Iwan Franko (1856–1916) was born in Nahuievychi, East Galicia. After attending school in Drohobych, he studied and worked in Lviv among other places.
Along with historical novels, he wrote plays, fairy tales and children’s books, and translated Shakespeare, Goethe and Heine. Franko was a revolutionary democrat and one of the founders of the socialist movement in western Ukraine, and he was imprisoned numerous times for his political activities. He died in Lviv and, along with Taras Shevchenko (1814–61), is Ukraine’s most celebrated national hero. He wrote the essay ‘My Jewish Acquaintances’ around 1906, but it was not published until 1936.