ZVARYCHEVSKA Myroslava Vasilivna
Ovsienko V.V.: Today is the 26th of June 2008. We are in Lviv, at the Institute of postgraduate pedagogic education. Zvarychevska Myroslava is telling about herself. Vasil Ovsienko recording.
Zvarychevska M.V.: First of all I would like to tell about my family. I was born in a farmer's family but an educated one. My mother originated from the Buchynsky family. Her grandfather – Buchynsky Grygoriy – was a well educated man and his younger brother – Dmytro – had later become a professor of Madrid University. My father became an orphan very early: they lived in Zbruch, his grandfather was crossing the border across a river illegally and was taken down during that run. His body was found further down the river. That was around 1909.
My father's mother was handy with medical work and was helping out during the epidemic. That epidemic came back a few times and killed her in the end. She died from plague or malaria. Or was it fever... That was around 1914-1915 in Halychyna.
My father, having married my mother, soon left for Canada and spent the next ten years there, although he was only planning to spend two. He came back around 1936 to take mother with him. He was already a citizen of Canada by then. My mother declined his offer however, so they stayed and learned all the horrors of the upcoming 1940s and 1950s. That's concerning my father. My mother originated from a very conscious, active family. Her family had organized a local theatre and a library. That library had actually become a local activity center. My mother was a local diva at the theatre. That kept on for ten years, approximately until dad's return to Ukraine and the birth of me and my sister. After our birth mother stopped taking part in any activities of the “Prosvit”, Union of Ukrainian women and the “Ridna Schkola” community. Besides, she was a married woman. She was a very talented woman and was always if not heroic, still very helpful in situations where no one else could help.
Allow me to insert a piece of memories from another part of my life. In 1946-47 we were thrown out of our home because “red broom” was already there by then in Western Ukraine. We were thrown out of our home because our house was a fancy one. We left and went to our grandmother's home. One of the rooms of our former house had become investigation premises and people were interrogated and beaten there. My mother was forced to hand over the key from our house, which she did, but she also had a lock pick, so when people were imprisoned in our house she managed to release a few of them. After opening the gate she fast-talked the guard until the prisoners were gone. That was all she could do, but it was also quite a lot. Apart from that she always had contacts with the Rebel army. Men came to us and my mother always made food for them. She had four children by then so she couldn't participate in all the conspiracy activities, but she was helping with everything she could. I got a blessing to attend school from one of the URA members by the way. It was needed because we weren't accepted to school without becoming part of the Komsomol which I didn't want to do. And then in August, when it was clear that I wasn't getting accepted to school, a man came, kissed me on the forehead and said: “Go to school, we need people like that”.
Ovsienko V.V.: What year was that?
Zvarychevska M.V.: Around 1946. So I went to 8th grade, since I graduated from a 7-year school in Trybuhivci.
I was always further away from the authorities than they wanted and I always managed to keep it that way, apart from that time with entering the school and becoming part of Komsomol. I wasn't behaving too well during the school years. There was even a letter once, from the KGB, concerning my behavior. My father had some commercial deals with our local head of the KGB so the letter which came in from the regional KGB department was destroyed be him. I have never seen it, so I don't know how true is the story, but that's what happened.
Ovsienko V.V.: What was the school you attended?
Zvarychevska M.V.: Chortkiv secondary pedagogic school. After that I went to University.
Ovsienko V.V.: When was that?
Zvarychevska M.V.: in 1956. I was one of 5% of students possessing an honored degree, so I entered the Lviv University with no problem. I was ok as a student, not too good or too bad, but still, when we went to do field jobs in Kazakstan during our second year, I had been noticed by the KGB.
Ovsienko V.V.: You traveled during summer holidays to et some money?
Zvarychevska M.V.: Yes, those were student squads. However, I wasn't aiming at earning money because this job never paid too well anyway. I was much more interested in seeing the separation point between Europe and Asia. My behavior never meant that I was always looking for trouble, no. But in conversations where anyone talked badly about Ukraine or anything Ukrainian, I always stood against such talks. Some people told on me for doing that. I remember talking to a German accountant and that also reached the Lviv KGB ears. I know because i was later called up by my teacher in Old Slavonic language and told that someone wanted to ruin my career. “I'm not making any career” - I replied. “Someone said that you were agitating fro something during your summer job. All I remember is that someone was talking about Khmelnytskiy, Ukraine and Russia. And I said that it was an alliance or something like that. It wasn't very smart of me, but I was still defending Ukraine as a solid unit, interacting with other countries on parity basis.
