Taras Maksymovych Тарас Максимович

* 1928  

  • Well, we sang carols for the Christmas holidays, came to visit others. On Easter we had fun playing Hayivky, oh, we ran to the central square in a big crowd, to the central square above the Amur, and there played Hayivky. The locals were looking at us, it was interesting for them to see how we play Hayivky. Many, in Khabarovsk there were many Ukrainians who were evicted much earlier. And there were people evicted during the first Soviets. They introduced themselves, joined us, so it was very interesting on... on holidays.

  • M.T. They were getting information from the West and telling those young men and women that an attack on the Soviet Union by a division was being prepared. They were telling them to stay safe and not listen to any agitation for joining the Soviet army. Z.H. And how did you get information from the West? M.T. It was done in an underground way, there was a connection, this Volodymyr was getting information, and then he passed it to me and Vasyl, and we already used that information, and young men and young women were divided into smaller circles, no more than 3-5 people. So not everyone knew all the groups. And not all the groups knew me, but I knew them: there were about fifty people behind us. And no one, no one, was arrested because of us. So I have on... have nothing on my consciousness… and… no arrests of young men.

  • Late in the evening, almost at night, there was knocking, knocking on the door, father or mother, I think mother opened the door, the major border guard was standing there, he showed documents for eviction, he went into the house with the soldiers and said that there would be a search and that we had to pack because he had documents for eviction to Siberia. And because the soldiers came in with weapons, we had to obey it all. And during a search, they found American money. It turned out that the major border guard was an extremely conscious and cultured man. When we were transported to Zamarstynivska Prison, Zamarstynivska Prison, a couple of days later he approached us, called my mother and gave back the money, jewelry, gold chains, etc. He said, "Maybe you will need it where you will live". He also forced us to disassemble the sewing machine and take it with us, and later my mother was using it.

  • In 1939, it was quite stormy, quite noisy, and later after September 17 arrests began, deportations to Siberia, prisons, etc. The population was shocked after the event on August 17. The first time I met the Soviet authorities in Husakiv, it was on vacation, and they drove in tanks to that town, Soviet tanks entered the village. Zhydy - "the Jews" - were extremely happy to see them, they rode with them in tanks, until September 1, just when Bohdan's older brother was being buried, he died at the beginning… in late August, and on August 1… no, on September 1 he was buried. Thus, I remember the 39th year with my brother's funeral, the entry of tanks to Husakiv, Soviet tanks, and later... later repressions began.

  • That was the 39th year, just two months before the war… Sheptytskyi had meetings with children from a kindergarten on Ruska Street, where the church… is… the entrance is from the courtyard to the kindergarten. Before that there was a daughter Liuba, I mean Yulia in th… in that kindergarten, her parents enrolled her there… I have to [unclear: 00:19:04]. And there I am among the children on that picture, my brother and sister [laughs] just let us sit there because we just got in, our faces are peeping out. So I was talking about the 39th year and Sheptytskyi. Z.H. Do you remember that meeting with Sheptytskyi? M.T. I do remember. Z.H. Tell us. M.T. So we were brought there with the kindergarten… well, do you know Yura church now? Before the church itself, there is a garden on the right, so we came to the garden. Sheptytskyi was brought in a wheelchair because he was paralyzed, if you know, he was paralyzed. The paralysis developed when he was in exile in 14-18, when the First World War began, as he was a Greek Catholic, Russian authorities did not recognize him, and also because he defended the Ukrainian people. So Sheptytskyi… and he was evicted to… he was evicted to the Ural. And already in 1918, he returned when the Soviet… no… when tsarist Russia disintegrated. So. Well… he came to us, greeted us, blessed us children [the chair squeaks] and started talking. It's difficult to remember the essence of the conversation after seventy years [laughs], well, we were very happy with that picture.

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    Lviv, Ukraine, 18.08.2020

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    duration: 01:25:38
    media recorded in project Memory of Ukraine
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    Lviv, Ukraine, 02.09.2020

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    duration: 46:07
    media recorded in project Memory of Ukraine
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Journey to the Harbor Sovetskaya Gavan

Maksymovych (in the middle) with his comrades, vicinity of Khabarovsk, 1951
Maksymovych (in the middle) with his comrades, vicinity of Khabarovsk, 1951
photo: Personal archive of the witness

Taras Maksymovych was born on November 11, 1928 in Lviv. In 1935 Taras Maksymovych went to the first grade of the Ukrainian “Ridna Shkola”. During his schooling, he changed four schools. During the Second World War, the Maksymovych family lived in Lviv. In 1945, Taras Maksymovych began to engage in public activities, for which he was arrested and sentenced to ten years in prison, but released later. From 1947 to 1950 - Taras Maksymovych studied at the Mechanical Faculty of Lviv Polytechnic. In 1950, the entire Maksymovych family was imprisoned and sent to the Chipali settlement in the Khabarovsk Krai. Taras Maksymovych stayed there until 1959 and returned to Lviv, where he still lives. In 1998, Taras Maksymovych was rehabilitated.