Bohdan Voluyko Богдан Волуйко

* 1932  

  • Myself, for example, I had a situation, when… at that time English boots were very fashionable, you know, boots, kirza boots....no, not kirza boots, but box calf boots; English boots. They were very fashionable in the 50s, everyone wore them, you know, and I was the same as everyone. And I... I brought them all the way to the prison area, to the very place... In the prison area, you know... I was evicted there, well, they put me in a barrack, you know. And in a few days a person came up to me, and I was walking in those boots, he came up to me… he was a thief in… thief in law. Do you understand? "Listen," he says, "Why do you need those boots?" They will take them from you... And moreover, they will undermine your health. I'll give you felt boots, shoes for the winter, and you give me those boots." And why he, why he needed those boots, because thieves-in law, they wore fashionable things, they all had box calf boots, they were all so neat because they… Because they were in the law, in the law, you know, and they, you know, well, they survived because of other people's suffering... They always took things away, robbed people. You know? You know, so he told me so. And I thought to myself: really, and it was the first time, you know, a few people approached me, looked closely at my boots. So I, I say: well, let's swap. And he brought me a pair of felt boots for the winter, oh, and I gave him those boots.

  • And all of us, you know, we worked at that hydrolysis plant. We were building it, and we had to do everything by hand - dig trenches, well, in short, we had to do everything. It was hard, we were using pinch bars, but… I want to say that no one made us hurry up. But they demanded: the trench should be dug this way because the foundations would be filled there later. Well, the worst thing was the winter, and the worst thing was to install reinforcements. Reinforcements, all those bars, wires. It was winter, our hands were cold, and we had to tie that reinforcements, twist it with a dart, not with electric welding, but with a dart. It was a pain - to sit on… to sit at some height and fix the reinforcements. Somehow we were so patient, we had no other option.

  • To our house… People were coming for specific reason. You know? They came to spend a night, you know, we… us… H.Z. Here? B.V. Yes. Yes, all around here. They came to stay a night, you know, and my brother-in-law, you know, Fedir always brought some guys, who were they? Always me… They always told me: be careful, Bohdan, be careful, don't tell anyone, be as silent as a grave. So no one would… Once a woman came with him, once a tall man came with a woman. I guess he was, I can't, I can't be 100% sure though. But, apparently, he had a higher position. And then… and then he gave me a special warning, you know. And we, and he... He also worked in the printing house, and constantly brought the font, and he and I printed, you know, leaflets, and I already worked at plant No. 28. And we, you know, I distributed those leaflets at plant No. 28. Those were leaflets against the Soviet government, like, you know, I can't recall in details anymore, but there were appeals to people, so to speak, for people not to listen to the communists, for them to try, you know, in every way to limit themselves from the influence of communists, to distance from them. From the Communists, you know. The leaflets. In those leaflets, we also shared some information about meetings at some time and place, for instance saying that in a cinema there will be a movie at a certain time. Like this. And then people came, and there was no movie that night, you know. Oh, these, it's not much, they are pretty small, these are the main, those leaflets we made were basically against the Soviet power.

  • And when we slept at night, Hania, you know, it was scary to sleep. There were shouts, there were women, especially women were shouting. It was very audible at night, because... It was easy to hear everything. H.Z. And how did they torture? B.V. There were all sorts of ways. As you know, they had many ways, but for me, for example, they put your hands back, you kneel down, kneel down and so you have to, you know, until you pass out. You pass out, fall down, they get you back… Or something else, you know, they were coming up with different methods. Once I was sitting with the investigator, he tells me something... Like this is the Soviet authorities, you have to say this and that... And I refuse to everything. Yeah! As he started shouting, there was something on the table and he took it and he threw it at me. It hit me in the shoulder. Well, in short, like this, all sorts of tortures, those tortures… no-no-not so much… try it - hands back, kneel down and stay like that for half an hour or one hour on your knees. Or something else, you know. Well, I wasn't.... Wasn't... And all the time, you know, he just beat us, just beat. He had, you know, he also had a strap, you know, maybe it wasn't a strap, it was some kind of whip or something. He could just hit you several times on the head, like that. And that's it. That was the trouble, but what can you do?

  • In the 41st year, the war broke out, that is, began… began… did not begin, just a continuation of the war. And you know, at that time, when Germans entered Lviv, and that was on June 30, June 30, no, they entered Lviv sooner. For me as a child… It is interesting for a small child, when the war broke out, you know, and then our street that goes to the east… It was crowded with migrants. There were a lot of Russians in Lviv. And they all fled, you know, to the east. There were many of them… many… they were running away, you know, night and day, night and day, you know… They were leaving, running away from the Germans, they were running away. And when, you know, the Germans had already taken over Lviv, you know, there were Russian soldiers somewhere around. And, you know… and our people… our neighbors, mine especially, our neighbors were very, you know, interested: oh why, you know, how the Germans came and they are not greeted. And Ukrainians were very loyal to the German government, you know, at that time. And we all went out, you know, all of us… all the neighbors, all, everyone… 30 people, we went to Vilkina street, on the corner with Lychakiv, we went there to greet the Germans. Germans were on bicycles, on… and also driving by cars… They were standing on the left side, under that building, and my friend and I were standing on this side, on the right side, if you go outside. And suddenly, you know, there was a strong explosion, you know. It turns out that in Pasieki, it used to be "gasmare", it used to be a landfill… in Pasiky area, you know. There a Russian tank, you know, got stuck there. And they wanted to break through. It was already… it was already on the June 30… on the June, 30. On that day Stepan Bandera, you know, in… in the city center gave a speech, you know, there… He was proclaiming Ukraine. But that's just the point... And that tank wanted to break through, it had no identificational signs, there were no signs on it, it left Pasieky and moved to… to Lychakiv… H.Z. And where is Pasieky located? B.V. Pasieky is the area where the tram turns. H.Z. Uh-huh. B.V. And from that…. H.Z. Is it near the end stop of the tram number 2? B.V. Yes, tram number two. And the tank, you know, it was driving from there, from the Pasieky district, and was driving fast to the right, it wanted… to Vynnyky… wanted, wanted to break through, you know. There were four of them. And there were only Jews, you know. Because now I'll tell you why. And when, you know, the tank arrived… at this place, there was "Yunist" workshop, here… a workshop "Yunist (Youth)", they were making knitwear there. It reached the "Yunist", the tankers saw through their window that there were many people standing with bouquets, and with direct guidance, you know, fired a round at… at people. Some people died immediately, you know, among them: my brother Yevhen, my brother-in-law, a neighbor, one more neighbor, Kalmu… Kalmukiv, yes, Blihard… well, in short, six people… six people. My brother-in-law, brother-in-law, bass… my brother, in short, six people died.

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    Lviv, Ukraine, 12.08.2020

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We were nationally very conscoius youth

Bohdan Voluyko
Bohdan Voluyko
photo: Personal archive of the witness

Bohdan Voluyko was born on November 2, 1932 in the town of Olesko in the Lviv region. In 1935, the Voluyko family moved to Lviv. In Lviv, they lved through the ime of the Soviet and then the Nazi authorities, when Bohdan’s sisters were deported to Germany for forced labor. In the spring of 1950, Mr. Bohdan was arrested for nationalist views and, after being in prison, taken to the settlement of Stvor, Perm region. In August 1954, Bohdan Voluyko was released. In 1992, Bohdan Voluyko was rehabilitated. He is a member of the Union of Political Prisoners of Ukraine and lives in Lviv.