Post-war fates

Completing the exposition is the Homecoming installation, which recreates the atmosphere of homes in the late 1940’s. A cloak thrown on a chair and a suitcase create the effect of a man who has just entered the house after a long road. On the wall, empty frames symbolically represent the fates of those who did not survive this war and did not return home. Photos of married couples – former forced laborers Ivan Dudar and Anna Susol, Stepan Sadovy and Nadiya Pobehaylo, Pelagia Struk and Ivan Chubun – reflect the idea of continued ​​life. In the center sits a photograph of the first post-war graduation of the 10th grade of the Obrazhiev High School, symbolizing the new post-war generation who will grow into adulthood without a war. Columns in the hall carry modern pictures of the characters mentioned in the museum. They all recreate the happy moments of their lives. Former Ostarbeiters talk about their difficult post-war years in their video interviews.

Nadia Shkurat:

And then I went to the plant. But the plant did not accept me, so [I went to] the timber factory and the sawmill. [I was] to help at the sawmill, to move logs, to swing. I did not work for a full year when suddenly a cut in personnel came. All the old workers remained, those from villages remained, older men remained. And I was let go because I was… wrong for them. I was already guilty for I was in Germany. So I was the first to let go. Well, where do you go to complain? Nowhere. (…) No one asked us… And who needed us? We returned as enemies! We returned as enemies of the people! And who will you tell? And what will you say? And if you say [something], you may say such things that they will send you there… to the north. Better keep quiet.