Vasyl Pipash was born on December 17, 1922 in the village of Kosiv Poliana, Rakhiv district. In 1929 he started attending a public school. Stepan Shved was the school’s principle at that time; he was an immigrant from Galicia who helped establish a “Prosvita” reading room in their village, as well as the “Cooperative Union” and leisure time clubs for women.  After the 4th year Vasyl started studying at the public school in Velykyi Bychkiv. Here he became a member of Plast and was patronized by Yuriy Sherehiy at that time. On October 17, 1937 along with 30 other plastuns from Velykyi Bychkiv he participated in the All-Prosvita meeting in Uzhgorod where Ukrainians of Transcarpathia stood up against Czechization of education to prevails Ukrainian language in schools. In 1938 he studied at the gymnasium of Basilians fathers which was moved from Uzhgorod to Velykyi Bychkiv after the Vienna arbitrage. Vasyl remembers the training of Sich members under the command of Pavlo Voloshchuk at the end of 1938 and at the beginning of 1939. He witnessed elections to Soim of Carpathian Ukraine on February 12, 1939 and occupation of recently proclaimed country by Hungarians later on in March. He recalls the sport hall of Velykyi Bychkiv gymnasium where more than 300 imprisoned Sich members were detained, tortured and executed in Carpathian ravines and passes. During that time Vasyl’s family in Kosiv Poliana was hiding in a house that belonged to one of the Sich members – Mykola Shchur who was from the Skole region.  From the very childhood Vasyl was a talented storywriter who also liked collecting Hutsul folklore. In June 1941 he published a brochure in Tiachiv that was titled “Collection of Hutsul folk songs and kolomyikas”. Later on, he published another book under the title “Two stars”. As a result of his activities, Vasyl was called to the army by the Hungarian authorities in autumn of 1943. He took military training in Debretsyn city, Hungary. In January 1943 he was send to the front line. In summer 1943 their troop was destroyed during a battle at Deliatyn. Unwilling to fight on the side of Magyars Vasyl left his troop and switched to Czechoslovak army under the rule of Liudvig Svoboda. After the war he returned home on August 2nd 1945. At home, Soviet government started collectivization and deprived his family of land and cattle. In the postwar period he worked in the local newspaper, studied folklore, wrote poems and was published in many editions. Kolomyikas that he collected were included in various collections and were published in Ukraine and other countries. He was often persecuted by the government because of his activities. Upon declaration of Ukrainian Independence Vasyl Pipash participated in the reestablishment of “Prosvita” in Rakhiv. Nowadays, Vasyl Pipash-Kosivskyi is a famous poet and folklorist, as well as active community member. Vasyl lives in Rakhiv.  

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