“In 1941 my grandpa, my grandma, and my uncle (their last name was Hrek) were sent to Siberia. So grandpa Hrek was sent to Siberia and his wife too… They were sent in 1942. It was a big drama when in 1942 both my grandma and my grandpa died. Only their child was left, and he was in Siberia. He survived. Our activity was closely connected with the younger Hrek. He was twenty something years old. He was the head of the regional organization of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. Uncle Hrek – we were so impressed by him. And every time when he had a chance he came to visit us together with his subdivision. But in 1945 uncle Hrek was killed in a hard battle.”
Mykhaylo Horyn (1930-2013)
Mykhaylo was born on June 17th, 1930, in the village of Kniselo, Lviv province (now Zhydachiv district, Lviv region). In December 1944 he was deported together with his mother, but on the way to exile they managed to escape. In 1949, in order to avoid joining a kolkhoz (a collective farm), the family moved to the town of Khodoriv. In 1949-1954 Mykhaylo studied at Lviv University. In 1953 he was expelled from the University for the refusal to join the Komsomol (the youth division of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union – editor’s note), later he renewed his studies. He maintained connections with the OUN underground forces, made and distributed leaflets. In 1954-1961 Mykhaylo worked as a teacher of Logic, Psychology, Ukrainian Language and Literature, headmaster of schools in Drohobych districts; he worked in various educational institutions. Mykhaylo was one of organizers and members of the Presidium of Lviv Club of talented youth “Prolisok” (1963).
A history of the family
Meeting Vyacheslav Chornovil, 1961
“A student from Kyiv University came to Lviv for practical courses. When I saw him I told my friends, “You know, this young man…We should deliver him a nationalistic lecture, because he is still very weak and he doesn’t know much.” I met with this young man, he was seven years younger than me, his last name was Chornovil…I started delivering him my anti-Soviet lecture. I was very surprised and impressed that Chornovil was enthusiastic about what I said and what he said. We were patriots. Chornovil came back to Kyiv and finished the first year of studies at the University in 1961. And in 196 we started our illegal activity.
Meeting Mykhaylo Soroka in Mordoviya, the second half of the 1960s
“In 1965 I was sentenced to six years and my brother Bohdan to three years of exile. So we were deported to Mordovian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. And in Mordoviya we met a unique person – Mykhaylo Soroka. He was a person who somehow understood. We became friends. He told us how he was imprisoned, how he was almost killed, how he was abroad. He was a unique person. And I thought, “God! What kind of...” Every day… But he was already rather sick. Every day we had lectures. After classes that I had in Mordoviya. We arranged to meet after lunch. Me and Mykhaylo were walking together. Mykhylo was telling me about his life, I was telling him that we should start researching the history of Ukrainian culture. So we started doing it. And Mykhaylo Soroka wrote several important researches in this area of expertise. When we were walking around the barrack he always used to say, ‘You go ahead, and I will follow you behind’. Because it was hard for him to walk. He was almost 60. I was walking and waiting for him to catch up with me. In 1970 Mykhaylo… we were walking and he was behind me. Then, I thought, that he was catching up with me. It was hard for him – he was sick. And it was his last day. I stopped and saw that he was not catching up with me. I turned around and saw him on his knees. – ‘I don’t feel good!’ I tried to lay him down to ease his pain. I found people who helped him, but nevertheless in my presence Mykhaylo Soroka died.”