Текля Тихан

* 1926  

  • “When I was in prison, not judged yet, I and one more woman were said to wash the corridor. I looked in death penalty cell… This was hard to go through. Cell was narrow as a door. In the center of the cell there were two concrete columns. Between the columns there was a chain, in order they couldn’t walk. They were praying on knees. They were four to death penalty. I looked in. And I continued washing. Later there was no water, so we were let to go and bring water to the cell. In prison water was from the well. On the yard of a prison in Kolomiya there was a well. From this well the water was brought to cells. We went to bring water. And again something awful. We saw blood on the ground, from the main gate and the same corridors which come to the yard. I understood that people were shot in such way: there was a blind wall without doors and several steps down. This man or women was told to go down the steps and there he was shot. Later they were taken away from there. Blood was running and we saw that.”

  • “We were driven for 17 days. It was very hard, because we weren’t given any food on our way… People gave each other. It was good that in our carriage there were goodmen – they had more bred. We were passed some bread. Me and Orest (my cousin) lived on the upper berth. We were feed up by crumbs, because we didn’t have own food. Who died in the carriage, was put into last carriage. Children died from starvation and old people because of difficult conditions – they couldn’t bare it. When the echelon stopped, corpses were put out from the train somewhere. We didn’t know where. Every day convoy opened the door for a little and looked at everybody, asked if everybody was alive. We sit with brother close to our aunt and cried, because we didn’t eat for three days. Younger soldier from convoy asked “Why do children cry?” By the way he was from the Eastern Ukraine. People answered that we didn’t eat for three days. He closed the door and went somewhere. He brought boiled water and gave us. But when he was giving he looked into carriage in all corners, he didn’t came in. People took this boiled water and we drunk it. It was normal boiled water. And this saved us. We were already somewhere in Kazakhstan.”

  • “We went there – on floating. And suddenly the river flooded. When we rambled the clothes became wet. Our hoses – lined with wadding and shoes were wet. We came to convoy and said “We will make a fire to dry the closes”. There was old man in convoy. And he said: “Listen to me girls. You won’t be dry, you will be steamed out. You can be ill. You’d better go, while moving your body will be warm and hoses will be warm too.” This was good idea and we went and come to the camp wet. We gave hoses to dry. Nobody dried them and next morning they brought again wet clothes. I refused to put on wet and to go to work. Convoy came and before convoy superintendant checked in barracks who went to work and who left. So I left and few girls and criminals too. This superintendant came to my bed in the corner and asked why I didn’t go to work. I said that I would not put on wet clothes. And he ordered to give us dry hoses and shoes. And we several political prisoners went to work.”

  • “One Jewish couple with a small girl, three or four years old, was going from Ivano-Frankivs’k (then Stanislawow Auth.). They were escaping to Bukovina. He had all documents. They were stopped in Kolomiya, Kosiv, Kuty for checking out the documents. Everything was all right. He was a doctor. On the last check-out he was told to put off the pants. This was the document. He had circumcision. So he was killed. His wife with a child was killed too. I don’t know how they were killed. There was a Jewish cemetery in Kuty. They were transported to that place and thrown down. They should be buried next morning. The cemetery was close to the centre of Kuty where Ukrainians lived. Somebody heard at night baby crying. Ukrainian heart couldn’t bear it. Somebody went to the cemetery at night and took the baby. They calmed down the baby, gave her food. Who knows why the baby didn’t die. Parents died both and baby was alive. People wanted to hide the baby. Is it possible to give the child to Germans to be killed? No it isn’t. When Germans made battue people put this baby on the porch and laid something there, gave toys. If Germans found the baby at house they were shooting the whole family. It didn’t matter, where these Poles or Ukrainians. And these were Ukrainians.”

  • “How the trial went on. People were called to the court with “things”. And they judged. Somebody was alone on trial, somebody in groups. Judges looked at us as on the enemies of state. They underlined that we were betrayals. I was judged together with one girl. We were judged according to different articles – she was from underground movement, and one young man was with her. We were three. In Kolomiya there were 17 political trials – so many people went on trial. Everybody was judged. Then normal sentence was ten years, rarely 15 years of hard labor.”

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    Witness' home (Lviv), 28.09.2011

    (audio)
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What a strong idea was! People fought for independence of Ukraine, but not for some „individual love“!

8 Текля Тихан.JPG (historic)
Текля Тихан
zdroj: WUHRC

Тeklya Tykhan (Kostyniuk) was born on the 28-th of July 1926 in town Kuty Stanislaviv vojevodship (now Ivano-Frankovsk‘s region). In the age of ten she became an orphan, after what she was brought up by aunt. In April 1940 she together with aunt was deported to the settlement Trojeckoje, Charskiy district, Semipalatyns‘k region (Kazakhstan). In June 1941 they managed to come back to Ukraine. During the German occupation she was studying in industrial (technical) school in Kolomyja. In 1942 she joined illegal nationalistic organization „OUN Youth“, where she received secret pseudo „Natalka“. Since 1944 she worked in the post-office of Kosiv, in the same time she was transferring information to insurgents. In the underground movement she was a liaison of Kosiv district. In August 1945 she was arrested by military border-guard department of NKVS in the forests close to Kuty town. She was under investigation in Kuty and Kolomyja. In November 1945 she was sentenced to 10 years of disciplinary-labor camps. In May 1946 she was deported from transitory prison №25 in Lviv to Siberia. She was imprisoned in Krasnojarsk region (Siberia), since 1950 - in camps of special regime in Balhash (Kazakhstan). She was released in October 1954. Afterwards she lived some time in Karaganda. There she married Oleksiy Tykhan. In 1966 she moved to city Kalush. Now she lives in Lviv.