Budynok Slovo {Slovo House}
Budynok Slovo, Ukraine, Kharkiv, Kultury Street, #9

Story

From 1923 to now

  •  

    Slovo House

    Story of the House and its habitants

  • 1923

    Famous Kyiv poet in Kharkiv? Why?

    Pavlo Tychyna moves from Kyiv to Kharkiv to head newly-formed magazine "Chervoniy Shlyash" [meaning "Red Path"]. But salary is not enough to rent an apartment or even a room, so he lives in a nutshell near editorial office's restroom.

  • 1923

    Cultural burst due to Ukrainization policy

    From 1919 to 1934 Kharkiv was the capital of Soviet Ukraine, and he was cultural life bustling. Communist party, trying to become closer to people, to win their favor, announced Ukrainization policy. This facilitated rise in literature and art. Writers had their works published in lots of new periodicals, actively participated in discussions and meetings, joined professional groups. In couple decades, 1920-s were called Red Renaissance. Executed Renaissance, to be true.

  • 1923

    Writers lived in rather poor conditions

    Those who came from villages, little towns and even Kyiv couldn't afford to rent a space to live, since prices in Kharkiv were higher than even Kyiv ones. Salary wasn't enough and it wasn't always paid timely. Men of letters lived and worked in bedsits, 3-meter shells, kitchens, slept right on the floor, newspapers substituting blankets, kept their manuscripts in cooking pots to save it from being eaten by mice and rats.

  • 1926

    Idea to build a cooperative house

    In the middle of 1920-s Ukrainian writers turned to Soviet government with a request to build cooperative building, where would be enough place for everyone. The government supported the project and provided finances. The idea to create such building was born in literary association "Plug" [meaning "Plow"]. Its members formed cooperative society, that was headed by Ostap Vyshnya, his right hand - Serhiy Pylypenko [head of "Plug" himself].

  • September 1927

    Project of the House

    In September 1927, the cooperative signed an agreement with Comungosp to implement the project. According to the documents, Ukrpaistroi performed inner works, the main architectural work was assigned to Mytrofan Dashkevych. Money came from the government, but each writer had to pay first contribution and then pay out the full cost of his apartment during next 15 years. Actually most of habitants didn't get a chance to do that, since their living in Slovo ended much earlier.

    Later there came an assumption that Ukrpaistroi contractor installed spying equipment in the house.

  • 29.9.1927

    Newspaper "Visti" informs about beginning of construction works

    Construction of "Slovo" House started the very same year, on September 8-th, not far from center of the city, in the uphill region.

  • 29.9.1927

    Cozy location

    House is being raised in Barachnyi alley [meaning "Barracks"], back then it was suburbs of the city. In 1930-s this alley was renamed as Red Writers Street. But mail sender could sign just "Budynok Slovo, Kharkiv" and all postmen knew where such letter should got to. After WW2 the House has address of "Barachniy, 9" again, a bit later - "Pokrovskogo, 9". Now it is Number 9 on Kultury street [meaning "Culture"].

  • 1928

    Architectural Project

    Architecture M.Dashkevych drafts were quite detailed, everything thougt out - stairs, inner and outer doors, territory around the house, fence. The house was built with best materials available at that time.

    5 entrances. 5 floors. 1st, 4th and 5th entrances had also basement floor partly under the ground. 1st and 5th entrances were planned to be equiped with elevators, which were added later (after WW2). Habitants could sunbath at solarium located on the roof of the building. And on the basement floor of entrance 5 there was a kindergarten for writers' kids.

    Total number of apartments - 66. Two apartments were meant for house administration - manager and janitor. All the rest belonged to men of letters and art.

  • 1928

    "C"-building

    The building has form of "C" letter. In Ukrainian "Слово" [meaning "Word", spells as "Slovo"] starts with same letter. So it was called "Слово" (Slovo) House. And habitants got nickname "slovyans".

  • 1928

    Luxury apartments for literary elite

    Apartments had 3 or 4 rooms. High ceilings, big windows. Largest appartments, corner ones, are around 100 sq. meters. These are the ones taken by the head of cooperative (Vyshnya,Pylypenko).

    But at some moment the construction works are delayed, gathered money is insufficient to finish all the works.

