“I used to go to a little school, like a kindergarten, on Hoholia Street, which was then called Zyhmantivska Street. And they gathered us children from that school, and not only from there, but also from the street, in the courtyard of the church of St. George, and lined us up for some kind of blessing. I don't know what it was... But I remember the word “archbishop” the whole time. That an archbishop should come, archbishop. That's what I remember. And then finally, an old man, a person, was brought in a wheelchair... Sheptytskyi, he couldn't walk anymore, he was paralyzed and in a wheelchair. I was interested in the wheelchair (laughs) and his beard. Well, like a child. That's what I remember, that I saw him alive there... It was in 1944, the beginning of 1944. There was no Soviet Union yet. Because they wouldn't have done such a blessing with children under the Soviets”.
And on the 24th of August, the Verkhovna Rada adopts the Act of Independence. I didn't know about that. So, and on that day, Mariika Soroka was born on the 24th, and they organized celebration for her in Sochi and invited us to celebrate her birthday in a restaurant by the sea, and there were a few guys from Sochi who were also Ukrainians, and they celebrated Mariika Soroka's birthday with us. We walked singing Ukrainian songs and arrived at the hotel “Sochi”, also they call Sochi the main road in the center. A man from Donetsk who spoke Russian came out to us and two women who appeared to be Jewish but already knew the anthem because they were from Lviv. He said to us: “Don't you know that Ukraine has gained independence?” And I said: “How could we know?” It was already eleven o'clock at night, and we were coming back. Suddenly, I was overwhelmed, and I started singing, “Ukraine has not yet died”. We all sang the anthem, including those who were with us. People came out onto the balconies of the hotel and wondered what kind of song they were hearing that they had never heard before. It was the anthem that we sang. Well, that's it. So, I met the Act of Independence in Sochi”.
“And when I finally... didn't tell my parents that I had applied for the history department instead of the law department. And then finally, when I looked and saw that I was on the list, that 25 people had been accepted. Myroslav-Dmytro Dmytrovych Gudz is a student who had been admitted, I went home and told my parents: “I got in, but not to the history department [laughs]... in 1956, when our exiles had just begun to return, but to the law department. A lawyer, a lawyer, yeah. And right away, my dad started talking about a lawyer as about a prosecutor or a judge... But our local people really despised it, saying it was part of the repressive apparatus. I was supposed to be that... In Poland, the Poles had a word for it, “kapuś”, meaning “rat”, “informer”. Dad immediately said, “Oh Hania, he'll be a kapuś”. And they started again. And they were unhappy that I had entered that law department. But after a year or two, they forgot about it and it was so good that I had entered that law department”.
“It was announced that Lviv lawyer Myroslav Gudz, Iskiv declared. And they knew where I worked and so on. And they immediately called my director Byriak, on the very next day, early on. And as soon as I came to work, the secretary said: “Myroslav Dmytrovych, Byriak is waiting for you”. And then Byriak immediately says in not so polite words: “Who sent you to speak there?” And I say: “Roman Oleksiiovych, they did not say that I'm a lawyer for the chemical-pharmaceutical plant, they told that I'm a Lviv lawyer”. He says: “Yes, but the party committee and the city committee have already called me, saying that we have a lawyer who had such speech”. That's what they told him right away. But I wasn't afraid of that”.
“My aunt had a fiancé who used to come to the house in the evenings. There was a secret knock, three taps on the door that he had to do. And we had these double doors in the house. They came into the house and when they were all seated, there were seven men in the first room where the kitchen and living room were all together. And six men were sitting in the next room. I was sitting by the door and I knew that the fiancé of that aunt was supposed to come at eleven o'clock and I was very worried about it, although I knew that God forbid he should show up. And when I was sitting by those doors, I heard a light knock, three taps. But he knocked lightly, they didn't hear it. So...and there's a huge yard there, four houses converge there. And he went around the other house, exited through the yard in another entrance. Because he noticed when he entered our gate, he noticed that two suspicious people were walking on the other side. So he realized that it might not be good to come into the house. Later, he still got caught and was sentenced to twenty-five years, and he died in prison”.
Myroslav-Dmytro (Myron) Gudz was born on July 18, 1938 in Lviv. His father’s entire family from the village of Rokytne was repressed, and Myroslav himself received a patriotic, anti-Soviet education at home. From 1956 to 1961, he studied at the Law Faculty of Ivan Franko Lviv State University. After graduating from the university, he first works as a pension inspector at the department of social protection in Lviv, then changes several more jobs. In 1963, he married Lidia Martyniuk, with whom he had two children: daughter Zoriana and son Markiian. And in 1966, he got a job as a legal consultant at the Lviv Chemical and Pharmaceutical Plant, where he would work for the next thirty-three years. In addition to working as a lawyer, Myroslav Gudz is actively interested in Ukrainian national issues. During 1965-1966, he rewrote texts that were distributed through self-publishing, in particular, “On the trial of Pohruzhalskyi”, I. Dziuba “Internationalism or Russification?”. And in 1968, his interest in bookplates begins. He becomes their collector, and later organizes thematic exhibitions of bookplates and issues catalogs for them. In 1983, the first exhibition of the bookplates, prepared by M. Gudz, “Medicine in ex-libris”, took place. After the first catalog and exhibition, there were the following: “Ivan Franko in ex-libris”, “The Mermaid of Dnister in ex-libris”. In 1989, he joined the People’s Movement of Ukraine (at that time the People’s Movement of Ukraine for Perestroika), became the co-chairman of the legal commission of the Ukrainian Movement, conducted consultations for representatives of movement branches, and was elected chairman of the audit commission of the Ukrainian Movement.
Currently lives in Lviv and continues to lead a social life.