Bohdan Soroka had great sense of humor, inquisitive intellect, and irresistible energy. He was a leader who always attracted and pulled people towards him. His way of thinking was unique and surprising, and he always generated interesting ideas to implement into action. He was never bored. He worked on his art continuously and tirelessly even during times when his art was banned by the KGB from all exhibits in the Soviet Union. He loved life, and his attitude towards life and his positive exhilarating personality made him impossible to forget.
Bohdan Soroka started his life in unusual way, too. He was born on September 2, 1940 in Brygidky prison, in Lviv, Ukraine. His mother, Kateryna Zarytska, a well-know political activist and Ukrainian freedom fighter was imprisoned by the Soviets while pregnant with her son. Her husband, Mykhailo Soroka, also one of the key figures in Ukrainian liberation movement, was arrested at the same time. Consequently, Soroka’s parents, after four months of marriage, never saw each other again. Together they spent sixty years in Soviet Gulag as political prisoners.
Bohdan Soroka was lucky to escape the fate of political prisoners’ children – to be inserted into orphanage under a changed name, never to be found by the biological parents. He was rescued by his grandparents Myron Zarytsky, a well-known mathematician, and a professor of the Lviv University, and his wife Volodymyra Zarytska. Soroka grew up in the atmosphere of much love, freedom, art and opera. Myron Zarytsky loved opera, and attended Lviv Opera House regularly. Bohdan inherited a love of music and a beautiful tenor voice, and could sing every aria from all the operas staged in Lviv Opera House by memory. Although, he didn’t like school much as a child, he loved reading books and drawing. He also loved to produce of puppet shows with his own hands and present them in single-artist shows to his grandparents, great-grandmother and neighbors. He traveled with his grandparents for vacations, and those travels made a deep impression on his young mind.