The Room of Taras and Petro Franko

The sons of I. Franko left a valuable scholarly and literary legacy.

Taras Franko (1889–1971) – the second son of Ivan Franko – was a scholar, writer, and translator. Here are exposed the translations made by Taras from Greek and Roman poets, entitled “Z chuzhoyi levady” [“From the Alien Meadow”], a translation of the Aristophanes comedy “The clouds”, the original writings “Stare vyno u novim misi” [“The Old Wine Anew”], “Na krylakh humory” [“On the Wings of Humor”] (1913), “Zbytochnyi Amor” [“The Naughty Amour”] (1918), his papers about gymnastic exercises (Ukrainian rukhanky) and a scholarly work, entitled “Outline of the History of Roman Literature” (1921).

There are photos extant from those times: Taras Franko with his wife Kateryna and their children – Zena, Liuba and Roland (dated 1932); family of Taras Franko at the opening of the monument to Ivan Franko at the Lychakiv cemetery (dated 1933); Taras with his brother Petro in the 1930s, Taras Franko with the university students.

In August 1950 T. Franko and his family moved to Kyiv. He accepted a position of a research fellow and the Head of the Library of I. Franko at T. Shevchenko Institute of Ukrainian Literature at the Academy of Sciences of USSR. Here, at the department of manuscripts T. Franko worked on the compilation and analysis of his father’s manuscripts. The following works of the last years of his life are exposed here: a memory book, entitled “Pro bat’ka” [“About my Father”] (1956), a collection of humorous short stories, entitled “Vzdovzh i vpoperek” [“Along and Across”] (1965) and a collection of the didactic stories “U mandrivtsi stolit’” [“Wandering through the Centuries”] (1969).

His son Roland and the younger generations of Taras Franko live in Kyiv.

Petro – the younger son of Ivan Franko’s – was a scholar, an engineer–chemist and inventor, professor and member of the Shevchenko Scientific Society, a teacher and a writer. In the period of the WWI he served in the Legion of Ukrainian Sich Riflemen. He was one of the founders of the Galician Army Aviation. Petro Franko made a great contribution to perpetuate the memory of Ivan Franko. He published and staged his father’s works as well as prepared memoirs about Ivan Franko.

Due to his unemployment, Petro Franko and his family (his wife Olha Bilevych and daughters, Vira and Ivanna) moved to Kharkiv in 1931 and found a contract job. However, he did not accept the Soviet citizenship. In 1937 he was ordered to leave Soviet Ukraine.

In September 1939 Petro Franko became a deputy of the People’s Assembly of Western Ukraine. At that time he held the position of Dean of the Faculty of Production Studies at the Institute of Soviet Trade in Lviv. Concurrently, he was Head of the Literary Memorial Museum of Ivan Franko. On June 28, 1941, along with the Studyns’kis’ family, he was arrested and deported. It is still not known how and under what conditions Taras Franko died.

Petro Franko’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren still live in Lviv.

Personal and family photos of Petro Franko are also held here together with his literary and scholarly writings. One can name among them the short stories “Makhnivska popivna” [“The wife of Priest Makhno”], “Semenko, Ivas and Hannusia”, “V pralisakh Brazylii” [“In the Prehistoric Woods of Brazil”], the collection “Diad’ko Shkiper” [“Uncle Shkiper”], a novel “Vid Strypy do Damasku” [“From Strypa to Damask”] and a study on the staging of his father’s novel “Zakhar Berkut”. Of greatest importance is Petro Franko’s memoirs entitled “Ivan Franko zblyz’ka (P’iat’ portretiv)”, Lviv 1937. [“Ivan Franko: A Closer Look. Five Portraits”. Lviv, 1937].