In the introductory to her article, the author speaks in general about the work of the Ukrainian Red Cross in Kiev in 1941-42. She links the activity of the UChKh to the traditions of the Ukrainian state of 1918-1921. Then she provides a more detailed description of the situation in Kiev in September, 1941 when the Soviets retreated and the German army occupied the city. Kiev was in a state of wartime chaos: there were fires, mine explosions, lack of food, water, light and public communications. Through the streets, the Germans drove masses of prisoners of war and frightened women searched among them for their husbands, brothers and sons. The city did not yet have any functioning city government or local police.
In this situation of chaos and personal danger, the Ukrainian Red Cross (UChKh) began to operate in Kiev. Liudmyla Ivchenko managed to find a place to live in a half-empty building where her friend lived. In a neighboring building, No. 40 Pushkin Street, Liudmyla met Prof. Fedor Bohatyrchuk. He introduced himself as the head of the UChKh. Around him had gathered a group of people who had decided to start the UChKh in order to provide help to the needy and defend people against the chaos of war.
Several dedicated women, as well as the author, joined in the work of the UChKh. Lesia Rybachuk took charge of the social service, Olena Chekhivska headed the section of assistance to the repressed, and Liudmyla Ivchenko, the author of the memoir, took over the section of care for prisoners of war. Volunteering to help Liudmyla were several young women whose husbands were still in the Red Army. Dmytro Lepkyi became the deputy dead of the UChKh.
The task of the section of assistance to the repressed was to help former political prisoners, those who had been deported and their families.
The medical section of the UChKh in Kiev acted independently and was headed by Dr. Skaletskyi.
Liudmyla Ivchenko, head of the section of care for prisoners of war, provides detailed information about work in this area. Making use of the name Red Cross, the workers made every possible effort to help Red Army prisoners of war. They did their work in very difficult and complex conditions. Among the obstacles to their charitable efforts were the brutal behavior of the Germans towards the Ukrainian population of Kiev, the lack of drugs and the great difficulty in finding food supplies. When the civilian German Nazi administration appeared in Kiev, the UChKh had to work even harder. After the Germans banned the use of the name Ukrainian Red Cross, they continued their work under the banner of the Ukrainian Assistance Committee - "Ukrainsche Hilfswerke".
Shortly after the Germans seized Nolyn, a UChKh branch was also established in Rivne, headed by a physician, Dr. M. Kormyliv. In November, 1941, representatives of the Riven UChKh, Dr. Kharytia Kononenko and Dr. A. Burko, came to Kiev. They established close cooperation with the Kiev UChKh directors.
In order to obtain at least some help for Red Army prisoners of war, the UChKh head, Prof. F. Bohatyrchuk, Liudmyla Ivchenko and Dr. Kharytia Kononenko went to the German military command in Rivne. Particularly helpful in the discussion there, as well as later with the General Government in Lublin and Krakow, was Kharytia Kononenko. who spoke perfect German. In spite of all their efforts the UChKh representatives did not achieve any positive results.
Liudmyla Ivchenko also made fruitless efforts to obtain the liberation of Ukrainian Red Army prisoners of war, While in Krakow, she learned of the arrests by the Gestapo of the UChKh directors in Kiev, including Prof. Bohatyrchuk, in February, 1942. The author, along with Kharytia Kononenko, tried to continue the work on behalf of Red Army prisoners of war in cooperation with the UTsK (Ukrainian Central Committee) in Krakow and in Lviv. However, it became evident that it was hopeless to try to do anything in the regard. Returning to Kiev, Liudmyla Ivchenko could not continue to work on behalf of the prisoners of war, because all the documents related to this matter were taken away by the Gestapo. Thus, in 1942, the work of the Ukrainian Red Cross in Kiev came to an end.
In the introduction to his sketch, the author briefly presents the history of the Ukrainian Red Cross in Ukraine. The UChKh was organized by the Ukrainian government in April, 1918 and acted in accord with the resolutions of the 1864 Geneva Convention, which was ratified by all the states participating in the Gaza Peace Conference of 1907.
After the loss of Ukrainian independence in 1921, the UChKh no longer had the rights of membership in the International Red Cross. However, it continued its charitable activities under other names, adhering to the principles of international resolutions. From the time of the loss of Ukrainian independence up the Second World War, Ukrainian charitable organizations (acting in the place of the UChKh) helped the victims of armed struggles, prisoners of war, invalids and other who were victimized by the war. In later years, they also cared for political prisoner, widows and orphans.
In 1941, right after the German occupation of Lviv, the work of the UChKh was revived on the initiative of Ukrainian doctors. The facilities for starting up its work of charitable and medical assistance were obtained by taking over the facilities of a former sanatorium of the Soviet Red Cross. Thanks to the efforts of the author, they managed to conceal form the Germans the medical equipment of the Soviet provincial health Department and some other medical institutions. These supplies were stored at the Lviv tuberculosis clinic and later they were used to meet the most urgent needs of the city and vicinity. When the armed anti-German underground began to operate, the UPA also benefited from these medical goods.
The first head of the UChKh in Lviv was Dr. L. Kurchaba. In early August, 1941 he was arrested by the Germans and deported to Krakow, where he died in the infamous prison on Monteliupich. He was replaced as UChKh head by Dr. Halyna Bilenka-Vretsiona. When she became ill with typhus, her duties were taken over by Dr. Toma Worobec, the author of the sketch.
In March, 1942, the Gestapo banned the activity of the UChKh. Its work of charitable assistance and medical care was carried on by the Social Service section of the Ukrainian Regional (later Central) Committee. Thus, under this guise, the UChKh continued to operate.
From the first days of the German occupation of Ukrainian territories, the numbers of victims of German terror increased. Help by the UChKh to Ukrainian political prisoners had to be limited to providing them with food and clothing before their transfer to concentration camps. There was no possibility of providing legal defense or organizing any systematic help for the imprisoned.
The UChKh provided the service of physicians and hospitals and gave charitable assistance to thousands of victims of the war and political terror and to those involved in the liberation struggle. One very difficult problem was providing help to Red Army prisoners of war, millions of whom were held by the Germans behind barbed wire in various camps. The prisoners were ding in massive hunger under the open sky from hunger, cold and infectious diseases. When active resistance to German terror was organized, the UChKh helped the UPA in treating wounded and sick solders. Many medications and medical supplies which the author had hidden at the tuberculosis clinic in Lviv, of which he was the director, were passed on the UPA.
The UChKh headquarters in Lviv particularly helped Ukrainian scholars in Kiev, where famine reigned at that time.
As UChKh head, the author was in constant contact with representatives of Jewish doctors in the Lviv ghetto, helping the victims of Hitler's madness with medicines and essential supplies. Many Jewish doctors were saved from physical destruction and entered the UChKh in the UPA.
It was impossible to operate openly the name UChKh on Ukrainian territories occupied by the Germans. The German occupational regime eradicated the whole network of UChKh branches through prohibition, threats, arrests and even executions. Among those executed were the well-known UChKh activists, Dr. Kharytia Kononenko and Dr. Rudobakhta. The UChKh continues to work under the name UChkh only in the UPA.
