Establishment And Activity of the Electrotechnical School in the Camp for Interned UNR Troops (Kalish, Poland, 1921-1922)
The initiator of the establishment of three-months technical courses for the training of telegraph mechanics, car mechanics and electricians was the UNR Inspector of Technical Troops, colonel O. Kozma in August, 1921. The idea was supported by the senior military commanders of the UNR interned troops in Kalish. In particular, the commander of the 2nd Volyn Division General-Khorunzhiy O. Zagrodskyi gave to the disposal of future courses a separate premise and made the necessary appointments to their staff by his order to the group. The teaching department was headed by colonel O. Kozma, who worked out a temporary statute of their activity and drew up the syllabus; and just owing to his supreme efforts it became possible to start the work of the courses from September 1, 1921.
The courses became possible only thanks to the assistance of the camp branch of the American charitable organization YMCA, which, (having received assurances of the fully civilian content of their training), incurred obligations to regularly provide teachers and students with various supplies and books from their own library. For the needs of the courses, it purchased a board, ink for engineering drawing, shapirograph for duplicating lecture notes etc.
At first, about 300 inmates agreed to have a course, but in a short time their number decreased threefold. The students attended the lectures on physics, chemistry, basics of mechanics and electrical engineering; during the practical classes they studied the main types of communication. In December 1921, due to increased training load, it became possible to reorganize the technical courses into the Military Electrotechnical School, attached to the 2nd Division, which taught 11 special subjects. The purpose of the school was within a short time to train experienced communication specialists for work in the army headquarters and subdivisions.
The completion of the School course and the successful passing of the examinations by ten of its students was one more significant achievement of the command of the interned UNR troops in Kalish, as well as the group of not indifferent senior officers, thanks to the joint efforts of which the technical courses worked for seven months, and later they were transformed into the Abridged Military Electrotechnical School of the UNR Army. During that time, about 80 inmates received basic technical knowledge in it, thus increasing the potentialities of their future employment in Poland. And though the courses carried out only one graduation of students, the fact of their existence in the conditions of camp isolation indicated the dedication of lecturers and listeners to the idea of national revival of Ukraine.