After studentship I worked in a Komsomol bureau – Igor Kalynets offered me to them, so we had our own people everywhere. That's what Igor said. I was responsible for the cultural section in that bureau and even created choir at the philology department. One could say that I, as well as other Ukrainians inside the authorities were doing what they had to for Ukraine. Thus I had friends whom I trusted – Olga and Alla Sokil.
Ovsienko V.V.: You mean Olga Horyn?
Zvarychevska M.V.: Horyn-Maceliukh. They came back in 1956 and happend to get into our group. However, in just a year's time they have been thrown out of University. After that situation we gathered up with our friends, went to the head of the University and said that those people had already answered for their actions even though their behavior was anti-soviet. We claimed that they served their punishment sentences, so our question was why were they supposed to be punished again? The rector, Ievhen Lazarenko, then said: “You are great! Tell your girls I'll be waiting for them in my office. They know how to solve their situation themselves”. I passed the news on to the girls and they started solving this issue. It turned out that Halyna's personal file had something to do with poems of Kobylianska, something about her poems, but nothing worthy of attention. Halyna had many troubles, to start with, she lost her right arm. She currently lives in Sumy region, village Ugroidy.
That was my surrounding, maybe a few other girls. I graduated from University and thought I'd be working in the scientific area, but when I was ready to start, I noticed that no one wanted to help me in my beginnings. The only possibility was to start working at the library with the help of my friend Teodor Mykytyn. We started working in that library with Olga, but were soon fired.
Ovsienko V.V.: When was that library work?
Zvarychevska M.V.: 1962. When any conflict situations occurred I always accepted the side of the one aggrieved. And then at some point me and Olga happened to be the ones aggrieved. The administration raised the question of sustaining us from work. So who was against it? No one, who supported their idea? No one. That was the formula.
Ovsienko V.V.: Which library was that?
Zvarychevska M.V.: It was the Dragomanov University library.
Those were the episodes we had. I wouldn't call them heroic in any way, but youngster back then, in 1960s became more active. The university history course on the “executed renaissance” was a shock for me by the way. And the conversations at home... I should say that we had a giant library. It didn't belong to my mom or dad, it belonged to one of the locals. He was collecting those books since his student years. It had later been confiscated. My mother and aunt were even burning some books down to get out of some tricky situation. I don't know how many books they burnt, but they had buried all others. I had later witnessed those books crumble to ashes. About 10 years alter my aunt called me and said she was about get something very rare out. I was around 14 or 15 years old then. I saw letters falling off the pages because of the temperature difference during their storage. When we found out what people had been shot down for, the numbers of Ukrainian intelligentsia slaughtered by soviet authorities, I said: “I think that confrontation was possible back then”. At least I thought so back then. But later I was arrested and imprisoned, which happened during my journey back home from the archive. There were five or six of them in a narrow alley. I started objecting loudly as I didn't know who they were. I thought they might have been hooligans or rapers. They pushed me inside a car and drove on.
Ovsienko V.V.: That was on 24th of August 1965.
Zvarychevska M.V.: Yes.
Ovsienko V.V.: Were there any signs of your arrest before it happened? Maybe you were suspecting something?
Zvarychevska M.V.: I kept seeing one and the same car near the house where I lived for a bout a week before the arrest took place. The street is now called Bandery, number 61. I had a trip to the Carpathians for a few days just before then, and after the trip I kept seeing that car near the house. I wwas working at the archive back then, and I was so suspicious that on the day I was arrested that I walked home instead of using transport. I took the cagiest routes I knew.
Ovsienko V.V.: Which archive did you work at?
Zvarychevska M.V.: The regional archive. The same place Igor Kalynets worked at. He was actually the one who helped me find that job. After I was imprisoned I was of course fired very quickly. When I came back after being released to draw up my employment history I found out that formally I was working there temporarily, so no employment history was to be given to me. Answering my question they said this took place because of my arrest. And I needed that notification because an unemployed person without a place to live in was to be sanctioned as a rounder, as someone who had nothing and wasn't doing anything.