The author of this memoir worked with Kateryna Zarytska in 1943, when the underground Ukrainian Red Cross began to be organized. The organizational work was carried out by the underground network of OUN women. Kateryna Zarytska became the head of the UChKh. She filled the positions of the territorial UChkh leadership, which built up its network in provinces, regions and districts. The UChKh had three sections: medical, pharmacy and social service. Training of the medical and pharmacy personnel was done by professionals. Heading the medical unit was a physician and the pharmacy unit was headed by the pharmacist Nuna Petrushevych ("Dukh").
The territorial UChKh leadership held periodic meetings, at which all the most important matters were discussed and resolved. Use was made of the broad experience acquired by the medical system in Volyn, where the UPA's armed struggle began earlier than in Halychyna. Larger UPA units began to operate in Halychyna only in the summer of 1943. At that time, the Red Cross began to establish medical stations in villages, and small hospitals in districts and provinces. The UChKh also helped to organize a medical service with the battle units. The UPA medical service provided a doctor or a trained medical assistant to every unit (battalion, company, platoon).
During the German occupation, hospitals were located in houses in "safe" villages, into which Germans did not go. Under Soviet occupation, the hospitals were located only in underground hide-outs. Even during the German occupation, the UChKh prepared for the provision of such underground medical care behind the Soviet front lines.
During the Soviet occupation, contacts were made not in city or village homes but through letter drops in appointed places.
The author describes one incident when the Soviets were carrying out raids in an area near a UChKh letter drop point. The Soviets captures everyone they found in the area, including Kateryna Zarytska. However, the NKVD men did not suspect that among the peasant women they had caught was the head of the underground UChKh. they severely beat all the women, and left Kateryna Z. beaten to the point of unconsciousness in a village house. After she regained consciousness, she escaped and his out in the neighboring village. The after-effects of the beating had to be treated for quite a long time. Although Kateryna did not have the strength to move around, she continued to direct UChKh activity through instructions and orders.
In 1945, the Soviets intensified their raids through all of Western Ukraine. It became very difficult of UChKh network to continue their work and maintain their contacts and there were often serious personnel losses. The author describes one of the raids, which she witnessed with Kateryna Zarytska. In March, 1945, as she was returning from training, she stopped with Halyna Didyk ("Anna") and "Roksoliana" in the village of Koniukhy, in Berezhany county. The Soviets, who were carrying out raids, had left the village, and local contacts informed the women that they could safely stay in the village. but, unexpectedly, the Soviets again surrounded Koniukhy and a large group of neighboring villages. The four underground workers had to stay in the village, disguised as lical peasants, a full two weeks. The Soviets mercilessly terrorized the inhabitants of the village. Through beatings and all kinds of provacations, they tried to get information about UPA activity. Kateryna Zrytska, Halyna Didik, "Roksoliana" and the author were also severely beaten. But in spite of the violence and torture, the Soviets did not get any information about the UPA, and nobody in the village betrayed the members of the underground UChKh.
One of the tasks of the Red Cross was the training of UPA medical personnel. Students in the advanced stages of medical studies were trained to do essential surgical interventions. This surgical training was given in the hamlet of Poruchyn, in Berezhany county. Twelve medical students attended the courses, which were given by the chief physician, "Sofron", who was from the Sokal region, and Dr. Ia. Olesnytskyi ("Iaryi"), who was later killed in the UPA. At the end of the training period, Kateryna Zarytska, director of the UChKh, and the author of the memoir came to Poruchyn. They directed the graduates of the surgical courses to various UPA hospitals.
In spite of the difficult living conditions, the insurgents were able to find moments for diversion. Kateryna Zarytska loved to sing sentimental and love songs. She was always full of optimism and joy of life, had a good sense of humor and was pleasant to work with. Her husband had been deported and her son lived with Kathryn's parents in Lviv.
The author, Col. M. Omeliusik, in the article "The UPA in Volyn in 1943", (Litopys UPA, Vol. 1, in the section "Medical Service") briefly informs us about the UPA's medical service.
Because hospitals and major medical facilities were located in the cities, where German military and police detachments were stationed, the UPa was unable to make use of them. Another problem in organizing a medical system for the UPa was the shortage of Ukrainian physicians and other medical personnel.
A Certain number of Jewish doctors were able to be saved form the ghettoes, and they later played an important role in assisting the UPA medical service. In districts where there were no doctors, the duties were carried out by experienced nurses or medical assistants. Nursing courses were hurriedly organized and small hospitals were established in places inaccessible to the enemy. Because of the danger of attach by the enemy, field hospitals often had to be move.
The chief physician of the UPA medical units was Dr. "Enei" (his name in not known). As UPA doctors worked in places where there were no local doctors, they also provided medical care to the civilian population. In cases of need, the local population cared for sick and wounded UPA soldiers.
The medical care provided to the insurgents suffered from the lack of medications, for they were in short supply in the pharmacies of Volyn cities. Existing supplies were used up during the Soviet and German occupations. The critical shortage of drugs was partly countered by acquisitions of supplies from Halychyna and the General Government. Although there, too, drugs were often in short supply, they were more plentiful than in Volyn. The UPA medical service also had problems getting other medical supplies.
In these very difficult conditions the UPA medical personnel carried out their duties with superhuman dedication.
The exerpts repainted form the article by V. Ninovskyi, "Hrabenko", "In the Ranks of the UPA in the Kostopil Region" (Litopys UPA, Vol. 5), provide much information about medical matters. At the time when the author was an instructor at the UPA's school for non-commissioned officers. "Druzhynnyky", in Volyn, the medical director of the hospital was the physician and surgeon "Enei", who was form Volyn, while the hospital administrator and director of the nursing course was "Uliana". The author gives some information about this medical center.
When he describes his activity as company commander in the battalion commanded by "Ostryi", the author also writes about the medical personnel. The battalion doctor was "Chornyi" (his real name is not known), who was Jewish and came form Rivne. At first, he stayed with the battalion full-time them, as the number of wounded grew, he moved around to different medical stations. There was a lack of doctors in the county and so he also provided medical care to the local peasants. He was helped by a medical assistant, "Kamun".
In another part of the memoir, the author describes his own experiences as a wounded insurgent. At the end of November, 1943 he was wounded in the chest and the arm and was taken to a medical station at a farmstead. Housed there were other wounded and sick soldiers under the care of two women medical assistants. Every few days, they were visited by the battalion doctor, "Chornyi". He was very humane and tried not only to treat the wounded men, but to give them moral support. The Soviet-German front was approaching the area north of Sarny, where UPA units were operating. The Ukrainian Red Cross (UChKh) temporarily housed the wounded men in dwellings which were equipped with hiding places. The author was first taken to the Kolky district, but because there was no doctor there, he was moved progressively further west, closer to Kovel. Because of the lack of medical care, his wounds became seriously infected. A German military party came to the house where he lay sick with a high fever. The sick man passed himself off a a local employee of the German administration, wounded by Soviet partisans, and as such the Germans transported him to a hospital in Kovel.
In an article entitles "The North-Western Region "Turiv" "(Litopys UPA, Vol. 5), the author, V. Novak, "Krylatyi", gives some information about the UChKh in the Kolky district and in the Svynarskyi forest in the so-called "Sich". The town of Kolky was at quite a distance form German military centers and became a center of the insurgent movement. Located there was the UPA school for non-commissioned officers and training courses of UChKh nurses.
