Friday, 24 September 2010

I want to tell about one sad page from the history of Ukraine. This thread is about the first Ukrainian and the second European museum-prison, about "National museum-memorial of the occupational regimes' victims "The Prison on Lontskyy str." in L'viv. The prison on Lontskyy str. was famous as political prison during three occupations of L'viv region: the Polish in 1919-1939, the Soviet in 1939-1941 and in 1944-1991, the Nazi in 1941-1944. The cruelest pages of this prison are dated in 1941 year, when during 22-28 on June were shot 1681 prisoners by the agents of NKVD. And also very cruel events were in 1941-1944, when the Nazi have begun to arrest the members of OUN and their relatives there. In 1936 the Ukrainian hero Stepan Bandera, a leader of OUN, stayed in the prison on Lontskyy str. after his arrest of 1934. Katheryna Zarytska, the organizer and the chief of Ukrainian Red Cross of UPA, stayed here too from 1935 till 1941. Ivan Klymiv, one of the chieves of OUN in West Ukraine in 1940-1941 and a minister in the Ukrainian government of Yaroslav Stestko, was shot on December, 4 in 1942. Yuriy Shukhevych, the member of OUN and a brother of Roman Shukhevych, the leader of UPA, was shot on June of 1941. Iryna Senyk, Ihor and Iryna Kalynets, Ivan Hel', the famous public figures in the period of the second soviet occupation (1944-1991), were arrested and stayed here for "antisoviet activity". And V'yacheslav Chornovil, the eminent public figure and politician, candidate for president of Ukraine in 1991 and in 1999, stayed in the prison in 1972-1973 for "antisoviet activity" too. (Many people considered him the best pro-Ukrainian candidate in that elections; V. Chornovil died in the autocatastrophe in 1999 under the strange circumstances).
After staying in the jail on Lontskyy str. the prisoners were shot or were sent to the camps for political prisoners. The last arrests for "antisoviet propaganda" were organized in 1989, when the citizens of L'viv went on patriotic demonstration and then some of them were taken here. Nowadays it's only memorable museum, not a prison. The museum was created to know and to remember the real Ukrainian history of that cruel XX-th century. Because who doesn't know the past, that one isn't worth for the future.

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