Ivano-Frankivsk - city of heroes

Volodymyr Malkosh

Volodymyr Malkosh


January 12, 1924 – November 01, 2009

‘I was born on January 12, 1924 in Przemysl in Zasyannya. My father – Mykhailo Malkosh – was born in 1887 in Kinkivtsi village near Przemysl. He was an accounting sergeant major of the Austrian army, a simple worker during the Polish ruler. In 1945 he moved to Stanislaviv (the Soviet Union) and worked as an accountant until his retirement. My mother, Chrystyna Mykytivna from the Hyzha home, born in Lypa village near Bircha of the Przemysl County, was a housewife.

In 1929, at the age of 5, I was enrolled in primary school of the Sisters of Saint Basil the Great in Zasyannya, a suburb of Przemysl. In 1935 I graduated the sixth grade of the school and was enrolled to the public school with Ukrainian language of instruction in Przemysl. I was the youngest student in the class and graduated from the Humanities Lyceum, but on September 1 the Second World War broke out and the training did not begin.

At the end of February 1940, the Germans (Zasyannya was renamed into the German Przemysl) caught me and forced to work as a laborer of the railway station (the main railway station remained on the Soviet side). Then I worked as a telephone lineman at the post office, where my school friend’s (Oleg Pushkar) father worked as the head of the telephone service (some time later Oleg and his father joined the Division “Galychyna”).

  In autumn of 1940 a Ukrainian Gymnasium was opened in Jarosław city (also Holm).   I studied there in the 7th form and graduated it with the “maturity test” in 1942.  I had a desire to study at the Lviv Polytechnic Institute but it was required to work for one year in the “Ukrainian service to the Motherland.” I worked there for only one quarter and then began working at the department of social care of the Ukrainian Aid Committee in Przemysl. I was also a church choir singer of the Basilian Fathers in Zasyannya.

When the Division “Galychyna” was formed I voluntarily joined it. On July 18, 1943 we were taken to Brno city in the Czech Republic. In 2 weeks we moved to Heidelager near Debica, where we underwent recruit training. After that I was sent to the junior sergeant major school in Hilversum town in Holland where we underwent anti-tank artillery training and I was ranked as a foreman.

At that time I was a student of the military school of the 1st Ukrainian platoon and I could visit the grave of the colonel Ye.Konovalets in Rotterdam and see the cities of Haga and Amsterdam. (Unfortunately, the picture, where our platoon was near the grave, burned with my shoulder strap and the car in the battle of Brody).

After the training we were sent to Neuhammer Training Grounds where I was appointed as a commander of the staff sotnia of the Antitank Division. The first platoon of the sotnia was sent to the front near Brody by the first echelon and I was the deputy of the cornet Verbytskyi - the commander of the platoon.

Before that, in May of 1944 I had a three-day furlough in Vienna.

I participated in one of the bloodiest battles of World War II - near Brody.

My membership in the UIA was dramatic. I was a soldier under the pseudonym “Zhdanovych” in sotnia “Lion”, and the sotnia was overwhelmed several times – at Yavoriv firing ground, where there were many security troops of NKVD. After all, the local troops of soldiers were left in their divisions and others, who left their weapons for storing, were sent to the underground secret places. Later, two Germans and I were dissolved when we went to the West, dressed as civilians. I was sent to a widower (I do not remember the name of the village), who lived alone, and I helped him on the farm. I could not stay there for a long time, so I moved to his son, who lived in Lviv. I was engaged in speculation – I sold the bread, which his son stole at the bakery where he was working. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian immigrants came from Poland, and I found my parents in one of the troop trains from Przemysl. (My sister Eugenia Milian, whose husband died as a soldier of the Division near Brody, was 12 years older than I and graduated from the Ukrainian Gymnasium of the Institute for girls in Przemysl. She studied at the university in Prague in the Czech Republic, and then she fled to the West).

The troop train with my parents was sent to Stanislaviv, but I received my documents and was able to enter the coveted Lviv Polytechnic Institute. After the first semester, I went to my parents for Christmas.  One of the countrymen from Przemysl, who knew that I was the member of the UIA Division, recognized me and informed NKVD against me. A few days later I was arrested by the counterintelligence in Lviv (on January 10, 1946). For several weeks they murdered me keeping in a basement, saw my blood type on my hand, and later took me to the prison in Lontskyi str.

In May, the military tribunal sentenced me to 15 years of hard labour and 5 years of deprivation of civil rights. A month later we were moved to the 3rd concentration camp in Norilsk (Krasnoyarsk Territory). I stayed there for 10 years, participated in the rebellion, suffered from dystrophy of the 2nd degree, from dysentery and lobar pneumonia, but God brought me back to life.

A few months after my release, I received the passport and immediately returned home. For some time I worked as an electrician at the milk plant. A year later in 1957 I married Martha Hanushevska. When I changed the apartments the authorities cancelled my registration (the KGB (Committee for State Security) claimed for cooperation for my residence permit). I could not agree to this, and we were forced to move to Luhansk, Donbas. We lived there for two years, then we managed to register in the Uhryniv village near Stanislaviv (Ivano-Frankivsk later), and a year after this - in the city.

I passed the entrance examinations for four times but I was not admitted to the Institute. Finally, in 1962, when the branch of the Lviv Polytechnic Institute opened in Ivano-Frankivsk I was enrolled in the Institute. In 1968 I graduated the Institute (the part-time and evening study), gained the qualification of an electrical engineering and worked as a constructor. In 1984 I retired and worked for 5 years as an electrician. In 1990 I was seriously ill, and in December of 1991 after the second operation in Lviv Oncology Center I read in the newspaper that there was organized the Brotherhood of former insurgents of Division “Galychyna”. Then I initiated the organization of Ivano-Frankivsk Stanytsia. Since then I headed the Board of Stanytsia. In addition, I am a member of the Memorial, Nadsyannya society, the Society of political prisoners and people subjected to repression, the Brotherhood of OUN-UIA and the All-Ukrainian Association of Veterans. We do not have children.”

 Volodymyr Malkosh continued his tireless work in Ivano-Frankivsk: he spread the national idea among the Ukrainians, cherished patriotism; he became the author of the essay “Ukrainian Division Galychyna during the “legionary” politics of the twentieth century.”

On November 1, 2009 at the age of 85 Volodymyr Malkosh passed into eternity.