The second important UPA base in this military region was "Sich", located in the forests south-east of Volodymyr Volynskyi. The commander of "Sich" was Porfir Antoniuk ("Sosenko"). Locate there was an UPA field hospital operated by the UChKh.
In the northern part of the "Turiv" region were three larger field hospitals in which worked Ukrainian and Jewish doctors. On of the better doctors, whom the author knew, was Dr. "Bilyi", who was Jewish, as was his wife. The author was treated at a farmstead near the village of Klevan by a Ukrainian medical assistant who had taken part in the liberation struggle at the time of the First World War in the ranks of the UNR army.
In the fall of 1943, the author was ordered was ordered by the "Turiv" Military Region commander to build a camp for a field hospital in the large forest south of Kamin-Koshyrskyi. The chosen site for the hospital was inaccessible, surrounded by swamps. The location of the field hospital was kept secret and all the principles of secrecy were applied. The hospital was built by a platoon from another territory. When it was ready, Dr. "Bilyi" and his wife were moved there from the Kolky district. The administrator of the hospital was Captain "Vashchenko", a former officer of the UNR army.
In the memoir "In Advances and Retreats", battalion commander Maksym Skorupskyi ("Max") provides some information about the activity of the medical service in Kremianets county. The author describes how some Jewish doctors, spirited out of the ghetto, were brought from Lviv to the village of Antonivka. Some of them were with their wives. The village of Antinivka was a Ukrainian underground administration center and almost all functionaries form Kranianets county came there. Supply centers for UPa units were established in the surrounding villages. The UChKh was also established in Antonivka by the women.
In the excerpt reprinted from the book "Perezhyte i peredumane", the author, Danylo Shumuk, describes his visit to the small UPa hospital at "Sich", in the Svynarskyi forest of Volodymyr Volynskyi county. The chief physician of the hospital was a young, talented surgeon of the Odessa medical institute. Also working in the hospital were three Jewish doctors. The chief physician was a handsome man of medium height, who was well-educated, gentlemanly and self-assured. In the hospital were 73 soldiers who had been wounded in action against Germans and 37 who were sick with various illnesses. all the patients praised their doctors and behaved courageously.
In an article published in Likarskyi Visnyk, No. 4 (71) 1973, Dr. M. Danyliuk provided detailed information about the physicians Hanna and Petro Roshchynskyi. This article is reprinted in a full in Litopys UPA.
Dr. Hanna Roshchynska-Strutynska came form Kremianets in Volyn. She completed her medical studies in Petersburg and during the 1917 Revolution returned to Ukraine. When the Ukrainian Army was being formed, she helped in the establishment of a medical service and worked in military hospitals. Dr. Petro Roshchynskyi, who was from Chernihiv province, was a military doctor in the UNR army. They were married in Rivne and after the war opened a private practice in Kostopil. They lived there from 1927 to 1938, them moved to Kremianets. In 1939-41, during the Soviet occupation of Volyn, Dr. Hanna Roshchynska stayed in Kremianets, while her husband escaped to the General Government. In 1941, Dr. Petro Roshchynskyi returned to Kermianets, where they both worked in the local hospital.
Drs. Hanna and Petro Roshchynskyi were always active in Ukrainian community life. During the German occupation, form late 1942, they were in contact with the Ukrainian underground. They provided instruction and literature, and organized medical care in insurgent battle conditions. They often passed on drugs and medical supplies and secretly treated sick and wounded insurgents.
The winter of 1942-42 was a time of great tension in Volyn. The UPA began to operate. The German occupational administration waged terror, executing prominent citizens and decimating villages. Through this terror and executions, the Germans planned to break the national resistance movement.
On February 23, 1943, the Gestapo arrested some members of the intelligentsia in Kremianets, among them , Dr. Hanna and Dr. Petro Roshchynskyi. The newly-organized UPA units were informed of this and prepared to attack the prison at night to free the prisoners. However, the Gestapo executed most of the prisoners that same day, shooting them beside the walls of the prison. Among the executed were Dr. Hanna, and Dr. Petro Roshchynskyi. The Germans speeded up the executions out of fear of repetition of incidents that had taken place a few month earlier in Dubno and Kremianets, where prisons had been attacked and hundreds of prisoner freed.
In the article "Ukrainian Women in German Prisons In Kremianets and Rivne" (Litopys UPA, Vol. 5), Stefanie Stepaniak devotes a separate chapter to Dr. Kharytia Kononenko. The author met Kharytia Kononenko in the German prison in Rivne in 1943. Kharytia Kononenko was born in 1900 in the village of Mykolayivka in Poltava province. In 1920, she went to Podjebrady in Czechoslovakia, where she completed university with a doctorate in economics. In 1924, she went to Saskatoon, Canada where she was active in Ukrainian community life. In 1928, she returned to Czechoslovakia, and in 1930, moved to Halychyna. After the outbreak of the German-Soviet war in 1941, she moved to Rivne in Volyn. All during her life she worked in various Ukrainian community institutions and wrote for newspapers and magazines, where she published articles on topics related to women and charitable work.
In Rivne, Kharytia Kononenko worked very energetically in the social service section of the Ukrainian Red Cross. The social service was headed by Col. Leonid Stupnytskyi, later Chief-of-Staff of the UPA Supreme Command in Volyn. In 1941-42, the primary task of the UChKh was to help Red Army prisoners of war, who had ended up en masse in German camps. The prisoners of was were dying of from hunger, cold and infectious diseases.
In 1943, Col. L. Stupnytskyi joined the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. Kharytia Kononenko maintained contact with him and organized medical personnel and medications for the UPA. On July 16, 1943, the Gestapo arrested Kharytia and held her in the prison in Rivne. the Germans often used her as a translator, to explain to the prisoners various orders given in the German language, which she knew very well. In the Gestapo's interrogations of prisoner, the primary accusation was having links with the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. Incidents of torture in the prison dungeon during interrogations were exceptionally brutal. The Germans transferred some of the Ukrainian prisoners to the concentration camp in Auschwitz, and many others were executed in Volyn. Kharytia Kononenko was executed on October 15, 1943. This was the day of the largest number of executions of political prisoners in the Rivne prison.
The main part of the author's sketch consists of a description of the medical service of the UPA battalion commanded by Vasyl Mizernyi ("Ren"). The author was the doctor of this battalion, which at first had more than 700 soldiers, and at the time of the passage of the front, about 2,000 soldiers. Although at that time the author had still not completed his medical studies, he had to assumes the duties of a doctor, for there was a lack of qualified physicians.
The battalion commanded by V. Mizernyi ("Ren") was organized in the summer of 1944 in the Carpathians, in the eastern Lemko region and western Boiko region. It was made up of four companies and one light artillery platoon. The responsibilities of director of the battalion medical service were assumed by Modest Ripeckyi ("Horyslav"), who at that time had completed seven semesters of studies at the medical Institute in Lviv. He assumed this responsibility because no graduate doctor was available.
One of the first tasks was to obtain medications, surgical instruments, bandages and other medical supplies for the newly-formed companies. It proved possible to get medical supplies thanks to the efforts of the local population, which included many people with initiative.