Ovsienko V.V.: Who was conducting your investigation and how did develop?
Zvarychevska M.V.: Klymenko, a very sneaky guy. Vasyl Grygorovych, if I remember correct... In any case, he was the one responsible for my case as well as the case of Osadchiy. A very sneaky guy he was.
Ovsienko V.V.: What did they want from you during the investigation?
Zvarychevska M.V.: Well, what could they possibly want? They found a whole lot of materials in me flat.
Ovsienko V.V.: What kind of materials?
Zvarychevska M.V.: Oh, I wouldn't remember it by now.
Ovsienko V.V.: Maybe there were materials on “the case of Pogruzhalskiy”?
Zvarychevska M.V.: Oh, yes! Those were there. They were separated from all the others later on. Kalynets gave a me pack of Symonenko's poetry and an article of Koshelivec about the poetry of Tychyna. During the investigation Mykhailo said that he was the one who gave the above mentioned literature to me, whereas I said that I took from other people, not him. But I was still very interested to find out who actually turned me in. I felt someone had. It turned out to be an employee from the library. I don't recall his name, but I remember him asking me about a book, so I gave it to him, and then all that hustle began. Initially, the KGB didn't have visual evidence against me, but after I had given that book to the librarian they acquired everything needed. I don't really know for sure however. The question was how they got trail me personally. If they had stolen the book, they wouldn't have been able to use it against me. So, I guess the librarian employee was the one.
I should say though, it was an foreseen arrest. I wasn't ready. People who might get into any conditions like this should be prepared beforehand. I think, that if I would have been arrest a bit later, in 1972, everything would've been different, I would have been a different person to take. I did not think back then, that I could have found myself arrested. I could never hang my guilt on someone else. And besides that, all I was doing was mediating between others if someone needed something. That was all my “heroic duty”.
Ovsienko V.V.: Tell of the court hearing, please. What was happening there? You stood trial together with Mykhailo Osadchiy, right?
Zvarychevska M.V.:Yes, him and the Horyn brothers.
Ovsienko V.V.: There were four of you.
Zvarychevska M.V.: Yes, we were in groups. The other group had Ivan Hel and Yaroslava Menshuk. They were the writers in the Movement, so their typing machine was confiscated togehter with the materials. I never even got to see those materials.
Ovsienko V.V.:Why not?
Zvarychevska M.V.: I never knew we were supposed to read legislation documents, and I never had any lawyers around me.
Ovsienko V.V.: It's true, there were never any instructions on how to behave.
Zvarychevska M.V.: Yes, everything was developing faster than me. I know I haven't done anything special, even though I felt like I was to do so. A bit romantic, yes, but it's like in that old poem: “When I grow big and strong, I will neither nor mourn, I shall help all brotherly, so Ukraine could be free”. Most families in Halychyna were like this. I think the only worthy thing I did was as working as a tracher.
Ovsienko V.V.: Yes, but could you tell of the court hearing? When it happened, what was the procedure like, maybe you have a copy of the sentence?
Zvarychevska M.V.: On 16th of April 1966. Before that I had a conversation with some KGB's from different departments. Many people those were. They were investigation team and were going through the full list of prisoners. I think Shevchenko was the head of KGB then.
Ovsienko V.V.: You mean Nikitchenko maybe?
Zvarychevska M.V.: Maybe, what matters is that he was fully involved into the process and talked to all of the prisoners personally.
Ovsienko V.V.: Shulzhenko, maybe?
Zvarychevska M.V.: No, neither of those you mentioned. I thing there were two of them and of was named Shevchenko, for sure. (V. Shevchenko was the head of the Lviv regional KGB department in 1965. “Was later replaced by a colonel Mykola Poluden, who had later become general. Shevchenko was known for his thoughts on stopping arrests of young people, and to conduct preventive conversations instead.” – Bogdan Horyn. “Not only about me”: collage-novel, book two(1965-1985). “PULSARY” publishing house.) So he asked me once about what would I ask for if I ever could. And I said: I'm not too much of a rebel, but I know that rebels don't ask for anything”. It was, of course, a bit too naive of me to have said so, but what was done – was done. Nusia Sdaovska and Kosiv were released around the same time.
