Wajda Jarosław, syn Józefa i Antoniny z domu Burmycz
Вайда Ярослав, син Осипа і Антоніни (уроджена – Бурмич)
The Tragedy of the Village of Terka

Until 1945 the village of Terka had only about 110 houses and as many families, almost 100 Ukrainian families, 8-10 Polish and one Jewish family. Until the war the Jewish man, as allowed by law, owned a bar in the town. In the village there was a brick church from 1935 St. Iligius. The last pastor was Father Lev Salvitsky, from the family of Krugel Wielki, near Przemysl. In 1946 he was deported with nearly half the population of the village to Ukraine. He was married to my mother's sister. During the 1953-55 years the church was dismantled by Polish villagers and one of them used the stone from it to build himself a barn. In the village there was also a cultural center "Prosvita" and a cooperative store, which was managed by our father. The village elementary school (grades I-IV), in which worked two teachers, was opened at the time of the German occupation, and also an organized children's kindergarten. In the school a local Ukrainian was the teacher and also another Ukrainian female teacher from Sanok. During the passing of the Soviet army front in the year 1944 the village was attacked by, fired on by German artillery fire, during which there were wounded and among them also civilians.

Initially after the passing of the front to the west, the formations of eastern borders and the calling of the Security forces, MO and ORMO in this area, various bandit groups began to attack, primarily from Vovkoviya, in Ukrainian villages. The village Poles, who were usually a minority living among Ukrainians, were not loyal to them. For the protection of our villages against the bandits, which were favored by the MO and ORMO, Ukrainian village boys were organized into groups. After the forced exhile of a portion of the village in 1946 to Soviet Ukraine, the remainder of the Ukrainian families were deported in 1947 to western Polish lands. Only Polish families remained in the village. Other Polish families moved in from nearby towns, Polanki, Studenne, Zawisze and others. Currently in the village of Terka there live approximately 35 Polish families.


At the beginning of July in 1946 the village of Terka was surrounded by the Polish army and was made compact.

Every living soul in the town, was captured and was chased on foot (5 km) to Vovkoviya. There near the Polish church, the people were forced into a barbed wired prison and were captive for 2 days. Among them was my mother and us five children: four boys—Roman (13), me (11), Julian (9), Wolodymyr (3) and my sister Mary (5). A village Pole from Terka, Francis Bohatski, was my aunt's husband. He begged the military, that we, that is our family, could be freed.

The Polish communist military agreed. With our mother we left the city of Vovkoviya , when our mother stopped, she instructed us—older boys—Roman, myself and Julian to go home, and by herself, she took the youngest Wolodymyr in her arms and Mary by her hand, returned to Vovkoviya to beg the military to return her cow and horse, because all that was alive, was confiscated from Terka. Mother, my brother and sister never returned alive. On July 6 all those behind the barbed wire fence 30 villagers of Terka—women and children—were driven by horse and wagon from Vovkoviya back to Terka and forced into the home of Mikhaylo Drozd, which was the last one at the end of the hill facing the village of Studenne. The home was locked, set on fire and no one was allowed out. Burned alive to death were 28 people, among them my mother, sister and brother. Through some miracle one boy was saved Wasyl Soniak, who hid in the thick stone covered oven. Afterwards he went with the UPA and, possibly perished during a raid in the West. A second, Ivan Nebora, escaping from the burning home and wounded in the face, lived and in 1947 was deported to the western lands, to the town of Swiente near Stargard-Szczecinski.
That same day the Polish communist army burned almost the entire village and executed 5 more elderly people in their homes, one of which was my grandfather on my father's side Dmitro Vaida, who was then 84 years old.. He was killed near the blacksmith's, for which he labored in America to obtain. By order of the communist military the burned and executed bodies in the homes were to be collected and buried by the village Pole Gregory Paslowski, known as Darviliv Gregory. Near evening the Communist army left the town. The next day, July 7, my aunt Rosalia, my mother's sister, and I were at the scene of the ruins of the fires and I saw the pile of charred bodies.

All this, which happened, I still am not entirely knowledgeable about. There was my mother and little brother and sister. Passing the blacksmith with my aunt, we saw the body of my murdered grandfather. My aunt called me and we both went about in the devastation and ruin of the village, looking into the remains of the houses. In them we saw the other 5 executed people. After several days Gregory Paslowski collected all the bodies and put them in the communal grave in the cemetery near the Ukrainian church.

