Oleksandr Havrylyuk

Остап Тарнавський, Літературний Львів, 1939-1944: спомини (Львів, 1995), с. 30-32.

There was an incredible procedure when the membership of Mykhaylo Rudnytskyi was being considered. Rudnytskyi could not have been unknown. He was a widely famous literary figure. His opinions were well respected both by his few friends, and by his foes which he had plenty. The meeting was attended by many, even though it took place not in the report room but in a spacious office of the secretary of the Lviv Organizing Committee of Writers Yaroslav Tsurkovskyi. [...] Tsurkovskyi absolutely hated Mykhaylo Rudnytskyi for some review, or even more so, for no reviews on his poems. That is why he tried to take the opportunity of Rudnytskyi application procedure to the Union to take his revenge.

He — meaning Tsurkovskyi had a powerful protector, the head of the Literary Club, academician Kyrylo Studynskyi, the most influential person among locals in the entire Galicia in those times. [...] Tsurkovskyi knew very well who to choose to protect him. Moreover, it was not without the patronage of Kyrylo Studynskyi that he was appointed secretary of the Lviv Organization of Writers. [...]

With such a support behind him, Tsurkovskyi would present various claims against Mykhaylo Rudnytskyi, such as he was undeserving of membership in the Union of Proletarian Writers. The meeting was chaired by Oleksandr Yevdokymovych Korniychuk himself who had arrived from Kyiv specifically for that matter. Another interesting and important moment was that the meeting was attended by all former Sovietphil writers who used to work with "Vikna" (Windows) and the "Novi Shlakhy" (New Ways) before, such as Halan, Tudor, Havryliuk, Kondra, and Kozlaniuk. Truly speaking, the old partymen were extremely reserved. The new authorities kept them within a careful sight because they had not had a chance yet to prove their loyalty to the political course. It was true that the new authorities favored politicaly unaffiliated people who could work for them without any reservations. [...] In the prewar times, the same as the Krushelnytski family, Yaroslav Halan's wife also went to Ukraine, presumably to continue her studies. She also faced persecutions and was liquidated. Therefore, the reserved position of the old partymen was quite justified — they were much better in understanding all of the ways of the regimes' policy than us, the spring chicken. However, during that meeting they could not stand any longer. They have had enough of Tsurkovskyi because, truth be told, the secretarial position had to belong to one of them. Thus, the most courageous of them rose, Yaroslav Halan, and cautiously said some words to defend Mykhaylo Rudnytskyi. He emphasized that despite the fact that Mykhaylo Rudnytskyi was known to openly criticize the bourgeois daily "Dilo" he had always been liberal in his attitudes and had relations with the moderate circles and had never supported a more powerful nationalist group of writers. What is more, he had an insightful approach to the writers around the "Vikna" or the "Novi Shliakhy," even though he spared no words in his critical remarks. However, it was Oleksandr Korniychuk who decided on the fate of Rudnytskyi. He stood up and took out a small book, a sort of a leaflet, out of his pocket. It turned out to be a collection of poems by Tsurkovskyi. Then, he recited one of them laying a special emphasis on the words "Ukraine is above all." Afterwards, he explained that it all reminded to him the famous slogan of the "Deutschland über alles" (from German — "Germany above all"). Dealing away with the main oponent, Korniychuk addressed Mykhaylo Rudnytskyi who would repeatedly turn white, red, blue or nervous, and said in a powerful tone: "We know you, Mykhaylo Ivanovych. And we accept you to the Union. But the Soviet authorities will never forgive you your book "Vid Myrnoho do Khvylyovoho" (From Myrnyi to Khvylovyi). In reality, it happened differently, the Soviet authorities did not merely forget but rather crossed out the book from the bibliography of Mykhaylo Rudnytskyi, and it was never mentioned again.
Остап Тарнавський, Літературний Львів, 1939-1944: спомини (Львів, 1995), с. 33-34
The writers who used to belong to leftist groups earlier stayed aside. They understand the new system better and were careful enough because the new employers were thoroughly examining them. Yaroslav Halan started working in the editorial board of the "Vilna Ukrayina," (Free Ukraine) Stepan Tudor embarked on some teaching job. Oleksandr Havryliuk, Petro Kozlaniuk, and Andriy Voloshchak tried to stay active. Volodymyr Shayan found himself at the crossroads and was not a frequent visitor to the club. Yaroslav Kondra who could not find himself in literature held some administrative position in the club.
Остап Тарнавський, Літературний Львів, 1939-1944: спомини (Львів, 1995), с. 49
Another remarkable festivity was the 50th anniversary of Pavlo Tychyna who was also awarded with the State Prize. The entire delegation of writers from Lviv were commissioned to the Tychyna anniversary celebration. The Ukrainian members in this team were the head Oleksa Desnyak and two older poets Petro Karmanskyi, who boasted that Tychyna himself allegedly confided he learned rhyming on Karmanskyi's poems, Iryna Vilde, Mykola Melnyk, a servile Teodor Kurpita, Yaroslav Tsurkovskyi and former Sovietphilists Stepan Tudor, Yaroslav Halan, Petro Kozlaniuk, and Oleksandr Havryliuk. Being selected for such celebration was considered a recognition of a writer and a reward for his work. The Polish group was better represented because it included [Julian] Przyboś, the best poet in Lviv at that time, and then A. [Adam] Ważyk, A. [Leon] Pasternak, Yu. [Jerzy] Putrament, and Ya. [Jan] Brzoza. Jewish poets were represented by S. [Israel] Aschendorf, N. [Nahum] Bomze, and Sh. [Jehoszua/Jozue] Perle.
Петро Панч, "Львів, Коперника, 42", Вітчизна, 1960, № 2, 172
A group of writers such as Yaroslav Halan, Petro Kozlaniuk, Stepan Tudor, and Oleksa Havryliuk who had been striving in the horrible Bereza Kartuska until the arrival of the Red Army, and had not yet come to the city, treated the liberation of Western Ukraine as a logical conclusion of the policy of the Communist Party, which fought for the reunification of the Ukrainian people. In this, they actively helped the party in word and deed. In return, they have already had experience with Polish prisons and oppression from their fellow countrymen. Now they could breathe a sigh of relief. That is why their smiles were so sincere and celebratory.
Михайло Рудницький, "Письменники зблизька" (Львів, 1964), кн. 3, с. 168-169

One night in 1940, [Oleksandr] Havryliuk and I [Mykhaylo Rudnytskyi] were on duty on a night shift at the "Vilna Ukrayina" (Free Ukraine) newspaper. He looked through the proofreading materials, then carefully read an article by [Yaroslav] Halan, and started thinking out loud:

— A person like him should work in a newspaper. While a person like me should not […] I can smell […] some sort of danger in the air in the editors' office. On the one hand, I can polish all of my political views here, while on the other hand, I casually absorb the ready concepts, even the words, and then they become clichés. I am afraid I might start using them in my poetry, instead of transferring my observations over diverse things in life by fresh means.