Ovsienko V.V.: Nusia is Hanna?
Zvarychevska M.V.: Yes, so they were released and we stayed.
Ovsienko V.V.: Mykhailo Kosive was trialled under the same sentence as you?
Zvarychevska M.V.: The same group.
Ovsienko V.V.: How many years did you get then?
Zvarychevska M.V.: Eight months. I was arrested on 24th of August and the trial had ended around 22nd. (Lviv regional court trial's verdict took place on 18th of Apri 1966 – Ovsienko V.V.)
Ovsienko V.V.: And you spent the whole time in the temporary isolation cell?
Zvarychevska M.V.: Yes.
Ovsienko V.V.: What's the address of the place?
Zvarychevska M.V.: Bandery 1. It was called the Peace avenue back then.
Ovsienko V.V.: What were your living conditions like?
Zvarychevska M.V.: Well, I was a spartan kind of girl, so I was ready not be fed well, so that was no surprise. But that's just the food. They me cell mates twice to get information out of me. I made a foolish thing back then. When of the mates was leaving, I said: “Tell Ihor Kalynets that I have been arrested”. I also said that I was working at the archive. And that's regarding the fact that I had plenty of materials from him, which have been found during the search.
Ovsienko V.V.: I know that Mykhailo Horyn organized republishing processes to multiply the existing materials. There were many typing machines working – a whole factory. Are you familiar with that?
Zvarychevska M.V.: Yes! And I still remember that thin cigarette paper they typed on.
Ovsienko V.V.: You were only distributing or also typing?
Zvarychevska M.V.: No, I was only distributing. I was factually homeless then so I had no opportunity to settle down. So no, I wasn't writing.
Ovsienko V.V.: And did you save a copy of your sentence?
Zvarychevska M.V.: I'm not sure, but everything I have from those days is in one big pile, so it might be there.
Ovsienko V.V.: Mykhailo Horyn also said he doesn't have a copy of his first sentence. I'll ask. You only had on sentence, right? (The sentence was printed out in the book of Bogdan Horyn. “Not only about me”: collage-novel, book two(1965-1985). “PULSARY” publishing house, 2008. Reprinted in Mykhailo Horyn's “To light a candle”/KHPG; responsible for order – Ovsienko V.V., painter-editor – I. Zaharov. Kharkiv, 2009.).
Zvarychevska M.V.: Yes. I was kicked out of Lviv with no right to live or work there. I got a passport substitute and it was written on it. If I remember correct, Mohyliov was the head of the prison back then. He wrote that I had the right “to live where my parents live”.
Ovsienko V.V.: So how did you live after that?
Zvarychevska M.V.: I went to my parents house, and then later, in May, I came back to Lviv. It was 1966. I met many of the intelligentsia then, and I could clearly see who was good to me, and who was afraid of me. Certain moments have been described in Roman Ivanchuk's novel, because he was one of those who tried to help.
Not all was ok at work. I was accused of working for Amsterdam and taking big money for organizing anti-soviet propaganda. I met Igor Kalynets. We didn't even have phones back then, you know. I went to get my documents, but to be honest I just wanted to check the situation. We discussed with Igor what I should have started doing. I was a bit shuffled, because I was practically in the middle of nowhere. Whichever way, I was doing everything in my strength. I decided that if I should win, it will my solemn victory, so I broke with my friends and went away. I stayed a friend's house (Olga Maceliukh. That was before they got married with Mykhailo Horyn) for a day or two, but I knew I couldn't ask to stay for a long time. I didn't want to disturb my family either, because I knew they wouldn't have been too happy from my presence.