  • 25.1.1928

    Denunciations in late 1920-s

    Writers are being spied on during all the 1920-s. For example, Ostap Vyshnya took active part in UNR [Ukrainian People's Republic - Ukrainian state formed in 1917 and defeated by the Bolsheviks in 1920]. After its defeat Ostap lives quiet life of nation-wide known humorist. But the government still reckons him to be insecure, so watches him closely. As another example - leading poet Pavlo Tychyna is one of those writing denunciations on his colleges.

  • February 1929

    Writers go to Moscow

    In February 1929, Moscow holds "Ukrainian week" event during which Ukrainian writers meet Russian colleagues and Josheph Stalin himself. Ostap Vyshnya decides to ask for money right there, he writes a note to leader and receives positive answer. According to fable retold by Stepan Kryzhanivskiy, Vyshnya gots a visit to his hotel room the very same evening and is given a suitcase of money. According to the transcript of meeting with Stalin, Lazar Kaganovych, Stalin's right hand, informs writers that they know about their need of money for the House and that it should be provided.

  • 25.12.1929

    "Ukrvisti" reports that building is populated

    "Now we are free to say that Ukraniain writers, at least most of them, have accommodation, where they can work in proper conditions. That is house of writers "Slovo" construction of which started couple of years ago and finished just recently. It is located not far from Derzhprom building [the Palace of Industry, highest building in Europe in 1928] . More than 60 writers with their families will be placed. The settlement of the house has already begun."

  • 1930

    At the end of 1929, building is almost ready

    Despite the fact that not all utilities are properly set up, writers hurry up to move in before New Year 1930.

  • 1930

    Allocation of apartments by entrances

    66 apartments, 5 entrances, 5 floors + basement floor

  • 1930

    How apartments were chosen

    Head of cooperative and couple of those who took active part in construction process have an opportunity to choose apartments for themselves. All others draw lots. Thus 4-room apartment first goes to one of top writers, Mykola Hvyloviy, but due to quarrels he backs off and decides to go for a 3-room premises.

  • 1930

    Pavlo Tychyna in living room of his new premises

    Now there is enough space for a big library and even for grand piano. Vyshnya, big fan of hunting, gives his dogs whole rooms. Even though some difficulties still occurred such as mice, moth, coal heating,etc., but such living conditions were luxury for that time.

  • 1930

    First habitants

    Most of people in the house had murky past. It has been kept secret lately that during Russian Civil War the whole elite of writers and poets of Soviet Ukraine fought against Bolsheviks under Ukrainian People's Republic flags. Petro Panch and Andriy Golovko were offices in Petlura army, Volodymyr Sosura and Borys Antonenko-Davydovych - reckless junkers, Oleksandr Kopilenko and even 16-year old Yuriy Yanovskiy - volunteer cavalry soldiers. Publc officials of UNR were Pavlo Gubenko(Ostap Vyshnya), Pavlo Tychyna and Yuriy Smolych… At the begining of 1920 part of them found themselves among Borotbists [left-nationalist party] and together with those converted to Bolsheviks. But some of them, for example, Ostapa Vyshnya and, according to some data, Yuriy Yanovskiy, the Reds took as hostages. Though Petlura leaven was still there in them» By historian Yaroslav Tinchenko.

    No less was the number of communist ideas fans. One can name Mykola Hvyloviy, Myhailo Yaloviy, Serhiy Pylypenko, Oles' Dosvitniy. And there were purely pro-government writers.

  • 1930

    4 Ivans: Kyrylenko, Mykytenko, Kulik and Le.

    Pro-commnunist-party four, three of them living in "Slovo". They formed the VUSPP [All-Ukrainian society of proletarian writers] - literary organization whose task was to publicly criticize "bourgeois-nationalists" and write denunciations against enemies of state. But there were not alone in testifying involuntary or on purpose against others.

  • 21.3.1930

    Information on Ostap Vyshnya, Valeriyan Polishuk and Pavlo Tychyna

    Here agent Anton reports to the authorities in one go about three writers, who supposedly try to create anti-soviet center in Zaporizhya.

  • 20.1.1931

    Galina Orlivna (Mnevska), apt.27. Actress. The first robin.

    She was among first repressed in the house. By that time her first husband was already arrested, later sentenced to death penalty. Galina got 5 years. After end of term she didn't have a right to come back to Ukrainian any more.