In the Lemko region, the members of the underground network were not able to carry out he task of gathering medical supplies because several months before the arrival of the Soviets, the Gestapo had arrested and imprisoned or executed the active members of the underground. The underground activists who came to the territory to revive the organizational network had not yet been able to fully develop their activity. During the German occupation, the Ukrainian underground leadership had appealed to the population to find medical equipment and supplies for the UPA. Inventories of drugs and other medical supplies were built up with the help of links with pharmacies, hospitals and individual doctors.
During the period of the military training of Mizernyi's battalion, medical supplies were relatively plentiful. Available drugs were categorized according to their use. Every solder at the training camp was supplied with a first aid package. About 50 percent of the soldiers got original military packages, and others got first aid packages made for peasant cloth, which were prepared by UChKh workers in surrounding villages.
An important task of the doctors of the UPA Medical Service was to carry out physical examinations of all soldiers. The battalion medical service director was not able to get processional instructions from his superiors, so he had to make any decisions himself. Among other things, he prepared a short rule book which laid out the basic health requirements for participants in the newly-organized companies. This rule book was authorized by the battalion commander, V. Mizernyi. A provisional "shepherd's hut" was erected in the middle of the camp, which served as a field clinic and place for conducting medical examinations of he soldiers. Most of this medical hut was occupied by medical equipment. another part held the pharmacy section. All the equipment in the hut, including the examination table, had been made in the field from available material.
In a later chapters of the sketch, the author describes how Mizernyi's battalion broke behind the Soviet lines, their raid eastward towards Stanyslaviv (Ivano-Frankivske) and onto the Lemko region as they returned. The medical service was obliged not only to care for the sick and wounded, but also to transport drugs and other medical supplies. On the way back westward, two companies form the battalion were surrounded by NKVD troops. Thanks to their partisan tactics, the companies succeeded in breaking through the encirclment, but the enemy captured all the medical supplies. The doctors and medical assistants were left only with what they carried in their bags.
The author also briefly describes the problems of hygiene, disease prevention and food, both during the training period in the Bukove Berdo forest and later, during the raid.
Described in more detail are the methods of treatment and care provided to the sick and wounded during billeting, marches and battles. One of the more serious problems was outbreak of a epidemic typhus in the company commanded by D. Svistel ("Vseslyi") during the spring of 1945 (this is described in detail). Other illnesses which the author often had to treat included various types of gastroenteritis, vitamin deficiency, scabies, pediculosis, impetigo and ecthyma. When drugs were lacking, home remedies had to be applied. For example, a primitive form of immunotherapy which consisted of infecting the patient with sterilized milk or his own blood was used.
In a separate section, the author describes how the battalion medical service acquired experience in caring for the wounded. Giving examples of several skirmishes, he shows how not only the medical personnel, but also he command staff of the companies tried to deal with these difficult problems. Descriptions are given of the following skirmishes: (1) incident in Lavichne - firing at the raiding UPA battalion by Hungarian artillery; (2) night attack by the battalion on an NKVD center and military points in Perehinske (Ivano-Frankoske province) 17-18.X.1944; (3) battle with border guards and other special NKVD detachments in Stroronna (Sambir area) 17-17.X.1944; (4) skirmish in Strubovyska of the UPA company commanded by D. Svistel ("Veselyi") against special NKVD detachments of the so-called "Red Broom", commanded by Col. Stepashkin.
Conditions for providing medical assistance to wounded UPA soldiers were very unfavorable. Only the most lightly wounded could be cures. Those who were critically or very seriously wounded could not by saved in the existing conditions. Seriously wounded soldiers who were conscious often took their own lives. They did not want to fall into the hands of the enemy and die under torture.
The doctors lived through situations that were full of danger and fear, moments of nervous tension and extreme anxiety. Extremely troubling for a doctor, with all his theoretical and practical knowledge, was to stand over a wounded man totally helpless, simply because the conditions he was working in made it impossible to give the necessary medical help.
The UPA doctor dealt in various ways with the shortage of drugs, equipment and proper facilities and he gave of himself as much as he could. Still he could not overcome the critical situations imposed by the enemy.
The author begins his article with general information about the structure of the UPA and the work of the UChKh on the territory of the UPA's "Lemko Military District", which encompassed the Peremyshl region and the Lemko region.
UChKh workers had to operate in the most unfavorable circumstances. The wounded and sick had to be treated in underground hide-outs, medical stations and small underground hospitals. The work of UChKh personnel was generally limited to providing medical care to the wounded in hide-outs and night visits to convalescents in villages and farmsteads, as well as providing medical care to the general population. The UPA medical personnel worked under constant nervous strain. In 1946-47, the enemy intensified its attack against the UPA. Whole divisions of the VP (Polish Army) blockaded the territory of the UPA's "Lemko" Military District. Dozens of medical hiding places were discovered by the enemy and many UChKh workers were killed.
On January 21, 1947, all the patients of the underground hospital in the forest near Khershchata, in the Lemko region, and all the medical personnel, including physician "Rat", pharmacist "Orest" and medical assistant "Arpad", were killed.
On Good Friday, April 11, 1947, all the medical workers and the wounded in the medical hide-out near the village of Berendiovychi (Peremyshl area) were killed. Among them were Master of Pharmacy Yaroslav Solhan ("Nekhryst"), pharmacy student Olekasandra Haidukevych ("Zena", "Bohdanna"), and medical assistant "Kit". In both cases, the medical personnel and the patients defended themselves as long as they were able, and when they could not continue, took their own lives.
At that time, the lost UChKh personnel could not be replaced. The duties of those who were killed were taken over by less-qualified medical students or medical assistants with less training. But there were no cases among the UChKh medical staff of moral collapse or going over to the side of the enemy. Their steadfastness can be attributed to the ideological foundation of the liberation struggle, the closeness of insurgent society and popular support.
Later in this sketch, the author provides a brief history of the organization of the UChKh and its work on the territory of the UPA's "Lemko" Military District. The first cells of the UChKh, or as it was called in the region, the Health Service, were organized in 1944 by Dr. "Yurko", veterinary graduate "Shuvar", and medical student "Melodiya". The UChKh staff was composed of medical students and a few doctors.
During the period when much of the territory of the Peremyshl and Lemko regions were controlled by UPA units, Dr. "Yurko" and "Shuvar" saw to the organization of the UChKh network and training of medical cadres. The UChKh divided its activity into two branches: military and field work. The military medical courses were attended by members of UPA units, SB battle groups and self-defense units (SKV) of the revolutionary underground. Courses for field medical assistants were attended mainly by women. Their task was to organize care for the sick and wounded in village medical stations. The courses lasted from two to three weeks, with full days of lectures and practical exercises. The textbook used was the Medical Compendium compiled by Dr. "Yurko" and "Shuvar". As part of the training of field medical assistants, a pharmacist also gave a course on curative herbs.
Every SKV had at least one medical hide-out. In every district there was, in addition to medical hide-outs (station), one larger hide-out, a small underground field hospital. Doctors and medical students put great effort into the organization of the UChKh network. the UChKh had a precise reporting system, which gave an overview of the personnel, supplies of drug and food and the activities of the staff. Reporting was done according to the established form every month.
