Official presentation and transfer of the unique handwritten collection "Songs of Freedom," compiled in 1949 by an unknown UPA soldier

On the Constitution Day of Ukraine, the War Museum hosted a presentation and transfer for permanent storage of the unique handwritten collection "Songs of Freedom," compiled in 1949.

The rarity, which is historical and documentary evidence of the patriotism, sacrifice, and courage of the Ukrainian defenders, was handed over to the Museum by the Secretary of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine, Major Volodymyr Danyliuk, who is currently serving in the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Like the original songbook, the event symbolically began with the National Anthem of Ukraine. According to the Director General of the War Museum, Yurii Savchuk, today is "a double holiday—Constitution Day and the presentation of an incredible artifact. The 1949 collection of songs is indisputable evidence of the continuity of generations and our century-long struggle for freedom and independence, as it contains Cossack, Haidamak, riflemen, and insurgent songs still heard today."

A video from the first Museum War Song Festival, "Surma," held on October 1, 2023, vividly confirmed the Director’s words. The event’s guests heard, "We were born in a great hour," "Partisans went through the village," and "From the blue Don to the gray Carpathians."

Volodymyr Danyliuk shared the history of the artifact with the audience. The Chekists seized the collection from its hiding place, but it survived and was preserved. At the beginning of the restoration of Ukraine’s independence, the book was handed over to Volodymyr Danyliuk by Zinoviy Petryk, former Deputy Head of the USSR KGB in the Volyn region. "As soon as I picked up this collection, it became immediately clear to me that it should be kept in the most esteemed Museum of our country. And so, after printing the facsimile edition of the songbook, I am happy to hand over the handwritten original to the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War," Volodymyr Danyliuk emphasized.

In his speech, Serhii Tomilenko, Head of the NUJU, mentioned cooperation with the Museum and the joint exhibition "Executed Free Speech" displayed at the Exhibition Center. "This Museum is modern, innovative, and relevant, and its employees instantly respond to the challenges of the times, no matter how difficult they may be. The institution’s activities allow us to keep our current struggle in the focus of the world’s attention," he summed up and thanked everyone involved in organizing the event.

Halyna Bidnoshei, a Board representative of the NGO International Association "Volyn Brotherhood," performed a cappella song from the collection, "Autumn Flowers Have Already Withered."

The event was also attended by folk poet Maria Volynska, who recited her poem "Oscar."

We congratulate everyone on the Constitution Day of Ukraine and invite you to celebrate this holiday by visiting our exhibitions.