Kalynets advised me to go and see the judge who lead my trial and I did. The judge told me to go to the committee. What committee? I knew what KGB was, but a committee? So we went to the committee with Igor. We had to sign in first, so I actually got an appointment in a month. I came in and the first thing I said was: “I think, all those who approach you, should cooperate well. Well I'm not going to do so”. And then I broke into tears repeating that I will not cooperate again and again. The guy asked: “Who told you that?”; - “No one, but I know that's the way”; - “Ok, tell me of your situation”; - “What situation are you talking about? I have no documents and no place to live”; - “Don't worry, you haven't been anywhere apart from Lviv. We'll give you your passport back”. He was a lifesaver. I also found myself in Kiev at some point, writing a notification on “What do I want from the KGB”, and soon after that the local KGB head wanted to see me. He had a short talk with me. I reminded him of his question to me concerning me asking for anything. I said I needed a job, and he answered: “You have so many friends. Don't tell me they can't give you a job”; - “If they had any possibilities, they would have used them. You, on the side, have taken me off a budget position. All I'm asking for – don't stand in my way. I'm not asking for help, just don't stand in my way”. What he did after that was simply call Poluden: “Give her passport back”.
Factually that solved the issue, as I now had my passport and all I had to do was find a job. However, I still had difficulties finding a job. Olga knows, as she had the same difficulties arund the same time. She was fired from a position at the Master's house and had just got employed to school No.31. There was a guy there, Constantine Ivanov, a student-mate of mine. Olga offered me to work with them, but I knew that Ivanov was working for the KGB. Nevertheless, there was a small comedy, when I came to him and showed surprise over meeting him on this job and said that if I knew he was there, I would have never come.
There was a vacancy for an editor in advertisement, but they decided not to give me the job. However, it came out that there was another vacancy of teacher to a class full of very difficult children. Next day I was called up by Ivanov and told to write the application for that position. What happened next was that Ivanov left for vacation and ordered me to sign the application at the regional council. The man who had to sign it also ran off to vacation upon hearing the news; he left the job for his assistant who happened to offer such awful terms that I had to decline the offer. “Anyone to go through this slaughter can not become a teacher. You'll regret this behavior”. I was mistaken. I came back and was told to get into class, as all formalities will be settled later.
That was the point when I started felling feared. I was scared to corrupt the children with mistreatment. I told of this to Olga. And she said: “I don't know anyone who would do this job better than you”. A small fear of being too complex for small children was still there though.
Ovsienko V.V.: What age are we talking about?
Zvarychevska M.V.: Third grade. The KGB gave their blessing and so I started work. When the headmaster Ivanov came back from vacation, he said: “I hear things of you. Just know, if you play any tricks, I won't look at your age. I'll bend you over my knee and snap you”; - “I don't know what you're talking about”. So I told him nothing. To be honest he was a very tolerant person. I found out later that he was from a German family. One of those who stayed.
I worked there for two years but then got fired again. The school council raised my personal file at the meeting and decided I shouldn't work there in view of my history. Besides, there someone else for my position, a mother and a wife of military man, as was I by the way.
Ovsienko V.V.: You never mentioned your husband...
Zvarychevska M.V.: Yes, I forgot about it. So they voted and turned me down.
Ovsienko V.V.: Where did you go?
Zvarychevska M.V.: Where could I go? Ivanov showed up and said he wanted to help. He found a way: he offered me forth graders and assigned me to be their Ukrainian language teacher. He told me to go fetch the order for my position. I went to the regional council and heard them talking about me there, saying that I bought my position. I got angry and decided that I didn't want the job anymore.
However, I started working there again. In a year's time I was transferred to another school and my personal file said that I was a teacher of Ukrainian language.
General Poluden later on told me he was from Ternopil region, to which I said: “Oh well, thanks for the information, bro”. I was saying something else, but I don't remember. After that I found out who he was, and my manner of speech with him was straightforward. I was transferred for antoher four times.
Ovsienko V.V.: If you could name the schools you worked at...
Zvarychevska M.V.: No.31, Iryna Kalyntseva worked there later on and was arrested there. The headmaster at that time was actually sympathizing for dissidents. After that there was another school, and then in 1971 I was shifted again. That shift took place because decorated my office for the birthday of Lesia Ukrainka. The next school wanted to remove me because they considered me nationalist. They also discussed Olga being nationalist, but I don't remember what exactly they were saying. My fault, according to them, was Ukrainian language was that the only subject I was teaching. Then later I was under a threat of losing the right to teach because of all that hustle.
Ovsienko V.V.: What year was that?
Zvarychevska M.V.: Around 1971-1972. The year of arrests... I was giving books to the kids, without author names; I even prepared Ukrainian christmas carols for them to stage. The headmaster called the teachers council to see the play. That resulted in forbidding me to organize any kinds of events. That around the time when my father died, around 1972. When they told me I wouldn't be organizing events I said: “Whatever. I wouldn't have been doing it anyway. My father is dead and my friends have been arrested”. In 1973, however, I started organizing them again.