  • 2.3.1931

    Pavlo Hrystuk, apt. 25, Statesman and publicist

    As former member of Central Rada [All-Ukrainian council of UNR] and one of founders of Ukrainian Socialist-Revolutionary Party, he probably felt that his position is quite precarious. Thus tried to use words carefully in his publications and wrote ideologically right articles. But having written some positive critiques on Hlyloviy's and Epik's writings, he draws attention of NKVD.

    Arrested as a member of "Ukrainian National Center". Accused of belonging to this nonexistent organization were former members of Ukrainian communist party, Ukrainian social-revolutionary party and others, mostly Galicia-born [Western Ukrainian Region]. Sentenced to number of years in the colony. Died in one of Sevvostlag concentration camps.

  • 16.3.1932

    Ivan Bagryaniy, rented room in apt.54. Poet, prosaist and publicist

    Accused in "counterrevolutionary agitation using literature works".

    Spent 11 month in one-man cell, then got 3 years in Russian Far East camps. Second time he was arrested for "taking part and even leading counterrevolutionary organization". In 1940 charges were withdrawn.

    "Please don't call me poet, `cause it insults me deeply. Don't name me poet, my friend, since poets are now the type of criminals, I don't want to belong to."
    Poem "Ave Maria", 1927 р.

  • 1933

    In the 1930-s, NKVD comes to most of "Slovo" apartments.

    Street doors are blocked under the pretense of residents' security. In the yard, NKVD guys are constantly watching who goes where. During next few years writers are arrested one after another. Cleared appartments are populated with new habitants, also becoming next victims soon afterwards. Great number of appartments have 2-3 repressed residents. Writers are frightened, stop writing or write denials on their previous works, start denounce each others.

  • 12.5.1933

    Myhailo Yalovyi, apt.30. Poet, prose-writer, playwright, public figure

    Accused of espionage and setting up assassination attempt on Pavlo Postyshev [one of main political figures].

    From testimony of the prisoner, 07/28/1933: Meeting of VAPLITE core consisting of Epik, Hvyloviy, Dosvitniy, Kulish, Vychnya, Yaloviy, Yanovskiy, Bazhan, Kopylenko, Senchenko, Yogansend and E. Chernyak was held in Epik's apparment of "Slovo" House. [VAPLITE abbr. meaning "Free Academy of Proletarian Literature - literary society headed by M. Hvyloviy] The meeting agreed to: oblige Yaloviy, Dosvitniy and Vyshnya keep permanent contact in task of practical preparations of VAPLITE staff to rebellion in Kharkiv as a center.

    Sentenced to 10 years of correctional labor camps. Case was reviewed and sentence was changed to death penalty. Executed on 11/3/1937.

  • 13.5.1933

    Mykola Hvylovyi, apt. 9. One of movers of post-revolutionary Ukrainian prose

    The next day after Yaloviy's arrest, Hvyloviy invites Kulish and Dosvitniy [his closest allies] to his appartment. They talk about Yaloviy's case and try to find possible ways to solve the problem. In the middle to conversation, Hvyloviy goes to his work-room, and soon guests hear gun shot sound.

    «Arest of Yaloviy is an execution of the whole generation. For what? For being the most sincere communists? I don't understand anything. Long live communism,... Long live commnunist party...», says his suicide note.

  • 8.9.1933

    Andriy Richytskiy, apt. 35. One of founders of Ukrainian communist party. Critic

    Arrested with accusations of belonging to "Ukrainian military organization", "active counterrevolutionary provocations, aimed at overthrowing Soviet power in Ukraine". Sentenced to 10 years of community service in camps.

    At the same time another investigation started, he was tried for «twisting party policy» during grain procurements in Odessa region.

    "We have to use all remaining time to drain all the grain. I instructed comrade Richytskiy, spent half day with him, in kolhoz planned for this operation".

    But later it appeared that Richytskiy didn't get instructions right. April 24 , 1934 sentenced to death for torturing peasants, executed on April 25.

  • 29.11.1933

    Serhiy Pylypenko, kv.20. Proseman, fabulist, public figure

    Excluded from Communist party "as non-Bolshevik, for distorting national policies and ideological instability", arrested.

    February 23, 1934 NKVD troika [ institutional commissions of three persons who issued sentences to people after simplified, speedy investigations and without a full trial] sentenced Pylypenko to death. But according to official documents date of this death is 1943 [as if he died in WW2], and most likely contradicts reality.

