Ivan Bahrianyi

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Ivan Bahrianyi (Ukrainian: Iван Багряний) (2 October 1906, Okhtyrka, now Sumy region, Ukraine – 25 August 1963, Neu-Ulm, Germany) was a Ukrainian writer, essayist, novelist and politician, Shevchenko prize awardee (1992, postmortem). The writer's real name was Ivan Pavlovych Lozoviaha (Lozoviahin).


Early years

Ivan Bahrianyi was born in the village of Kuzemyn, Okhtyrskyi Raion, Sumy Oblast, in eastern Ukraine, in the family of a bricklayer. His education was not consistent, due to the difficulty of life during First World War, the revolution and the post-war chaos in education. Having completed his secondary education, in 1920 he entered the locksmith school, then he got admitted to an artistic school. Due to that he was speaking Ukrainian and was Ukrainian-spirited young man, his peers mocked him for a long time and called him mazepian, that may have been one of the reasons for joining the OUN in the future. Bahrianyi did enter the Kiev Art Institute, but did not graduate. During the Civil War and in the early 1920s he was involved in the Soviet social and political work, but in 1925 he left Komsomol. In 1926, he began to publish poetry in newspapers and journals and in 1927, his first collection of poetry appeared. Bahrianyi was a member of the Kiev association of young writers, MARS.

Arrest and detention

On April 16, 1932, Ivan Bahrianyi was arrested in Kharkiv on a charge of "counter-revolutionary propaganda" he allegedly spread in his poems. He spent 11 months in a separate cell (solitary confinement) in OGPU inner prison. On October 25, 1932 he was sentenced to 3 years of colony at the Far East. He tried to escape, but unsuccessfully, sentence was extended for 3 years, Ivan Bahrianyi was transferred to another camp - BAM.
The exact date when he returned home is unknown, but on June 16, 1938 he has been re-arrested and placed in Kharkiv NKVD jail. Bahrianyi was charged on participating in and even leading the nationalist counter-revolutionary organization. Later he used his autobiographical details in his novel Sad Hetsymans'kyi (English: Garden of Gethsemane)

War years

The World War II caught the writer in Okhtyrka. He was involved in the Ukrainian national underground movement, moved to Galicia. He worked in the OUN propaganda sector, wrote songs on patriotic themes, various articles, draw cartoons and propaganda posters. He also participated in the establishment of the Ukrainian Supreme Liberation Council (USLC), developed its policy documents. At the same time, he continued his literary activities. In 1944 Bahrianyi wrote his novel Zvіrolovi (eng. Trappers), the poem Huliaipole.
In 1945, prior to the defeat of Hitler's troops, Ivan Bahrianyi emigrated to Germany through OUN.


After the end of the war, on behalf of ex-OST-Arbeiter and war prisoner, Bahrianyi wrote a pamphlet named Why I am not going back to the Soviet Union?. The pamphlet was presenting the Soviet Union as a "stepmother" that arranged genocide against its own people. In 1948 he founded the Ukrainian revolutionary-democratic party (URDP). Starting from 1948 till his death in 1963 he had been editing the newspaper Ukrains'ki visti (eng. Ukrainian news). He headed the executive committee of the Ukrainian National Council, also performed the duties of the Deputy President of the UNR in exile.
In 1963 the Democratic Union of Ukrainian Youth based in Chicago started action to support awarding Ivan Bahrianyi with the Nobel Prize, but his sudden death failed him to be formally forwarded for the award. Ivan Bahrianyi died on August 25, 1963. He was buried in Neu Ulm (Germany).


  • poem Mongolia (1927)
  • poem Ave, Maria (Kharkiv, 1928)
  • piece Lilac
  • novel in verse "Skelka" (Kharkiv, 1929)
  • poem Huliaipole
  • Mother tongue
  • novel Zvirolovy (eng. Trappers) (Lviv-Kraków, 1944)
  • novel Tigrolovy (eng. Tiger trappers) (Neu Ulm, 1946)
  • collection of poems The Golden Boomerang (1946)
  • piece The General (1947)
  • piece Morituri (1947)
  • piece Defeat (1948)
  • novel Sad Hetsymans'kyi (eng. Garden of Gethsemane) (Neu Ulm, 1950)
  • The Fiery Circle (Neu Ulm, 1953)
  • Marusia Bohuslavka - the first book of the novel Wild Wind (Munich, 1957)
  • A man runs over a gulf (published posthumously, Neu Ulm - New York, 1965)
  • Shots in the taiga
  • pamphlet Why I am not going back to the Soviet Union?


Ivan Bahrianyi was married twice; his first wife was Antonina Zosimova, they had two children: son Boris and daughter Natasha. In exile he married again to Galyna Trygub (born in Ternopil). They also had two children: son Nestor and daughter Roksolana.

File:Bahrjanyj mohyla.jpg
Ivan Bahrianyi thomb in Neu Ulm, Germany


In 1992, Ivan Bahrianyi posthumously received the national Shevchenko Prize (Ukrainian: Шевченківська премія) for his novels Tigrolovy and Sad Hetsymans'kyi.[1]

External links


  1. Listratenko, Nataliya Volodymyrivna ed. Ukrayina: knyha faktiv (Ukraine: the book of facts). Knyzhkovyi Klub, Kharkiv, 2006:214.