The UPA's "Lemko" Military District command helped the UChKh network in its task of bringing care to the sick and wounded. As an example, the author mentions the operation carried out by the UPA battalion commanded by Petro Mykolenko ("Baida") during the night of November 17, 1946, on the town of Dyniv, in Bereziv county, in order to get drugs from the state pharmacy.
The author provides information about almost all of the doctors and medical assistants and their positions in the UPa medical service and UChKh network on the territory of the UPA's "Lemko" Military District. According to the order of the General Military headquarters, UPA doctors and medical assistants were obliged to provide medical assistance to wounded enemy soldiers and information about the place and circumstances of their deaths to the soldiers' families.
The author begins his article with general information about the Ukrainian Red Cross, its organization and its activities. One of the important tasks of the UChKh was to train medical personnel. Generally, separate medical courses were given for women working in the UChKh field network and UPA military medical assistants. The courses made use of the Medical Compendium compiled by Dr. Yurko Davydenko ("Yurko") and "Shuvar".
Medical care was provided by physicians who volunteered for the UPA, and later, when their ranks thinned out, by medical assistants.
During the summer of 1944, the UPA medical service had to change its methods of operation. Conditions of the UChKh's activities were much more difficult than under the Germans. The enemy terrorized the population and horribly tortured captured and wounded UPA soldiers and medical personnel. The NKVD units frequently carried out raids throughout villages and forests. Enemy medical units did not provide medical help to wounded UPA soldiers while the UChKh, in accord with UPA command orders, gave first aid to wounded enemy soldiers.
In the territory beyond the Curzon Live, the UPA and its medical service suffered the greatest losses in 1947. In 1944-47, before the total deportation of the population, the UChKh operated in planned manner and had a precise reporting system. Every doctor or medical assistant prepared a monthly report about UChKh activity in the field, and the workers of the medical service wrote reports about their work in the units. To his article, the author appends a UChKh district officer report from, which includes 19 separate points. He also provides a copy of instructions on how to keep the UChKh district administrative books. In addition to these books, the medical orderly at the district UChKh center was obliged to keep a record of important events.
The medical stations (hospitals) coordinated their efforts to get food supplies with the economic section of the underground network. Efforts were made to ensure medical hide-outs with food supplies for five of six months in case of intensified raids and blockades of villages by the enemy.
The author also describes the work of doctors (or medical assistants) in UPA units: platoons, companies and battalions.
Heading the pharmacy section of the UChKh in the Lemko region was the pharmacist "Orest". In 1943-44, drugs and surgical instruments were bought with contributions made to the "UChKh Fund". The UPA units also obtained some medications in their operations against enemy targets. Drugs acquired in various ways were brought to an designated point where the pharmacist responsible for several districts distributed them to medical stations - hospitals and UPA units. Any remaining supplies were stored. The UChKh also organized the collection of medicinal herbs, which were used for treatment of various illnesses.
The state of health of UPA solders in the area where the author worked was generally good. Only in the mountains did some of the soldiers suffered heart and lung ailments. Typhoid fever, dysentery and veneral diseases were also common. The enemy contributed to spreading these diseases.
In a separate section of his report, the author gives statistical data of various types of wounds of UPA soldiers and compares them to wound statistics of regular armies. The author finishes his article with information about methods of treatment of the wounded and describes the operational settings of the insurgents' secret hospitals.
In order to illustrate one of the treatment methods used in insurgent conditions, the author appends the first section of a compendium by B. Kruk ("Melodiya") - Herbs and Their Use. This work discusses when and how to gather, dry and store curative plants. Later it indicates how to prepare these plants for use in treatment.
In this memoir, the author describes how he helped give underground courses to Ukrainian Red Cross nurses during the winter of 1944-45, while he was still a student of the Medical Institute in Lviv. The training was given in the Carpathian Mountains near Skole. The courses were organized by a woman whose code name was "Tsiotka". Directing the training was Dr. "Yurko", a surgeon, who was from the Poltava region.
The courses were given in a dug-out which served as living quarters and the places of instruction for 15 students and their two instructors. The conditions of training were extremely unfavorable, but thanks to the seriousness and diligence of the students , the courses proceeded successfully. The author taught the fundamentals of anatomy, physiology and treatment of wounds. Other subjects were taught by the director, Dr. "Yurko". At the end of the course, Dr. "Yurko" gave exams using the method used in Soviet schools, with each student selecting a sheet of questions which she had to answer.
According to the author, Dr. "Yurko" was caught in an ambush in the summer of 1945. Surrounded by the enemy, he shot himself with his Nagan revolver.
During the German occupation, the author of this memoir was a physician in Kalush county. He gives an eyewitness description of Gestapo brutality in the Stanyslaviv region. The arrests and destruction of Ukrainians began when the Germans arrived in 1941, but the terror reached its peak in 1943-44, after the Germans' defeat in the east. In order to control the population more closely, the Stanuslaviv Gestapo moves part of its detachment to Kalush. In the Kalush area, the Gestapo acted with exceptional brutality.
"In May, 1941, a Gestapo expeditionary force attacked the village of Zavadka, in Kalush county. The village was burned and 35 people, including medical school graduate P. Lesyk, were brought to Kalush and held in the Gestapo dungeon, surrounded by barbed wire. The victims were stripped naked and tied to the wire; a German shepherd was set on them and tore out pieces of their flesh. After that, the victims were taken to the cemetery and shot".
A few days later, the Gestapo caught three UPA soldiers, two men and one woman, outside of Kalush county. First they took turns raping the women, them they tried all their captive with chains to trees and set the German shepherd on them. all three were shot at the cemetery. The author did not know the names of these people.
"At the end of May, 1944, the Gestapo, along with Uzbek and Kirghiz units, attacked the villages of Dovka Voinylivska, Siltse and Serednie. For two days, they plundered the villages and raped the women. A week later, as a physician, I verified the physical damage done to the population. About 120 women and even small girls had been raped. Later some of criminals, as I learned, was wiped out by UPA units".
"On Good Friday, 1944, the Gestapo, along with Hungarian troops, attacked the village of Kropyvnyk. They burned the village and took about 30 people, whom they shot after submitting them to terrible tortures in Falchynskyi's house. In addition to the villages already mentioned, the Gestapo burned Kadobna, Lopanky, Bolekhiv and others."
"During the German occupation, there was a Ukrainian business school in Kalush. In the fall of 1943, over a dozen students of that school were arrested on the charge of belonging to an underground organization. The arrested students were taken to Stanyslaviv, where they were all sentenced to death. Then they were brought back to Kalush and shot in the market square. It fell on me be witness to this tragedy".
There were many similar cases. The population, in self-defense, replied by counterattack.
The doctors of the Stanyslaviv region were ordered by the Gestapo to report all cases of wounds they treated. Failure to report such cases was punishable by death. The doctor were terrorized by being called frequently to report to the Gestapo and by arrests.
Dr. Dmytro Kapitan was arrested by the Gestapo in December, 1943, along with other members of the intelligentsia and peasants from Kalush and Nadvirna. The author describes the Gestapo's brutal behavior with the prisoners, whom they tortured and executed. He names a number of people who were shot by the Gestapo and whose names he managed to remember. Among them was a friend of his from student times, Dr. Yaroslav Kucherskyi, who was executed for treating sick UPA soldiers.
