Collection of Military and Historical Items at LHM Funds

Actual acquisition of the collection of military and historical exhibits at Lviv Historical Museum was started in 1940 as a result of the transfer to the funds of LHM the collections of the Museum Society “Young Community” created by veterans of the USS (Ukrainian Sich Riflemen) and UGA and liquidated by Soviet authorities in 1939 as "nationalist".
   Much of this collection was destroyed in the late 1940s - early 1950s, but the saved and returned items are the basis of modern collection.

A place of honor among the exhibits of the saved collection belongs to the weapons which belonged to the famous participants of liberation struggle: cavalry saber of UGA chieftain Yaroslav Voyevidka; bayonet of UGA sotnik Vasyl Klym, homemade knife of UGA sotnik Volodymyr Shchurovsky.

The collection includes the cups, which contained the ground from the graves of Sich Riflemen in Makivka and Lyson. The collection contains a symbol of Plast- the flag of one of the hovels, made of green silk on the front of which there is a lion, leaning on the rock.

Nowadays 362 items from the museum collection “Young Community” are in the various fund groups of LHM.

When Ukraine Independence was declared the systematic completing of military and historical exhibits collection was started.  This was supported by the expeditions on the territory of Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk region, by the painstaking search and research works among the direct participants of liberation struggle.

Monuments of the political prisoners’ art contain homemade cards and camp embroidery. Especially notable are the cards made of birch bark and the cards with dried pasted flowers. They, certainly, depict Christmas, Easter stories, and congratulations on the birthday.

A separate group is formed by genre embroidery “Prayer for Ukraine”, “Transfer to Prison” and embroidered icons. The collection represents everyday camp things of the political prisoners, camping products.

The collection includes printed propaganda materials of OUN and UHVR (Ukrainian Supreme Liberation Council during), published in 1950-1951 by three underground OUN printing houses: named after Legenda, after Colonel Shelest, after Arpad-Zolotar, after UPA General Cornet Roman Shukhevych.

Among the documents there are rare pressing issues “To the Will of the Nation” (1949), UPA chronicle (1949), “The Road to Freedom” (1950), twenty-three examples of cards appealing to Ukrainians on the political situation in the world in 1951 signed by the Ukrainian Liberation Underground. Special interest is raised by illustrated postcards and xylographies, printed in different colors - modern forms of folk engraving. Two of them are the works of famous UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army) artist Nil Chasewycz.

Interesting and very eloquent is a collection of camp portrait of Viktor Mytarchuk and Dmytro Vynnychk - prisoners of Soviet camps.

A special place in the collection of military and historical monuments belongs to the sculptured portraits of General Roman Shukhevych and Stepan Bandera, made of bronze by outstanding Ukrainian sculptor Mykhaylo Chereshn’ov.

Along with the works on rebel subjects the collection also contains a watercolor work of Ivan Ivanets “UGA Horse Artillery” (1930) and oil portrait of canon priest Roman Lobodych, chaplain of UGA and Division “Galychyna” by Mychaylo Moroz (1942). These works were presented to the museum by Petro Linynsky.

Most of the museum collection is formed by archival materials that came to the museum from the U.S. and Canada as a result of cooperation of the Museum and Ukrainian socio-political associations in the Diaspora. This is the archive of the Brotherhood of Former Warriors of 1 UD UNA, the archive of Society of Supporters of UNR State Center in exile, the archive of Ukrainian Student Association in Innsbruck (1945-1948), the personal archive of a commander of 1 UD UNA, general lieutenant Pavlo Shandruk, the protocols of the meetings of Military Board Division “Galychyna”, the personal archive of a leading figure of Foreign Parts of OUN, -  Zynoviy Matla.

A great deal of the materials of the Ukrainian Division “Galychyna” history came to the museum collections from the Main Board of the Brotherhood of Former Warriors of 1 UD UNA and former divisionists from the U.S., Canada, Great Britain in 1996-2000. These are various materials, but combined by the theme of liberation struggle. Among them there are personal belongings of soldiers, military and celebration decorations, the camp publication, images of war and camp period.

During constant search the collection was filled with the things of rebel life from shelters, the fragments of rebel arms, found at the places of stand up and battles with the troops of NKVD. Such decorations are complemented: Ukrainian military decorations of the period of liberation struggle, commemorative crosses and medals. The collection represents rather complete series of private postal stamps of DC UNR in exile, ZCH OUN “Underground Post of Ukraine,” Camp mail of captured soldiers-divisionists in Rimini (Italy), which authors were well-known Ukrainian artists Svyatoslav Hordynsky, Mykhaylo Chereshn’ovsky, Lubomyr Ryhtytsky.
   In 1998, with the development of the collection of military and historical items, a separate fund group “Documentary Monuments of Liberation Struggle” was created, which nowadays numbers about 5000 units (preserve - L. Koval).

A lot of exhibits are kept in the groups “Weapons”, “Metal”, “Fabric”, “Graphics” and others.

Very often the researches of the history of OUN, UPA, UD “Galychyna” uses the collection of military and historical monuments of LHM. Materials are reflected in popular science films of Ukrainian, Russian, Polish authors, confirming the important historical and national significance of the collection. The collection helps to understand the processes of the Ukrainian state forming today and to show the essence of liberation struggle to future generations.