“When we were evicted, we arrived at Khor. Dad started looking for reasons, for reasons why we were taken away. Of course, you can bribe everyone and everything in the world. And somewhere he found a man who showed his dad the documents. And in those documents, my father saw the inconsistency of dates, so my father was put, well, he was accused of collaborating with the OUN, well, in principle, this was true, but it was all secret. And... It turned out my father was accused of feeding the boys from the forest somewhere in Uhersko, and we were already living in Stryi at that time. And my father used it, because if he didn't see those documents, what else could be used? And he took advantage of that. My father began to write appeals to all instances of the Soviet Union, and my grandfather wrote from here. And so letters were coming from here, and my dad was writing from there. And... in 1956, my father received a decision from the Supreme Court. Stating that we are released and rehabilitated with the return of our property. (Shows documents) This was a very important document for us, practically it was our pass for all the... For life. And after that, we immediately, basically we didn't spend even a single day more than needed there. Immediately, well, of course, when we received this court decision, I was already a girl in 7th grade, I remember very well how everyone cried, dad and mom cried, they were rejoicing and immediately dad said: “So, Mariya, what should we do now? How are we going to pack?” That is, there wasn't even a tiny thought about staying there. Although our life in Khabarovsk wasn't too bad. My father worked, my mother worked. Sister and brother were studying here. And it was already late summer, I think it was August. We sold everything we could, and we immediately got on the train and left. And we returned home.”
"The time, the time has come when Stalin died, Khrushchev came to power, a small Thaw began. And until that happened, every month my father and mother had to go, go to the commandant's office and register. (Short pause) And when the thaw started, children were allowed, children could, children could be sent back home. And my sister, my father immediately sent my sister home, to my grandfather and grandmother. And she came back here. And she studied here in Stryi at the Stryi school. She graduated from Stryi school No. 4, and her brother, he drew very well. And we all hoped he would be an artist. He left. The boys from his class graduated from school, the boys from his class went to the village, to Cheremkhovo, Irkutsk region, to study at the mining college, and he went with them, because there was, there was, there was an art school. He tried, he was not admitted to the art school, but since he was already there, he entered the same college the other boys entered. He entered the college. And he graduated from the college there in Cheremkhovo."
"And then, well, I remember the moment, it was the seventh of January, the evening of the sixth of January. It was a harsh winter then, and so we all were... Well, one way or another, people made a (Christmas) dinner for themselves anyway. And after the dinner, people began to sing carols."
"Was it at the transfer point?"
"At the transfer point. Yes, I'm talking about the transfer point now. In Boryslav. They started caroling. And all of us, from kids to adults, were driven out into the street on the seventh of January, and we stood on the street under the snow all day. And in those days winters were fierce, they were different from what we have now."
"And on December 19, 1941, at 7 o'clock in the morning, “guests” visited us. Then, when the children were about to check under the pillow for gifts, we were surrounded in the apartment by a whole group of unwanted guests. They gave my mother two hours to pack the belongings. But what can be packed in two hours for a family of five. What could be packed with the youngest child of 7 years old, who is sick all the time, that is, I have been often sick since childhood, well, but still. And the day before, my dad bought us a piano as a gift for Nicholas Day. The piano wasn't even unpacked, so we didn't even have a chance to look at it. We were taken away, put on a truck, it was December. I just remember the children were walking to school, and we were on a truck, and neighbors' children shout after us: “What happened?” They kept shouting. We were all taken to Boryslav to a transfer point. Dad's sister Mariya and her family and dad's sister Anna were brought there too. That is, three families were taken away in one day. We found ourselves there at the transfer point."
The stigma of „the deported one“ turned into a duty to be better
Sofiya Zubrytska was born on June 4, 1942, in the village of Uhersko in the family of the Galician intelligentsia. She was the third and the youngest child in the family of Ivan Zubrytski and Mariya Terletska. Her father, like her grandpa, was an accountant. Dad worked in the association of ethanol plants in Uhertsi; grandfather at Raiffeisen Bank in Stryi. Her father‘s mother, headed the Union of Ukrainian Women (women‘s council) group in the village. The family had connections with the insurgent movement - two of her mother‘s brothers (Terletski) were in the underground movement, (one of them in the SS „Halychyna“), and her father, Ivan Zubrytskyi, helped the insurgents by giving them ethanol, which they could exchange or sell. On the morning of December 19, 1949, three children - Volodymyr, born in 1935, Daria, born in 1938. and Sofiya, together with their parents, were arrested and transported to a transfer point in Boryslav, from there they were deported to Siberia. There they first settled in an unnamed settlement in the Khabarovsk Territory, with only one barrack. Later, they were transferred to the settlement of Khor, where their father started working as an accountant. There he also had the opportunity to look into the case in which his family was deported. Finding a discrepancy in the dates, he, from Siberia, and his grandfather, from Stryi, began to write to the Supreme Court of the USSR. On July 18, 1956, the court ruled that the eviction order on deporting the family to the special settlement should be revoked, and the case was closed „with the return of the property confiscated during the eviction.“ The family of Zubrytski returned to Ukraine, where Sofiya Zubrytska later became a mathematics teacher and school principal.