During their investigation, the Gestapo interrogated the author about his past, about people in the underground and other matters. But they did not have any information or evidence that he had treated wounded UPA soldiers, and this saved his life.
The author was born in the village of Mytsiv, in Sokal county (after 1939, Hrubeshiv county). She was the older to two sister; the younger sister's name was Olia. After completing the village school in 1940, Hanna enrolled in the business school in Belz. In her memoir, she describes her work in the Ukrainian Red Cross (UChKh).
In 1943, the final year of her studies. Polish partisans were attacking Ukrainian villages in the Kholm area. There were many hurt and wounded people. The only hospital in the area, in Belz, was full of injured people. there was a need for nursing assistance. The women students to the business school, including the author, volunteered to help in the hospital and serve the patients. The author turned out to be a good worker and was soon assisting the doctor and nurses. Later, she worked independently dressing wounds and doing other things for the patients. In the fall of 1943, the director of the hospital, Dr. Vorobets, and Dr. Medytskyi organized three-month-long courses for medical assistants, which the author successfully completed. In 1944, tensions increased, because fighting began between polish partisans and UPA units which were defending the Ukrainian villages. In the Summer of 1944, the Soviet-German front moved through and Hrubeshiv county become a part of Poland.
At that time, the author began to work in the underground UChKh. One of "Hania's" assignments was to bring medications from the Zhovkva forest (a distance of about 100 km). When she returned to her home region, she met Sherhiy Martyniuk ("Hrab"), who later became her husband. "Hania" began to do the work of a nurse and provide medical advice. In early spring 1945, the Ukrainian battalion commander "Yurchenko". He changed sides and began to cooperated with the NKVD in the Dolobychiv forest. Those killed included the author's friends, UChKh workers "Uliana" and "Zirka", as well as the leader, "Sviatoslav", and the propaganda officer, "Yaropolk", The NKVD and the traitor "Yurchenko" also searched through the villages for "Hania". "Yurchenko" knew her personally, because in the fall of 1944 she had served as medical assistant in his battalion.
In 1945-46, "Hania" lived through a number of dangerous and tense situations.
The author describes the tragic battle which took place in February, 1946, between the "Zirky" platoon, commanded by Yevhen Syvak ("Halaida"), and NKVD troops near the village of Lisky. With the platoon were also the commander of "Vovky" company, Mykhailo Kuras ("Krapka") and soldiers from his units. The pitched battle lasted almost the whole day and about 40 UPA soldiers were killed. they were buried in a mass grave near the church in Bilostik. At this time, "Hania" was in the neighboring village of Zhniatyn, along with the medical assistant "Olia" and their insurgent patients.
In the spring of 1946, while making some modifications to mine and rocket detonators, the author's fiancÚ, "Hrab", was injured. Splinters from the detonator wounded his face and a piece become deeply imbedded in his left eye. The wound in his eye did not heal and infection set in, which could not be treated under insurgent conditions. The only thing to be done was for him to get a specialist. At that time, the UPA command was cooperating with the Polish underground, the Armiha Krajowa (AK), which changed its name to WIN (Wolnosc i Nezawislosc). They organized joint attacks on communist centers in Verbovychi and Hrubeshiv. Using WIN contacts, "Hrab" was able to get to Lublin. There the renowned Polish eye specialist, Dr. Tadeusz Krwawicz, did a complicated operation on his eye. "Hrab" was supposed to stay in the hospital for a week, and than for examination and an additional operation on the lens of his eye. But a nurse who was working with the Polish underground informed "Hrab" that the State Security (UBP) was showing an interest in him. So on the day after the operation, "Hrab" left the hospital. Later, he returned to be examined by Dr. Krwawicz and it appeared that the eye was healing well. However, in the fall of 1946, the eye developed an acute infection. This time, it was not possible to save the eye. Dr. Krwawicz removed the infected eye and put in a prothesis.
The spring of 1947 was the most difficult period for the Hrubeshiv area. The "Akcja Wisla" was begun; two divisions of the Polish Army (VP) blockaded the Hrubeshiv county and were terrorizing the Ukrainian people and deporting them to Polish territory ("Recovered lands"). Those suspected of working with the underground were imprisoned or sent to the concentration camp in Jaworzno.
During the period of deportation, the author was released from the UChKh. "Hania" and her friend, "Olia" went to Poland in order to get Polish legal documents. This was not easy for "Hania" to achieve. The women had forged documents and very little money. The author traveled to different places in Poland, going to addresses obtained from "Hrab". She stayed for short periods in larger cities, such as Warsaw, Lodz and Gdansk, and in smaller places near Opole. It was difficult and dangerous for her to travel. She made attempts to stay close to her fiancÚ, "Hrab", who was temporary staying in the village of Dorkovo. She also made two attempts to stay in the village to which her parents had been transferred. She formally registered there and began to work on a state farm.
One winter night, she received a warning from an underground acquaintance, "Khmelnyk", that she should run away, because during his arrest by the UBP, he had revealed her identity. That same night, the author took a train to Bitow, where "Hrab" was working, and they both went to Dzierzanow in Silesia. There, "Hrab" found a job in a radio factory. In the meantime, Anna had been informed of the arrest of her parents. The parents were released after one week, but her sister and her friend from UChKh, "Olia", were sentenced to 10 years in prison. In Dzierzanow, "Hrab" lived under his own name, Serhiy Martyniuk. Life began to stabilize. Hanna and Serhiy got married and in 1950, moved to Warsaw, where Serhiy worked and continued his studies at the Politechnical Institute. However, in the spring of 951, Serhiy and Anna were uncovered by the MGB-UBP agent, Leonid Lapinskyi ("Zenon") and on May 4, they were arrested by MVD men dressed in UBP uniforms. They were held in Warsaw for one week, then taken to the investigative prison of Korolenko Street in Kiev.
Later in her memoir, the author talks about her experiences in prisons. At the time of her arrest, she was pregnant and she gave birth to a son, Oles, in prison on August 22 1951. After Christmas, 1952, she was sentenced to 10 years in prison. On January 21, during an extreme cold spell, she was packed into a freight wagon filled with prisoners. Their food consisted of a ration of bread, dry fish and boiling water. She rode in this way for four days, until they reached Magnitigorsk in the Urals. There she was shipped to the Verkhjneuralsk prison and placed into solitary confinement with her infant. The baby got sick and developed a high fever. As a result of her many desperate requests, the doctor on duty was sent to her cell. He was Jewish and exceptionally humane. Although there was a shortage of medications, he returned to her cell for several days and gave infections which saved the baby's life. she watched her baby grow and develop in the difficult prison conditions.
The prison in which Hanna was held was intended for foreign spies and diversionary and had a particularly strict regime. The prisoners were isolated from the world and from each other. Thus, the author did not know for a long time where her husband was, although he was held in the same prison. Finally, they learned about each other and began to write to each other.