I was even given a supervisor, to be checking how I teach. That lady, nevertheless, happeed to be a nice person and said that I should always have a few “ideologically correct” statements to prove I was good. I happened to have lost my journal at some point, but didn't bother much and just started a new one. I was later approached by one of the teachers and she said: “I accidentally acquired your journal and saw that you have no ideologically correct statements!”; - “How can you say that? Nothing in literature is ideologically incorrect!” - I replied. So I started using this ironic kind of stile. When I got shifted again I didn't even listen the new headmaster to the end, I just said: “You know what! You're right. I'm leaving”, and left the room.
After another transfer, to school No.36, I was given fourth-graders again. They kept using these childish-pioneer names like Valia Kitten. This made me a bit angry so I told them: “When will you stop calling yourselves kittens and doggies?”; - “How should we call ourselves then?” - they asked, so we started figuring out new names for them. I offered them names like Oles Honchar and Oleksandr Dovzhenko, and the kids seemed to like them.
One other nice thing to mention: girls used to bring handmade dolls to the celebration of the Soviet Army day. They were giving those dolls to soldiers as gifts, and that was nice. One of the kids said on that day: “Why aren't you greeting us with the celebration?”; - “I see you are a prepared army now, I wish you have something to defend.”. Much later, one of the kids, a grown man now, said: “Do you remember your wish to us? You wished we would have something to defend.”. I was repeating one and the same wish every year, and they remembered it.
I think it was the God's hand guiding me, because I wasn't doing it for money anymore. One might see it romantic and pathetic, but I saw the future in those children. I always saw Ukraine a bit different from those around me. Unlike most, I thought that independence required many generations raised in a correct way. Today I see that there still need for very precise work with the society to make true independence possible. People say we're in chaos, but I see it not as chaos. I see it as the substance for development.
Ovsienko V.V.: That was the soviet era back then, but it has passed...
Zvarychevska M.V.: So, the Association of Ukrainian language was created in 1988. My kids took part in the first speeches under the Franko statue. Why? Because one of my pupils was part of the Lion's Association, which had an important role in all those events. She said: “My teacher has her children prepared for this.”. Yes, my children took part in that first meeting and made their speeches. When I became part of the Association of Ukrainian language, I was almost and opponent to the movement because they were saying many rude and harsh things against Ivan Makar, if you remember who that is. They mentioned him being rude in speaking his thoughts. What I said in return was that he, at least, has the guts to talk his thoughts aloud, so we should behave enough to, at least, hear him out. I spoke out a few ideas at one of the meetings and Rostislav Bratun said: “Ok, it looks like you know what you're talking about, so you should be in charge of the process”. And so it began. I became the head of the Committee on Education in Ukraine on behalf of the Association in Lviv region. In 1989 I had prepared a conference called “The national school, the teacher and the society”. That conference stateted the first concept of a national teacher.
Ovsienko V.V.: Who made the statement?
Zvarychevska M.V.: I did. And I didn't even know back then that the idea was there in 1920s-1930s. That first conference took place in December 1989.
Up until that day we had lyceums with lecturers especially invited by us, as they were not corrupted by soviet ideas. We had to work through many different things to get premises for studies, for example. We would say that we needed for the Memoire Association meetings but would read lectures on Ukrainian language instead.
Later in 1990 I was invited to the Institute for the position of the head of department, although I was still working with two Graduating classes at school. Later I asked the headmaster to allow me working on studing books for the kids and thus I wrote a schoolbook on Ukrainian literature for fifth-graders...
Ovsienko V.V.: This is it: “Ukrainian literature”, fifth grade, allowed to be used by the Ministry of Education of Ukraine. Lviv, “Svit” publishing house, 2002. And what about sixth grade?
Zvarychevska M.V.: In 2006. A slippery road that was, by the way...
Ovsienko V.V.: “Ukrainian literature”, sixth grade...
