Vasyl Symonenko was a journalist, a writer, an active member of the Ukrainian resistance movement, a Sixtiers activist who said: “Only those who do not live for themselves, who fight for life for others, live.” The writer lived only 28 years. He died on 14 December 1963 from kidney cancer.
Vasyl’s father disappeared shortly after his birth. The future genius was raised by his mother and grandfather. Symonenko graduated from school with a gold medal and became a student of the Faculty of Journalism at Taras Shevchenko University of Kyiv.
Symonenko was involved in exposing Stalin’s crime against the Ukrainian people. He boldly took life-threatening risks, so in the summer of 1962 he was arrested. He was severely beaten, mainly his spine and lower back. The police beatings accelerated the development of cancer.
Vasyl married his beloved Liudmyla on 27 April 1957. She did not understand her husband’s passion for literature. They had a son, Oles.
The poet was awarded the Shevchenko Prize posthumously, already in independent Ukraine.