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10.06.2009

Testimony of victims of repression must remain

   

The testimony of prisoners and witnesses of occupying regimes in Western Ukraine are to be documented with the videoed interviews taken of former prisoners being later used in education.

As witnesses die, a part of our history also dies, and memories are needed in order for future generations to keep that memory alive, the initiators of the project – the Society of Political Prisoners and Victims of Repression, and the Memorial Complex of Victims of Occupying Regimes “Tyurma na Lontskoho” [„Prison at Lonskoho St.”]– explain.

The story of each victim of repression will be recorded in the form of an interview of up to three hours, together with documents confirming that they were held in prison, and kept on disks in two copies. One copy will be used for educational material for future generations, while the other will be shown in the Museum- Prison at Lonskoho which was one of the largest prisons.

First recollections

According to Museum Director Taras Choliy, the plan is that witnesses who wish to talk about the horrors they lived through, whether under the Soviet or Nazi regime, should come forward. These are elderly people who may be physically weak, yet mentally they have no problems, and we can come to them, he says. “Their recollections are very clear, and they are very interesting for us both from the point of view of history and that of national truth”. The first recollections, of political prisoner Lyubomyr Polyuha, guard to Roman Shukhevych (the nationalist leader) have already been recorded.

According to approximate estimates, just in the Lviv region around 70 thousand people were imprisoned for political motives.

Halyna Stadnyk, www.dw-world.de

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