  • 26.12.1933

    Les Kurbas, apt. 64. Director, actor, theater teacher, playwright

    Was accused of "gloominess", distortion of optimistic Soviet reality, but stage director didn't back-pedal.

    After arrest he was forced to write a statement in which admitted his guilt towards society. I declare my total and final disarming in regards to Soviet government and confess in being part of counterrevolutionary organization UVO [abbr. meaning Ukrainian Military Organization].

    According to this statement, task of Les Kurbas was On theatrical front, to direct the course of the cultural-artistic process in Ukraine on bourgeois-nationalist rails. Sentenced to 5 years in prison, but in October 1937 sentence is changed to death penalty.

  • 25.12.1933

    Ostap Vyshnya, apt. 22. Most famous humorist-writer of Ukraine

    From protocol of Pylypenko's questioning, 12/21/1931:
    "...In order to commit terroristic attacks next groups are planned: PYLYPENKO, PANCHENKO, DESNYAK - victim CHUBAR`; Ostap VYSHNYA, DOSVITNIY and SLISARENKO organize assassination attempt on POSTYSHEV.POSTYSHEV must be killed by Ostap VYSHNYA during the expected reception of Ukrainian writers in Central Committee…"

    For some time during interrogations Vyshnya didn't surrender, some say that even tried to joke: "Maybe I should also confess in raping Clara Zetkin?"[German Marxist theorist, by 1933 she was 75 years old],

    After investigative tortures had to slander on himself. Spent 10 years in Solovki camps, in 1937 he had a close call, but illness saved him from execution.

  • May 1934

    Capital of Soviet Ukraine is moved from Kharkiv to Kyiv

    In May 1934, the capital of Ukraine moved from Kharkiv to Kyiv. By example of Kharkiv writers' house, Kyiv Rolit house was built. [Rolit - abbr., meaning "Workers of literature"]. A number of writers, who belong to the top, had a chance to move to Kyiv location with the hope to be more safe there. But actually it didn't help much.

  • 5.11.1934

    Krushelnitskiy family, apt. 54. Respectable family in Werstern Ukraine

    Whole family moved from Lviv to Kharkiv in May 1933, rented rooms in V. Vrazhlylyi's premises. November 5, 1934 arrested were Antin and two sons. A bit later NKVD came for 2 other sons and daughter.

    "Antin Krushelnitskiy is one of the leaders of Ukrainian nationalists center in Kharkiv, which is aimed at overthrowing Soviet power in USSR and preparation of terror act against party members and the government".

    Antin and all of his children were sentenced to death in 1937, he and two sons were executed in Sandarmoh, Karelia, two others - in Kiev, daughter supposedly in St.Petesburg.

  • November 1934

    Valerya Polishuk, kv. 65. Writer, poet, critic and publicist

    Arrested together with other nine writers for belonging to so call “Center of anti-soviet fight organization”. Soon after, 27-28 1936, sentenced to death. Though sentence was changed to 10 years in exile, but in November 1937 he doesn't become an exception in Sandarmoh and is executed among 1111 others.

  • 1.12.1934

    Assassination of Kirov leads to hectic campaign against terrorism

    Right after assassination of Serhiy Kirov [political leader close to J. Stalin] on December 1, 1934, Central Executive Committee issues resolution according to which all hearing of criminal cases are done as quick as possible, accused can be executed the day after verdict is announced

    Victims are being tortured so they confess in taking part in non-existent terroristic organizations. One defendant lays information against many others, which whom he supposedly engaged in anti-soviet activity. [There are some assumptions that Stalin was the one who arranged Kirov's murder, due to Kirov being too popular among crowds.]

  • December 1934

    Mykola Kulish, apt.33. One of most outstanding Ukrainian playwrights

    In morning session, Ivan Kulik characterizes Mykola Kulish as an artist who represents nationalism manifestations in drama and "most of plays of which are explicitly nationalistic and hostile to us"

    .Soon he is arrest and accused of affiliation to terrorist organization and connections with Ukrainian nationalists, sentenced to 10 years, executed same day as his workmate Les Kurbas.

  • 5.12.1934

    Grygoriy Epic, apt.7. Writers, translator and publicist

    After arrest Grygoriy confessed in belonging to mythical terroristic organization, to which supposedly belonged also other 5 habitants of "Budynok Slovo". Wrote repentance letter in which acknowledged that "all of them had to be shot as crazy dogs".

