Roman Zaverukha Роман Заверуха

* 1940  

  • There was security because we were locked in those cells and not released. Once a week they let us out into the yard, it was round, you know. The children ran there, warmed up a bit.

  • In Novosibirsk, we were loaded on a steamer and taken by steamer to the village of Zaikino. We were unloaded from the steamer to the island because the steamer could not approach the shore: the river was small, but in the summer as it overflowed, it was like a sea. We were unloaded in the evening and we were on that island until the morning. We were sweaty, and mosquitoes and gnats сlustered around us terribly. In the morning we could not recognize each other - our eyes were swollen because the mosquitos bit the skin around eyes the most. Then we were all transported from the island by boat to the shore.

  • Then, somewhere in the 55th year, approximately, Urks were evicted to us - those who are bandits. They were drinking there. Once there was a case when a child was playing volleyball on the volleyball court. And one big guy, one of those who were driven from prison, got drunk, grabbed a thill and was spinning it. Everyone ran away, but I didn't. I stood and waited for him, but he didn't do anything to me, didn't hit me with a thill - nothing. Just kicked me in the ass. And our guys saw it - as a group chased after him, he ran away so that he barely escaped. There was a locomotive that gave light to our village - he jumped into that room. The one on duty locked the door and the boys did not get him. And I don't know what they could have done to him, they were so fed up with him.

  • I will tell you about a cripple. There was one man among us - his older brother was "in Bandera army", as they used to say - his last name was Prysiazhnyi, and his name - Hryhoriy. Prysiazhnyi Hryhoriy. He had an older sister who was crippled - she could not walk, her legs were twisted from birth. He carried her on his shoulders all the time. As we were taken for a walk somewhere, he carried her on himself. In Siberia, he took care of her all the time, and although she could not walk, she was very hardworking, she cooked for them. He had a wife and a young daughter of three years. Then a boy and a girl were born in Siberia. I was even the godfather, the boy's godfather.

  • Once a week we went there [to school in the village of Pikovka]. There were a lot of snow and the bulldozer was clearing the road. The bulldozer passed, and the snow fell to the sides with shovels. When Stalin died, we were released home. I remember that the director's wife cried a lot (she taught German quite well). As we were going home, we wrote on those snow slopes, "Hurray! Stalin is dead!" I remember that the three of us were walking together.

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    Lviv, Ukraine, 16.07.2020

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“As we were going home, we wrote into snow: Hurray! Stalin is dead!” - Life in deportation

Parents - Mariia and Antin Zaverucha, 1930´s
Parents - Mariia and Antin Zaverucha, 1930´s
photo: Personal archive of the witness

Roman Zaverukha was born on October 11, 1940 in the village of Hadynkivtsi (now Husiatyn district, Ternopil region). His parents, Antin and Mariia Zaverukha, were wealthy peasants. In 1941, Antin Zaverukha was arrested by NKVD and accused of being a member of the OUN underground resistance movement. At the beginning of the German-Soviet war, he was shot together with other political prisoners. In 1948, Romans older brother Mikhailo accused of having ties to the OUN and sentenced to 10 years in prison in Kazakhstan. He was released in 1955. Mother Mariia Zaverukha tried to avoid further repression against her family by joining the collective farm: However, in 1950, 9-year-old Roman and his mother were taken by cart from their native village to the district center of Probizhna (now Chortkiv district of Ternopil region), and deported by freight train to Novosibirsk and from there by truck to today non-existent “special settlement” of forced labourers in Pishchany (Tomsk region). After his release from the special settlement on October 2, 1956, sixteen-years-old Roman returned to Ukraine on his own. Later, Roman moved to Lviv, where he graduated from the technical school with a degree in “Metal Cutting”. After being drafted into the Soviet Army, he enlisted in the construction battalion, where he served three years. After demobilization, he returned to Lviv and worked at the Lvivprylad plant as a turner, grinder, head of the tool shed, and deputy head of the tool shop. He is currently retired and lives in Lviv.