Today is not the first Easter, which Ukrainians celebrated in the struggle for freedom, resisting the enemy on their land. Therefore, we decided to collect archival photos of the celebration of the Resurrection of the Lord in the Ukrainian underground. Despite the struggle, the insurgents have always devoted a significant place to the celebration of national and religious holidays. If possible, they tried to hold religious holidays among the civilian population, but sometimes, on the contrary, representatives themselves came to celebrate in insurgent hideouts. In order to avoid the trap on the eve of the meeting, scouts were sent to the agreed place. If a group did not appear, a note was left for it and a new meeting was scheduled.
When someone did not get in touch for a long time, they began to collect information about them. Easter for the insurgents, in addition to religious, had symbolic weight. After spending the winter in hideouts in small groups, they gathered together again for the Easter holidays. It was at Easter that insurgents’ meetings were often held, where they determined plans for the year and distributed responsibilities.
On the eve of the holiday, the soldiers tried according to the custom to confess and attend the service. If it was not possible to attend a secret church in the nearest village, they brought the priest to the forest. Especially for this they could even arrange a chapel. Observing the laws of conspiracy, they agreed with the priest to meet in advance at the agreed place where he was blindfolded and so led to the camp. This was done so that in case of arrest he could not show the way to the camp under torture.
On Easter Day, the insurgents were relieved of all duties, except for watch duties, so they often organized various games in the camp, played chess, cards, arranged improvised performances and dances. Usually on this day, commanders allowed subordinates to drink small amounts of alcohol, which was strictly forbidden on weekdays. As you can see, the UPA tried to celebrate Easter with all the attributes. However, it is worth noting that any celebrations took place only when there was no intense fighting in the vicinity.
Christ is Risen!