    In the exile, writing letters to his wife, tried to show that he was completely remorseful, being full of pathos informs that he created new soviet writings that were very important and whole world should saw. In October 1937, his case was reviewed and he was sentenced to death.

  • 6.12.1934

    Andriy Paniv, apt. 13. Poet, journalist and translator

    After assassination of S. Kirov, Paniv was accused of belonging to the terrorists groups. Due to physical abuse for 12 days, he had to «acknowledge» being a part of counterrevolutionary organization, but denied taking part of setting up terror acts. Sentence was 10 years in the colony, but later case was reviewed and it was change to death penalty.

    «staying of the preceding couterrevolutionary positions and continuing counterrevolutionary spying and terror activity, created organization “All-Ukrainian central block”.

  • 8.12.1934

    Valeryan Pidmogilniy, apt. 19. One of most prominent Ukrainian writers of 1920-30s. Translator

    During interrogations didn't admit his guilt. Among accusations is his phrase ”policy of collectivization lead Ukraine peasants to famine”.

    January 11, 1935, “confession” appeared in the protocol: belonged to group of writers-nationalists with terrorist mood towards leaders of the party”

    March 27-28, 1935, Pidmogylniy and few others arrested for this case, tried and sentenced to “10 years with confiscation of personal properties”. Soon sent to Solovki camp, executed on November 11, 1937, Sandarmoh.

  • 12.1934

    Vasyl' Vrazhlyviy, apt. 54. Writer.

    As a owner of famous 54th apartment, from which many criminals were taken [Bagryaniy, Krushelnitski family], he became target as well. Also his friendship with Evgen Pluzhnik, Grugoriy Epik, brought him to be believed to be in the same "terror organization". In March 1935, he is sentenced to 10 years in prison. He served the sentence in Solovki, not the best place to be in 1930s. In December 1937 he is sentenced to death and executed.

  • 4.12.1934

    Evgen Pluzhnik, apt. 54. Poet, playwright, translator

    Evgen Plushnik lived mostly in Kyiv, but when he visited Kharkiv, he stay in that famous 54 apartment of Vrazhlyviy.
    Arrested on December 1934, sentenced to death for taking part in terroristic organization, but soon verdict is changed to long imprisonment in the colony. Died from tuberculosis in the correction camp.

  • 16.9.1936

    Ivan Padalka, apt. 26. Artist, painter, black-and-white artist, teacher

    As a representative of Boychuk art school and have been praised in 1920s, in 1930-s he together with his mates and master M. Boychuk fell from grace of the government. Boychuk school was all about Byzantine frescos and folk motifs nothing close to social realism art style, so it became outsider in Soviet art life and soon most of its members were repressed and executed.

    June 13, 1937 "NKVD troyka" sentenced Ivan Padalka to death as «member of national-fascist terrorist organization, that aimed at separating Ukraine from USSR and restoring capitalism», executed the same day.

  • 26.11.1936

    Vasyl' Sedlyar, apt.26. Artist-monumentalist, graphic-artist, critic, teacher

    Vasyl' lived together with Ivan Padalka and also was one of "boychukists", in fact, some specialists consider him to be a leader of school, together with the master M.Boychuk. After Ivan Padalka was arrested, NKVD came for M.Boychuk and V.Sedlyar as well.

    After arrest Sedlyar confessed that Boychuk is head of terroristic organization, active member of which were Padalka and himself. June 12, 1937, he was accused of belonging to terroristic organization that planned terror acts against Soviet government. The next day he is sentenced to death and executed together with Padalka and Boychuk.

  • 23.4.1937

    Mykhailo Semenko, apt. 39. Founder and ideologial leader of Ukrainian futurism

    Since he lived both in Kharkiv and in Kyiv, there came 2 arrest warrants. Arrested in Kyiv, accused of taking part in fascist nationalistic organization, which never existed in reality, and also in planning to kill secretary S.Kosior. Also was accused of attempts to overthrow Soviet power with help of German fascists. After three questionings he confessed in being guilty. October 23, sentenced to death, executed the next day.

  • 27.7.1937

    Ivan Kulik, apt.41. Writer, poet, translator and statesman

    Confessed in counterrevolutionary activity right on the first interrogation.

    I became so close to Ukrainian nationalists, that when Kost Kotko and M.Yaloviy proposed me, a Jew, to join Ukrainian nationalist counterrevolutionary organization, I consider this as nomination of me on the role of “saver” of Ukrainian people. It appealed my ambitions. Without hesitation I agreed to take part in the organization.

