“After you did your sentence you had no right to study or anything. You lost your civil rights. And they even gave me this ID card where there was this 'decision in a card.' In August 1955 I was released and I went to Lvov.”
“Well I keep forgetting everything already. I used to hand over secret messages and I gave them to this, she was, what was her name, well, to this female messenger who would pass them further. And she was a relative of my father.”
“I wanted some literature and in two days two more men came to see me. I was there with this boy who was in the eight grade. They asked us: 'Who organized you? Was there anyone to organized you? As they were looking especially for active young people. And he even said that they were just asking”
You will create the Ukrainian state or you will die fighting for it
Josip Dmytrovič Melnyk was born on March 13th 1930 in the village of Vovkovytsja in Brodsky Disctrict in the Lvov Oblast in the then interwar Poland. As a student he founded Moloď Ukrainy (The Youth of Ukraine) with his schoolmates, an organisation which advocated Ukrainian autonomy and independence. Later, Josip Dmytrovič was admitted into the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists – ‘junactvo’ – and he was active among Ukrainian insurgents in the Brodsky District. In 1951, he was arrested and sentenced to 25 years in Soviet forced labour camps (also known as GULAG) and to loss of civil right for five years. He was transferred to the Kirov Oblast where he cut down trees and prepared timber. He was released in 1955 – after four years and seven months – and went to Lvov but couldn’t find a job as he wasn’t registered as a local citizen. He tried to settle down in Kremenec without luck and in the end he was registered in Smyha where he was working in a local factory as a machinist. Nowadays, he has been living in the town of Smyha in Rovno Oblast in the West Ukraine.