Stepan Prytula Степан Притула

* 1934  

  • "But then, we were already taken to, to Molodiv. From Molodiv, then in Rodatychi, in Rodatychi, they lived here, and here, you know, our guys were still here. And, he says, as they were called Banderite, like that. And once. We had several (guys), and one man was from there, from Molodiv, pardon me, I say from Molodiv, but I mean from Rodatychi. He brought them two, here to us, we were at that house. We still have that old house, so he brought them to that old house. He brought them there, and there were two pieces of wood lying on the ground, he asked my dad to still on the lying wood, and the one who brought them said, “Here are two guys, you have to give them something to eat, something to drink, everything. And they have to stay here at yours, - he says, - at the attic. There was a stable and they were in the attic, in the attic. And he, he threatened my dad: “God forbid you say anything, then (they) will come, beat them, or take them to prison or another place. You will be responsible then, - he says, - you. If they will disappear, the other guys will come and shoot you all. At home, - he says, - (they will shoot) everyone - mom, and dad, and everyone. They will shoot everyone at this house. Including children. The whole family would be shot. ” Like that. And so it was like that. We kept silent. God forbid we told anyone. They would come to shoot everyone, and that would be it. Our parti… our partisans, as they say."

  • "Petro was the eldest, 27th year. When leaving Poland, when leaving for Basznia, to the station Basznia... And so they, well, he went there to Molodiv to take piglets, and also to take a chaff-cutter. And take a chaff-cutter. So they took it, they went with a grandfather, the grandfather Pokhoday was still alive, he was like my grandfather. Like that. They went to Molodiv, took that chaff-cutter, took the piglet from there. And when they were about to leave the village, there were already almost on the edge of the village. The Poles approached, stopped them, come, he says, to this, to the village council. That was their rule, so, to get there. And he thinks, "So if I go there, they'll see my beautiful horses." they wanted to take those horses. [...] And he gave it a thought, a thought, "I'll get away with the horses." He quickly turned away, turned away, and escaped. He took the paved road and escaped to the Basznia, where we, where we were evicted there, we were already there, everyone. There they made those booths, to cover from the rain, to cover everything. And they thought that he should already be there, (meaning not clear), and they quickly moved forward, in front of him, and wanted to сut him. Because he went there, and they were on the other side of the road. Immediately they came here, and he was riding the cart in front of them. And then they started shooting at him. They were shooting, to tell the truth, they didn't even kill the horses, nothing. And he just, he fell on the cart. And he was not injured, and not only needed [...] They just hit his blouse with their bullets, and he immediately, at once, you know, jumped in a ditch, and continued moving along the ditch. And they could not catch him there. And he took the turn, he quickly took that turn. Like that. And ran away from them. On the second day, those Poles came, they came to where we were, to those huts. They came to those horses and zap zap. They were stroking those horses. And at that moment our guys came. Somewhere, they were somewhere nearby and came in, they came in behind that hut just where we were sitting, they came in there. There was one family, then the second, then the third, then the fourth. Everyone was located there. And those guys came here, and they looked, and said, "Why did they come here," they say, "why did they arrive here?" "Well, the Poles came, they probably want to take those horses." You know. They want to take those horses. They came and they kept stroking those horses. And the two guys that came in, they were already older. They came to them and said, "So you want those horses?" And they took them (the Poles) away, they were armed, you know. And they took the Poles away, took the, somewhere. And no one knows where they took them. Nobody, nobody, nobody told us anything. Maybe they shot the Poles somewhere in the forest, or not, I was not told anything. Oh, and those horses were left with us. Because one foal was 1 year old, and another foal had 3 years, those horses, that was the time."

  • "As the war came, I was sitting on a cherry, a cherry or a pear tree. I was sitting on the top. That was the moment when the plane was flying. And it dropped bombs, dropped two bombs. And I was still looking at it, how it flies. And I see how one bomb falls, the second bomb falls and hits near the pavement where a woman with her son was walking by. They were walking through the gardens, through this area. And when they reached the pavement the bombs hit that place. Everything was torn to pieces. Including her and that boy. Later people were talking to the military, they said. Asking them why did they throw bombs on civilians. They say Bombs are dropped. Because they thought that there were some, he says, Banderivtsi, or people like them. So they dropped the bombs and killed people. And then later they brought the whole family here, young people, here in Rodatychi. They lived there near the station. Like that. And that's how it was, the war was coming closer, but when it was happening then we were, well, we were sitting in the house, then we took pillows from the house, and ran to the stable because the stable was made of those blocks, it was a masonry. We took everyone there because we thought what if it (the house) will catch the fire, it will be on fire, so we took the duvets and hid there. And later the Poles arrived, and the father was taken to the frontline."

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    Lviv, 18.07.2021

    (audio)
    duration: 57:55
    media recorded in project Memory of Ukraine
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Photographer in a Soviet special settlement

Stepan Prytula in his youth
Stepan Prytula in his youth
photo: pamětník

Stepan Prytula was born on January 1, 1934, in the village of Molodiv (Młodów), Lubachiv County, Poland. During the evacuation of the Ukrainian population from the territory of Poland and Polish citizens from the territory of the Ukrainian SSR, he was relocated to the village of Rodatychi, Horodok district, Lviv region. His father and sister helped the Ukrainian underground movement, for which they were convicted and served their sentences in Kemerovo and Mahadan. The remaining family members, including Stepan, were deported in 1947 to a mining settlement near Prokopyevsk in the Kemerovo region. There he worked on a farm and in his spare time engaged in photography. The young amateur photographer preserved in the photos one small special settlement - the Yuzhnoye mine near Prokopyevsk in the Kemerovo region. He returned to Rodatychi with his parents in 1961.