Oles was approaching a year and the author found that after the age of one, babies were taken to a prison for homeless children or could be given to a family outside the prison. After ceaseless efforts, Anna got to see prison director and later had a short meeting with her husband. Serhiy succeeded in making contact with his aunt and after a lot of formalities, the arranged for Serhiy's aunt to take their son to live with her in the village of Orshkovychi. After that, Hanna was moved to a large cell which housed 13 women. among them were women who had held leading posts in the Ukrainian underground. Kateryna Zarytska, the director of the underground UChKh, was highly respected by the other prisoners. She was sentenced to 25 years. Halyna Didyk, a teacher by profession, headed the UChKh after Kateryna Zarytska's arrest. She fell into Soviet hands on March 5. 1950. Also in the cell was Darka Husak, a renowned OUN activist, who had also been sentenced to 25 years in prison. The prisoners in this cell included one Russian, one Pole, two Byelorussians, some Germans and Austrians. They all lived in friendship, like a big family. Before the winter of 1953, the prisoners from this cell were taken to the Vladimir prison. Serhiy was taken to Irkutsk in Siberia. Hanna was able to write to him through his aunt, who had their son, Oles.
After Stalin's death, Hanna was moved to a cell for foreigners because she had Polish citizenship. The prisoners in this cell were not badly off, because they obtained parcels from home and the UNRRA. Foreigners began to be freed from prisons and camps. In the summer of 1953, Anna was taken to the Women's zone of the Mordovian camps, where Polish prisoners form the whole USSR were being gathered together to be sent back to Poland. Here the author had more freedom and opportunity to communicate. Among the prisoners brought there she found her good friend from Hrubeshiv county, Ivanka Pshepiurska. Also in the camp waiting for release was Inka Komorowska, the wife of the chief commander of the Polish Armija Krajowa (AK), Bor Komoreowski. She was kidnapped by the NKVD form France. As a result of tortures and beatings, her legs were paralyzed and she was in a wheelchair.
The prisoner, including the author, were taken to the prison in Fordon in Poland and within a week, were freed. The author went to stay with her parents. After a time, she began to make measured to bring her son Oles and her husband to Poland. In the meantime, Serhiy had also been freed from prison, but being a citizen of Ukrainian SSR, he remained in Ukraine. The author obtained documents and went to Ukraine. There Serhiy and Hanna got married again, because the marriage documents from Poland were not formally recognized. After that, the Martyniuk family came to Warsaw with a group of Polish repatriates and after some difficulties, gradually became established. Serhiy finished his engineering studies at Warsaw Poytechnical Institute. The Martyniuk family now lives in Warsaw. They have two sons, Oles and Yarolsav, and a daughter, Halia.
The author begins her memoir by describing the situation in Lviv in 1944. At the start of that year, the Germans intensified their arrests of Ukrainian student youth in Lviv and executions in the provinces. Natalka was living in an apartment with her brother, Yaroslav, who was a student of veterinary science and was also active in the anti-German underground. Because of the threat of arrest by the Gestapo, Yaroslav and his sister had to change their living quarters. In late February, 1944, Yaroslav left for the UPA in the Carpathians and a little later, Natalka entered the underground medical service as a nurse. From Lviv, Natalka moved to Khodiriv with Dr. "Volodymyr" and pharmacist "Oksana". In Khodoriv, they underwent two weeks of political training and instruction in the principles of secrecy. then they moved to the village of Strilyska Stari to work in the UPA medical service. The women's first assignment was to organize the medications and Dr. "Volodymyr" began to prepare a small field hospital. the trio worked tirelessly and in a short time had a pharmacy in place. "Volodymyr" began to successfully treat sick and wounded UPA soldiers.
In late may and early June, the hospital was moved to larger premises in the village of Liubovnia. The Soviet-German front was rapidly approaching. Hungarian troops appeared in the neighboring villages and had some skirmishes with UPA soldiers. More and more soldiers, fortunately only lightly wounded, were coming to the field hospital. Natalka describes one case of a seriously wounded soldier who was brought for treatment at the hospital. Because of the lack of surgical equipment and drugs, it was not possible to operate and the man died. this was the first case of death in the hospital and it made the staff fell very depressed.
The author describes several more notable events that occurred during her time in the UPA medical service. Once, when she returned home, she found on the table a note from her brother, Yaroslav, Through underground contacts he had learned by chance that his sister was staying in the village. However, he was not able to stay to wait for her, so he left her a note, which turned out to be a farewell note, for they never saw each other again.
Natalka recalls with pleasure how she celebrated Easter in 1944 with Dr. "Volodymyr" and "Oksana". another important event was the inspection of the field hospital by the head of the medical service, "Daria". She was an old acquaintance of Natalka's, but during the inspection of the hospital they maintained all organizational formalities, including that of secrecy. They had an amicable conversation only later, when they met privately at home.
As the Soviet-German front approached, the field hospital had to be disbanded. The tree staff members were ordered to leave the threatened territory and move to other areas, where they would try to contact the UPA.
"Volodymyr" and "Oksana" left for their home regions, and Natalka set off from Strilyska Stari with the pharmacist and his family in the direction of Boelkhiv. They found themselves on territory controlled by Soviet partisans and they had to go further into the Carpathian, in the area of Skole. When the Soviet front approached, they were obliged to cross into Slovakia, and from there reached Western Europe.
In her memoir, the author describes one episode for her activity in the Ukrainian Red Cross.
At the end of winter, 1945, she was given the assignment on organizing medical assistance for one of the UPA companies operating in the Lviv area. At that time, she was in the underground on the territory of the Polish People's Republic, near Uhniv. She left two children under the care of an old aunt in a border village. With a guard of well-trained UPA soldiers, she crossed the closely-guarded Soviet border. The group went through the forests with the help of underground contacts and reached the vicinity of the town of Zhovkva. They stopped briefly at a forester's house, where Olena succeeded in making contact and reached the vicinity of the town of Zhovkva. They stopped briefly at a forester's house, where Olena succeeded in making contact with lical UChKh workers. she gave them some of the medications she had brought and informed them about some medical matters. The next day, she planned to go to the field hospital, but was not able to do so. Soviet units of the "Red Broom" surrounded the forester's house.
The UPA had to use force to break out of the encirclment. During this action, the soldier "Yarko" fell beside Olena, wounded in the leg. She grabbed him around the waist and ran with him towards a pile of cut wood. She hid the wounded man in the woodpile, and ran further into the woods. The Soviets saw her and began to shoot and ran after her. Olena managed to hide in a thicket under a fallen pine tree.
In the evening, she found the wounded soldier, "Yarko", and set out with him towards the forester's hose. On the way, they met another soldier, who was slightly wounded in the arm. Around midnight, the three got to the forester's house. There they found part of the UPa company, among them, another three wounded solders. The soldiers from Olena's guard thought that she had been killed in the attack and had already left for Uhniv. The Soviets had taken away their wounded and returned to Zhovkva. In the morning, the UPA company changed its quarters. Olena, with a few UChKh workers and the wounded, moved to a hamlet, where they organized a small hospital in an underground bunker, in which the wounded were treated.
In the spring, Olena returned to the Uhniv region. It was night when she reached the village where she had let her children. She saw candlelight burning in a church and so she stepped inside. Among those present, she saw her old aunt and a few of the soldiers who had been in her guard. To her surprise, she heard that the priest was saying a service for the dead in her memory. She crept out of the church to avoid disturbing the service. The soldiers happily greeted Olena "Zoriana" and found it hard to believe that she was alive. The next day she went to see her aunt and her children.