Those who during that time had escaped from the village to the woods, like my father and us, children, started to return to the still smoldering village. In each of the designated houses lived several families. People grieved their loved ones, those unknown, and that fate which still awaited even them. And this is how the winter passed, and early in the spring the sorrowful "Operation Wisla" unfolded. Toward the end of April 1947 those unhurt residents of Terka under the orders of the communist military left their beloved ancestral, their ultimately tragic village, and were violently exiled to the western Polish lands. People were permitted to take with them only that which, they could carry, that which was not pillaged or charred. Some were driven by horse and wagons of the town Poles, others were chased on foot to the nearest railroad station Lukavishche.

But not all were fated to arrive there. Many men of every age were arrested already on the road to the station Lukaveshche. Arrested was my father and taken into the unknown. Us three: my oldest brother Roman, and Julian, remained with those neighbors deported from our village. During the transport strangers took care of us. Father was exiled to the concentration camp Jaworzno (part of the former Aushwitz concentration camp). The boys were taken by Polish proprietors from the village of Suhan, which is in Szczecin, as domestic laborers on the property, not knowing much about each other, although we lived in the same town. Father somehow survived the concentration camp in Jaworzno, even though he lost his health and died at 52 years of age.

Grandfather on mother's side, Wasyl Burmach, had 5 sons. The two eldest: Mikhaylo and Wolodymyr were in the UPA. Wolodymyr was killed, as a freedom fighter for the UPA, in the town Black Forest district, and Mikhaylo illegally entered Ukraine and there managed to get by somehow. The three younger sons of grandfather: Yaroslav, Stepan, and Ivan and also grandfather Wasyl himself were beaten mercilessly, tortured and persecuted by Polish soldiers in the communist army during the deportations of 1946 to Ukraine because of the older sons, Mikhaylo's and Wolodymyr's freedom fighting.

In time, as an older adult, I visited my ancestral village. I met and talked with Gregory Paslawski . He told me this: "I lived well with your grandfather, and on his grave you should put a memorial tombstone." Currently there stands a stone, which has 33 family names (in Polish) of those innocent martyrs of the village Terka. It was the idea and efforts of the residents of Terka living in Stargard-Szczecin, that transported it to our beloved ancestral village and placed it on the mass grave.

Administrative officials did not protest, and the village elder proprietor Poles, who speak in Ukrainian, agreed with it, pronouncing: "they are owed some kind of memorial." The memorial stands today.

In my eyes, in my view as still a child then, this tragic sketch remains vivid to this day. Already 44 years(1990) have passed and there is a will to forget. I do not recite my tragedy to my children, because I cannot dim their youthful lives, but it becomes sad and difficult, when here, and there printed materials appear in the Polish perspective, in which lies distort and offend my fellow villagers, neighbors, who suffered and lived such horror, they libel my nation. To this effect the recent publication in Poland of the book "Pioneers. Recollections from Bieszczad" narrated by Bronislava Holemska (Rzeszow, 1975) and in it a portion by author Francis Hankevych, a village Pole, to the war the village Terka "Piece of History".

This in itself prompted me to record this tragic fragment of my family, the fate of my fellow ancestral villagers, the fate of my nation, to recount a bit of truth.
Villagers of Terka murdered July 9 1946:

1. Vaida Dmytro (84)
2. Vaida Ivan (25)
3. Vaida Antonina (32)
4. Vaida Maria (5)
5. Vaida Wolodymyr (3)
6. Drozd Mikhaylo (44)
7. Hnatyshyn Anna (50)
8. Hnatyshyn Eva (4)
9. Huseyko Maria (62)
10. Diak Anna (90)
11. Diak Mathew (65)
12. Diak Pehalia (40)
13. Diak Maria (35)
14. Diak Rosalia (7)
15. Diak Rosalia (23)
16. Kornas Maria (55)
17. Kornas Kateryna (19)
18. Lazoryshyn Ewa (75)
19. Kornas Kateryna (19)
20. lazoryshyn Ewa (75)
21. Liberna Kateryna (29)
22. Lipkevych Mikhaylo (70)
23. Ostash Mikhaylo (66)
24. Ostash Kateryna (66)
25. Polyvko Olena (60)
26. Romancio Mykola (83)
27. Romancio Pelahia (50)
28. Romancio Maria (24)
29. Skoncey Anna (51)
30. Semchak Maria (75)

[ Zamknij okno. ]

Fundacja Losy Niezapomniane. Wszystkie prawa zastrzeżone. Copyright © 2009 - 2010