Zvarychevska M.V.: Yes. I created a studying program for grades from fifth to eleventh. Raisa Movchan, under the supervision of mr. Zhulynskiy started using it at some point and even won a contest using my data. I applied with the same program later without editing, because the program was mine and Raisa only copied it from me. But that's all wrong to say, turn off the recorder... (recorder turned off)
Zvarychevska M.V.: Page ten, see?
Ovsienko V.V.: Yes, it's the “Ukrainian literature” by Avramenko O.M. And Shabelnykov L.P.
Zvarychevska M.V.: Indeed, please take a look: it said 2002 on that other book and says 1990 here.
Ovsienko V.V.: Yes, but the book starts with the same words.
Zvarychevska M.V.: And it goes on with the same words for the next 10 episodes. I have a whole flat of books you know. I read all books I have and then use some of them to create studying materials. I like showing off things I'm fond of, that's me.
The trick in combining literature for children is to make them ask and answer the right questions for themselves. Which advise is the best for you? What does it mean to “hold your soul high”? These are the questions I want the kids to work with.
Ovsienko V.V.: did you make all these books back at school or later, during Institute work?
Zvarychevska M.V.: Later, at the Institute.
Ovsienko V.V.: Since when have you been working there? What is the full name of the place?
Zvarychevska M.V.: Regional Institute of Postgraduate Pedagogic Education. I've been working there since September 1990.
Ovsienko V.V.: Oh, so you spent quite a long time working on these books.
Zvarychevska M.V.: All I could. This work has been very important for me.
Ovsienko V.V.: How do you teach other pedagogues?
Zvarychevska M.V.: We have lectures, seminars. They all study what they personally feel interesting for them. You wanted me to say a few words of my husband, right?
Ovsienko V.V.: Oh, yes. It would be good to mention.
Zvarychevska M.V.: His name was Stepan Moroz. I knew him from my student years, but we got reacquainted later on. During all the Movement events he was all patriotic and active. But I didn't know him too well back then. Igor Kalynets gave me a letter from him upon my release from prison. The letter said that he was going to wait for me as much as needed. Well, what girl would resist such a romantic gesture? We got married later in autumn 1966.
Ovsienko V.V.: You also mentioned you have a daughter.
Zvarychevska M.V.: No. I had no possibilities to have my own children as I always had plenty of work to do. I saw clearly hat the area of education in Ukraine needed a lot of work. We used to work throughout the whole of Ukraine, we used to invite many teachers, and we still do so. The come from Mykolaiv, from Beresteiskiy region. We even invite teachers from abroad: Poland, for example. At some point I found out that I could work globally but had no options of starting such a massive process so I decided to focus on working with Lviv and the surrounding region. And I when I say work, I mean sit and do the job, with less showing off and more thorough thinking process.
Ovsienko V.V.: You've done a lot of work here... By the way, these books are regional or All-Ukrainian?
Zvarychevska M.V.: I should mention one of my students at this point, because I wouldn't have done it if wasn't for her.
Ovsienko V.V.: “Approved by the Ministry of Education”.
Zvarychevska M.V.: Yepp. These books used to have all the needed accreditation but they Ministry keeps changing the rules, so now these books are not acceptable anymore. So they work in Lviv region and city, but aren't accepted throughout Ukraine. Those teachers who want to use it, however, still do.
Ovsienko V.V.: I mentioned though, that all of these books were illustrated by Halyna Sevruk.
Zvarychevska M.V.: Yes, I offered her to do so.
Ovsienko V.V.: It says: “Ceramics of Halyna Sevruk used in decorating the book”.
Zvarychevska M.V.: Yes, I think it makes the book unique. I gave this book to a lady in Kiev, a year ago, but she still hasn't returned it. The one you're holding isn't mine, it belongs to the library. Upon returning my own book I would be glad to give to you as a gift, if you would be interested.
Ovsienko V.V.: I think, such a book should be where it belongs. Besides, I don't work at school anymore. It would've been a different thing if someone wanted to teach literature according to this book.
Zvarychevska M.V.: Well, if you find such a guy – let me know. This book has 3000 publication locally. It's for the fifth grade. The one for the sixth grade has 5000 publications and has mostly been bought for Lviv region, not the city itself. When someone buys it, they all go “Oh, what a wonderful book!”. But saying so isn't enough, is it? It's important to bring the book to school and study according to its content.