    September 25, 1937, the wife of Ivan, Luciana Piontek, whom he turned in as a co-conspirator,was executed.

    Ivan was accused of espionage and cooperation with Great Britain. Executed October 10, 1937.

  • 18.8.1937

    Mike Yogansen, apt. 12. Poet, proseman, translator, critic and playwright

    Arrested in his apartment of Budynok "Slovo". During questionings kept his dignity and didn't hide his views.

    "In conversations with Epik and Vrazhlyvyi, I said that Ostap Vyshnya is no terrorist, that innocent people are sent to prison. I asserted that arrests of Ukrainian writers are the result of dismay and powerlessness of party leaders and Soviet power government».

    October 24, accused of recruiting four persons to participate in rebellion and agreed to take part in terror acts against party leaders personally. October 26, sentenced to death, executed on the very next day.

  • 1.10.1937

    Volodymyr Koryak, apt. 28. Literature specialist. Critic

    Belonged to pro-party critics group (S.Shupak, I. Kulik, I. Kyrylenko, I.Mykytenko), though his assaults of «enemies of state» were a bit more tolerant than ones of others.

    September 30, 1937, excluded from Communist Party as "a bourgeois nationalist who did not wish to disarm against Soviet power"

    Arrested on October 1, “trial ceremony” took place on December 21. He was tried and found guilty for counterrevolutionary activity. Executed the next day.

  • 3.10.1937

    Ivan Mykytenko, apt. 42. Writer and playwright, public figure.

    Was a person loyal to Communist party, who fought with public enemies. Excluded from the party as "man that hid his cheapskate origin when joining the party and being part of it, that harbored his brother – cheapskate bandit, that had connections with sworn enemies of Soviet people - bourgeois nationalists, that consciously helped harming Ukrainian literature."

    The next day he was found dead in the suburbs of the city. The official version - suicide, but there were evidences that it was murder.

  • 27.10.1937

    Sandarmokh

    In camps of Karelia, Sandarmokh, October 27 - November 4 1937, executed are 1111 prisoners to honor 20th anniversary of October revolution. 200+ were Ukrainians, among them "Slovo" writers: Les Kurbas, Mykola Kulish, Grygorih Epik, Andriy Paniv, Mykhailo Yaloviy, Antin Krushelnickiy, his sons Bogdan and Ostap, Valeryan Polishuk, Valeryan Pidmogylniy. Executed were mostly political prisoners, intellectuals.

  • 21.2.1938

    Ivan Kyrylenko, apt. 55. Writer.

    Was considered «hard-rock Bolshevik», that unconditionally supports policy of "father of all poople" [meaning Stalin] in fight with Ukrainian nationalism, all the twists and distortions. On February 21, 1938, on the regular session he was pathetically telling about unprecedented rise of culture and living of Ukrainian kolhoz villages. He was greeted with applause by leaders of Ukraine including Hrushov. In the very same day, NKVD agents already waited on him in his appartment in Rolit building, Kyiv.

    convict appears to be member of counterrevolutionary ogranization and is suspected of spying activity.

    September 23, 1938, close trial sentenced him to death, executed the same day in Kyiv prison.

  • 21.3.1938

    Ivan Dukin, apt. 57. Writer, translator

    Soon after arrest he admits his guilt:
    Coming from bourgeois family, I started my anti-Soviet nationalistic activity back in 1921. In 1922 I started the study in Kharkiv pedagogical college, where sworn nationalists run rampant. My inspirations were Pylypenko, Kyrylenko, Paniv, Bozhko, etc.

    But after half year of investigation, on February 9, 1939, Dukyn rejected his previous confessions:Facts... that I fabricated to incriminate myself... I know nothing about any underground writers' organization.

    According to statement of October 29, 1939, Dukin was sent to correction camp for 5 years. Died October 10, 1939 from tuberculosis in the colony.