In her memoir, Emilie Stefurak briefly describes events and her work in the UChKh in the Kosiv region in 1943-1944.
In the spring of 1944, Hungarian military units, which together with the Germans operated on Hutsul territory, took 146 Ukrainian hostages in the town of Kosiv, among them, the author's husband, Dr. Vasyl Stefurak. Emilia and five other women made efforts to get German-Hungary military officials to free the hostages. After tireless efforts, facing all kinds of danger, the women succeeded in getting the release of all the hostages.
After that, the author with her husband moved to the village of Yavoriv, where they made contact with the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. On the order of the lical UPA command, they were assigned to the UPA medical units in the area of Zhabie. Dr. Vasyl Stefurak took charge of the medical care of two UPA battalions which operated on that territory. He directed the field hospital and did medical examinations of the soldiers. there were, on average, twelve patients undergoing treatment in the hospital. Emilia acted as pharmacist and assisted the doctor during operations.
Dr. Vasyl and Emilia Stefurak spent seven months in the UPA medical service. When the front approached, the field hospital was disbanded. The Stefuraks got to Bukovyna, then through Budapest to Vienna.
The author of this memoir briefly describes various episodes from her work in the UChKh. She begins with a description of the women's medical assistant course which was given in April, 1944, in the town of Dobromyl, near Peremyshl. The aim of the course was to give basic medical assistance training to women who were going to work for the underground UChKh. The course lasted three weeks and had twenty-two students. The lectures were given by physicians who were practicing in Dobromyl - Dr. Roman Kushnir and Dr. Movchan. The organizers of the training course were Natalka Kozakevych and Maria Yarish, the directors of the women's network of the Peremyshl region OUN.
After completing training, the students went in different directions. Although "Oksana" was from the Hutsul region, she regained in the Peremyshl area, where she was assigned to organize an underground UChKh network in Birch region. Not long after completing the course, the author began giving medical help to wounded UPA soldiers and the population. "Oksana" gives a number of examples of her nursing work.
In June, 1944, she gave first aid to two UPA soldiers who had been wounded in a skirmish with a German army unit in the village of Zhohatyn.
In another case she tried to save the life of a woman who had tetanus in the village of Yavirnyk Ruskyi.
During the summer of 1945, during a raid in the village of Kotiv, in the Bircha region, special NKVD units shot a young woman, Katie, and seriously wounded her brother, Johnny, who died soon afterwards in terrible agony. The author tried to ease his pain. these young people were born in the USA, where their parents had worked for several years. The whole family supported the liberation struggle and helped the UPA.
In another incident, the author assisted an UPA soldier in a hiding place in the attic of a house. During unexpected fire, this soldier of the UPA technical Unit, Korniy, was seriously wounded.
Later in her memoir, the author discusses other aspects of her activity. she tried to find new volunteers for work in the UChKh and helped the training of medical assistants. Her most important assignment was to try to get medical supplies for UPA units in the Bircha district in whatever way she could. Here again, the author cites a number of her experiences.
In the town of Bircha, where there were WP army and police unit bases, there was a Ukrainian doctor practicing under the guise of being a Pole. In the summer of 1945, the author, protected by two soldiers, came to see him at night in order to get medications needed by the UPA.
Even the small quantity of medications she obtained from an American parachutist were very valuable to the UPA medical service. An American military plane which was flying over Peremyshl area in August, 1945, had a sudden accident and burst into flame. Eleven soldiers parachuted out of the plane and the author met one of them in the village of Zhohatyn, where he gave her a small quantity of first aid medications.
In the autumn of 1945, the local Peremyshl underground directors tried to make contacts with representatives of the Polish anti-Soviet underground. "Oksana" took part in one such meeting, in hope of getting some needed medications for her district with the help of Polish contacts.
During the years of her difficult and dangerous work in the underground, "Oksana" always had good luck. Everywhere she went, she met friendly people who helped her, A great service was dime to the author by an old priest, Father Hladysh, and his daughter, Olia, who lived in Tyriava Voloska. The author often stayed in the priest's house. She describes one incident when, with the help of father Hladysh and Olia, she managed to get the town of Sianok and buy a large supply of drugs from the pharmacy.
In her memoir, the author writes about Halina Yakubiuk, a physician of Polish nationally from Tomaszow-Lubelski who treated UPA soldiers, and about the nurses Yulia and Ksenia.
In 1947, Anna Bailak shared a cell in the Polish Security (UBP) investigation prison in Rzeszow, Poland with Dr. Halina. Halina was arrested for treating UPA soldiers. In spite of the danger, Halina did not hesitate to give medical assistance to ill and wounded Ukrainian insurgents, because she regarded this as her professional duty. After three months of imprisonment, Halina was freed. She did not forget about the author and sent her food parcels.
The two nurses, Yulia and Ksenia, worked in the hospital in Mostyska near Lviv. The author got to know them well. Anna Bailak describes how in August, 1944, when the Germans were leaving the Mostyska region, she tried to get medical supplies for UPA medical Units. Together with the nurses Yulia and Ksenia, the author worked out a plan and took the needed medications and medical supplies from a hospital storeroom.
The author of this memoir, who served as medical assistant in the UPA company commanded by Hryhoriy Yankivskyi ("Lastivka"), describes the training given to UPA unit medical service workers in the village of Yamna Hrishna near Peremyshl during the spring of 1945. Later, he describes an event which remained fixed in his memory, a skirmish with the Soviets in which two SKV soldiers were killed.
In 1946, Osyp was assigned as medical assistant to "Lastivka's" company. He describes the duties which he carried out.
The author tells us that in accordance with the orders of the UPA command, he also gave first aid to wounded soldiers of the Polish army, although the Poles tortured or killed Ukrainian prisoners of war. Wounded soldiers of the "Lastivka" company who were only lightly and sick were sent to underground UPA hospitals.
Dr. Samuel Neuman opened a medical practice in Stryi in 1937. He was Jewish and was fluent in Ukrainian, Polish and German, so he was a popular doctor among all these ethnic groups. In particular, he had good relations with the Ukrainian community.
During the time of the German occupation and the creation of a Jewish ghetto in Stryi, he got temporary permission to continue his private practice. He was helped in this by the Ukrainian Aid Committee and the "Judenrat". When the Gestapo drove his mother to the ghetto, he left his medical practice and volunteered to join her. Shortly after this, the Gestapo began to remove ghetto residents and shoot them.
With the help of the Ukrainian anti-German underground, Dr. Neuman escaped from the ghetto with his mother. The underground gave them documents, his being in the name Dr. V. Maksymovych. Under this name, he practiced in various places in the Stryi region. In September, 1943, when the Gestapo found out about him. He escaped into the underground and became an UPA doctor.
In October, 1944, the Soviets attacked the "Oleni" officers' school. Killed in the battle was the commander of the school, Fedir Poliobyi ("Pol") and some other members of the command. The trainees and the rest of the command, including Dr. Maksymovych, escaped from the encirclment. Later, he set out for Hungary with a group of trainees, but because of his mother's illness, ended up staying in Lavochne.
Dr. Samuel Neuman - V. Maksymobych was probably killed in the Chornyi forest in July 1945.