Historical and Memorial Museum of Yevgen Konovalets
On the initiative of the Ukrainian language society in Zashkiv village of Zhovkva district, Lviv oblast on May 23, 1990 was opened the Historical and Memorial Museum of Colonel Yevhen Konovalets on a voluntary basis.
On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Yevgen Konovalets on June 14, 1991, in front of the Museum was established a monument, created by sculptor Roman Romanovich and architect Valery Potyuk.
During the night of July 9 – 10 of the same year the monument to Yevhen Konovalets was blown up by enemies of Ukraine. Remains of the first maimed monument are exhibited in the courtyard of the estate Museum as a silent rebuke to totalitarianism, a sad witness of our long- suffering history.
On March 1, 1993 the Y. Konovalets Museum received national status and became a department of the Lviv History Museum.
Exposition of the Museum is located in th four rooms of the Konovalets family house. Childhood and youth of the future man of arms are represented in the first one. Konovalets was born on June 14, 1891 in the family of the director of local public school Mykhailo Konovalets and a teacher Maria Soroka of the Venhrynovsky family. Yevhen’s grandfather Rev. Mykhailo and great grandfather Skorobahaty were Greek Catholic priests in Zashkiv village. Vast century old oaks in front of family house, planted by father of Y. Konovalets in honor of his three sons, Yevhen, Stepan and Myron, still serve as a remembrance of those times.
After completion of primary education and successful graduation from the Lviv Academic Gymnasium, Y. Konovalets entered the law faculty of the Lviv University.
Great influence on shaping of his views had the activity in the "Prosvita", student organizations and leadership in the youth branch of the National Democratic Party, as well as works of Taras Shevchenko, M. Mikhnovsky, acquaintance with D. Dontsov.
The second room of the Museum features the materials on the military activity Yevhen Konovalets.
In 1912 Konovalets was drafted into the Austrian army. As a student, he studied one year in a school of sergeant officers in Lviv, and having received the rank of Major General returned to study at Lviv National University. The beginning of World War I in 1914 negated the opportunityto receive a Doctor of Law – Y. Konovalets was mobilized to the Austrian army. At the endof April 1915 he had already been participating in the heroic battle for the mountain Makivka,in which he was captured by Russians. He was in a prisoner of war camp in the Chorny Yar atTsaritsyno (now Volgograd). In September 1917 he came to Kyiv, where in October - November ofthat same year, together with R. Dashkevich he formed the Sich Riflemen Halych-Bukovyna Kurin,which repeatedly played a crucial role in the most difficult times of Ukrainian statehood.
Defeat in the Independence War of 1917-1920 forced the Sich Riflemen under theleadership of Konovalets to switch to underground struggle for Ukrainian independence. In lateJuly 1920, Colonel Y. Konovalets foundered the Ukrainian Military Organization (UMO), based onthe commandant personnel of Sich Riflemen Corps members. UMO launched an uncompromisingstruggle against the representatives of Polish authorities in the Ukrainian lands, became the basis of foundation of patriotic Ukrainian public organizations "Prosvita", "Ridna Shkola", associations "Sokil", "Sich" and "Plast".
The result of the UMO activity was the first Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists, held during January 29 – February 3, 1929 in Vienna. There was founded the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN). Yevhen Konovalets was elected the Head of Provid. OUN was the most active underground organization of its time. Members of the Organization were not only involved in armed struggle, but also took part in educational activities in associations "Prosvita", "Ridna Shkola", supported Ukrainian proprietors of the company "Silsky Hospodar".
Materials of the third room tell about the establishment and management of UMO and OUN, underground struggle, tragic death of Y. Konovalets.
In the 20’s, OUN, strengthened by the leadership of Konovalets, established contacts with political communities of European countries that ideologically supported Ukrainian emigration.
Konovalets constantly supervised and directed the activities of a political underground in the Ukrainian SSR. This activity greatly disturbed the Moscow intelligence. The tragic result of long- term surveillance for Y. Konovalets was his murder by a Bolshevik agent on May 23, 1938 in Rotterdam.
In the museum exposition you can see objects from the family house of Y. Konovalets: icon of St. Theresa, a towel, embroidered by his mother, his father’s chair.
The exposition features numerous documents, photographs and other items directly related to Konovalets. The concluding emphasis in the Museum is put on exhibiting of numerous materials on the world perpetuation of the memory of the prominent Son of Ukraine.
Exposition of Historical and Memorial Museum of Y. Konovalets in Zashkiv village is a humble tribute to ardent patriot of Ukraine from grateful descendants.
The ability of Y. Konovalets to rally people around him for the great idea of independence of Ukraine is an example to follow in our time. At the cost of his own life, he selflessly, step by step sought the right of Ukrainians to live in their own country.
Annually on May 23 and June 14, on the anniversary of his death and birth, the Museum holds commemorative events to honor the memory of the commander of the SS Corps, founder of the UMO and OUN, the great Ukrainian patriot colonel Yevhen Konovalets.