  • 4.6.1938

    Yakiv Kalnytskiy, apt. 42. Writer. Science fiction books author

    In 1930s, Yakiv Kalnytskiy lived in other location in Kharkiv. He was arrested and tortured for quite a few days. After that, om June 18, 1938, he writes a confession.... doctor Sabbatai Zevi came to USSR not only for leisure, his task was to carry on counterrevolutionary nationalistic work among soviet Jews”. Sabbatai Zevi was Rabbi who claimed to be the long-awaited Jewish Messiah in 1666, died in 1676. Yakiv invented him in his testimonies in order for it to sound too absurd. In three weeks he retracts his statements and doesn't plead guilty. He was sentenced to 3 years. After term joined Soviet army in WW2.
    After the war returned to Kharkiv and was given an apartment 42, which previously belonged to repressed Ivan Kulik.

  • 1.1939

    Mykola Bazhan, apt. 44. Poet, translator, culturologist, encyclopedist, philosopher

    From year 1935, NKVD had a record #1377 on Bazhan as member of underground "Ukrainian military organization".

    During year of 1938 he waited for an arrest every night, even tried not to sleep at home to avoid it. But luck was on his side.

    Before approval of list of honors, Stalin recalled that there was someone who did good translation of Georgian epic poem “The Knight in the Panther's Skin”. [Stalin was Georgian by origin]. So he himself added the name of Bazhan to the list.

    After that arrest of the writer was cancelled.

  • Novermber 1940

    Ivan Vyrgan, apt. 32. Poet, translator

    Arrested for libelous denunciations in which he was accused of «hardcore anti-Soviet propaganda». Didn't confess in spite of tortures.

    March 21, 1941 he was sentenced to 10 years of correctional labor, served the sentence near Vorkuta. July 17, 1944 was released on parole and draught into the army.

  • 1941

    Repressed are also those who were on the government's side

    Those who just recently fought with enemies of state become enemies themselves - Ivan Lakiza, Samiylo Shupak, Volodymyr Koryak and many others. Some though manage to сheat death and do well adjusting to requirements from above (for example, Pavlo Tychyna, Volodymyr Sosura, Yuriy Smolych).

  • 1941

    Sad statistics

    Wave of repressions hit 40 out of 66 apartments Number of executed - 33, sentenced to long term and returned - 3, sentenced to long term and died in a colony - 2, suicide - 1, killed/died under unclear circumstances - 1.

  • 1943

    Ostap Vyshnya returns after 10 years of exile

    He lives in Rolit building and is still being spied on by government agents. Though last reports state that Vyshnya no longer poses a threat to Soviet regime and is ill and weak person. He writes "Samostiyna Dirka" [meaning "Independent Hole"] in which criticizes Ukrainian nationalists and also involuntary jokes about his exile as if in reality he wasn't repressed at all.

    And lives Ostap Vyshnya in heaven, plays cards, eats warty-cabbage.
    That is a true truth about real Ostap Vyshnya.

    * * *

    And who is that Ostap Vyshnya, who writes something in Soviet newspapers?
    Well, clearly that is Soviet fake.

  • 1944

    Budynok Slovo in WW2

    During first months of war Kharkiv becomes shelter for people of all other cities and towns. Here they come from occupated Kyiv. Non-repressed artists who still live in Slovo welcome evacuated colleges in theis premises. Thus from occupated by German Crimea comes Yaroslav Galan, writer from Western Ukraine. He stays in Yuriy Smolych's apartment #63. At night, bombarding starts and they got on the roof on duty to protect it from of missles. That night young writer Mykola Trublaini and couple of others are aslo there. They see all the Kharkiv on fire. Couple months later Trublaini is severely injured, he dies before mates get him to the hospital.

    During the occupation of Kharkiv, German soldies settle in the house leaving very little space for those few owners that haven't evacuated.

  • 1945

    Slovo House after WW2

    After Kharkov's liberation, while Kyiv was still occupied, Kharkov becomes a place where war-time cultural life starts burst to again. Ukrainian writers return from evacuation, settle in almost empty house and are back to publishing work. But as soon as Kyiv is freed, most important figures head there.

    After WW2, in 1945 house is empty again. Old residents recall that anybody could freely pick an apartment for oneself. During war the building wasn't damaged and stays in almost the same state as in the 1930-s. But later in 1950s-60s, due to arson solarium terraces burn down.

    In 1950-s house is populated again with young writers of new generation. Also quite a few of painters and sculptors live here.

