the choir of St. Trinity church and studied in Medical Institute since 1943 till 1949. In 1950, he was arrested by the KGB at the Krasne station. He was detained in Lviv prisons. From 1950 to 1958, he served his sentence in the Siberian forests. Lev Lebishchak is a gynecologist. He lives in Lviv, Ukraine.