  • 23.1.1949

    Leib Kvitko, apt. 10. Jewish writer, author of books for children, wrote in Yiddish

    Leyb escaped repressions of 1930s. He moved to Kyiv, to Rolit and later, in 1936, to Moscow. But death found him a bit later. During WW2 he was a member of Jewish anti-fascist commitee. That was organization created by NKVD themselves to help USSR fight Germans. But after WW2, in late 1940s, Jewish organization having too many connections abroad, comes in the way of Soviet goverment. And in 1949 Leyb was arrested due to belonging to this organization. He was accused of anti-national treachery and sentenced to death.

  • 1950

    Ukrainian writers after WW2

    Palvo Tychyna becomes leading Soviet Ukrainian poet and public figure, minister of eduction and deputy chairman. In 1941 he is awardee of Stalin's honor [top honor given in USSR], in 1962 gets Shevchenko's honor, Hero of Socialist Labour in 1967.

  • 1950

    Former Petlura army soldier, Volodymyr Sosura, adjusted well to new conditions

    He writes ideologically proper poems and in 1948 gets highest honor of USSR – Stalin's award. But in 1951 Volodymyr becomes vulnerable again due to his patriotic poem “Lubit' Ukrainu” 1944 [To love Ukraine], which is reckoned as Bourgeois nationalistic.

  • 4.3.1950

    Maria Danilova, apt. 57. Actress, second wife of Volodymy Sosura

    Was tried and found guilty for unsealing the fact of her service as NKVD agent, сlaiming that from 1941 she was agent with code name "Danina", worked among intellectuals, meeting spot — hotel «Teatral'niy», room 26. Sentenced to a term in correction camps, was out in 5 years.

  • 1955

    Soviet government acknowledges that it was wrong about terrorists

    Most of repressed were rehabilitated in 1950s on request of relatives. For the sake of rehabilitation, investigation called in for questioning the same people who denounced in 1930s. New testimonies were completely opposite: convicts were never found to have anti-soviet views and were all in all honest communists, leave alone engaging in terrorism.

    From the interrogation protocol of witness Pavel Gubenko (Ostap Vyshnya), 7/7/1955:

    Question: Do you know Dosvitniy Oles Fedorovych?
    Answer: Yes, I know him... I don't know about mistakes of Dosvitniy. I considered him to be good Communist party member, who was on the right tack.

  • 7.7.1955

    Questioning of Ostap Vyshnya in 1955

    From questioning protocol of Pavlo Gubenko (Ostap Vyshnya), 7/07/1955:

    Question:
    For what crimes have you been convicted?
    Answer:I haven't committed any crimes. But was convicted as a member of terroristic organization and organizer of assassination attempt of former secretary Postyshev...

    Investigation was carried on by inspector Bordon... Since I didn't give any detailed testimonies, Bordon decided to use physical pressure. He try to convince me that my testimonies are needed by Communist party and Soviet people. Due to physical and psycological abuse on me, I was forced to slander others and myself.

  • 7.7.1955

    Questioning of Ostrap Vyshnya (continued...)


    Question:
    Do you know facts that Ukrainian nationalists used literary societies and print media, VAPLITE in particular, for anti-Soviet activities?

    Answer: There could have been nationalistic kind of mistakes, that were made by writers in their books and publications, but I can't assert that literary societies were adobes of nationalism.

  • 2016

    Nowadays

    Nowadays "Slovo" House is located almost in the very center of the city. It is number 9 on Kultury Street. On its other side - Literaturna str. [meaning Literary], which got its name in 2016 due to decommunization process in Ukraine. Before that it was called Yaroslava Galana Street [pro-Soviet writer who didn't live in the House, only visited couple of times. He was murdered in 1949, official Soviet version - killed by Ukrainian nationalists].

  • 2016

    Slovo House, September 2016

    Most of current habitants don't have any relation to families of writers. Now it is regular residential house.

  • 2016

    November 2016

    Current appearance of the house - plastic balconies, rundown walls, bricks falling out.

  • 2016

    Few door that were remained from 1930-s

     

  • 2016

    2nd entrance

    Old postbox and stairs

The project is created by volunteer team of Kharkiv.
Timeline of Slovo House isn't the only part of the Proslovo project. Besides online, there are various offline activities around the house: such as excursions and meetings, presentations for high-school and university students. We try to provide educational materials about Budynok Slovo to schools and libraries.

Anastasiya Kovalyova: author of the project, current Slovo resident, web-developer.
Sophie Gissovska: 3D models, renewed plans. Igor Manzon: photoediting

Join or help Proslovo: info@proslovo.com.

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