AUR#788 Nov 13 Jack Palance Famous Ukrainian-American Actor Oscar Winner Dies; Chicago Ukrainians; East Village New York; Gen Grigorenko; Ivan Balriany

                  An International Newsletter, The Latest, Up-To-Date
                       In-Depth Ukrainian News, Analysis and Commentary

                        Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion,
           Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World       

                                   Name: Volodymir Ivanovich Palahniuk 
                Palance was the third of five children of Ukrainian immigrants.
                                Born in Pennsylvania coal mining country
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor  
               –——-  INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——–
              Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
    Return to the Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
1.                    OSCAR WINNER JACK PALANCE DEAD AT 87
              Palance was the third of five children of Ukrainian immigrants.
                               Born in Pennsylvania coal mining country 
By Bob Thomas, The Associated Press
Los Angeles, California, Saturday, November 11, 2006

                           Even His Color Films Were Black and White
By Desson Thomson, Staff Writer
The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., Sat, Nov 11, 2006; Page C01

        Born Feb. 18, 1919, and named Volodymir Ivanovich Palahniuk hailed
       not from the West but from the coal country around Lattimer Mines, Pa.
Myrna Oliver, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles, California, Saturday, November 11, 2006

      Walter Jack Palance was born Feb. 18, 1920 or 1918, in Lattimer Mines,
        Pa., the third child of Vladimir Palahnuik, a coal miner, and the former
                   Anna Gramiak, both of them immigrants from Ukraine.
By Richard Severo, The New York Times
New York, New York, Saturday, November 11, 2006

5.                                JACK PALANCE BIOGRAPHY

6.                               A TOUGH GUY’S TREASURES
               Items of all kinds owned by actor Jack Palance up for auction
        Pews, stained-glass windows and other contents of a Ukrainian church.
             Had Ukrainian heritage, father and grandfather were coal miners
By Steve Mocarsky,
Northeastern Pennsylvania Home Page
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Friday, October 13, 2006

                 Declaring ‘I’m Ukrainian, not Russian’, Palance walks out
                               of Russian Film Festival in Hollywood
By Stephen Bandera on June 11, 2004 for the
English-language supplement of National Tribune
-Natsional’na Trybuna, New York, June 20, 2004

The Ukrainian Weekly newspaper, No. 1, Vol LXX
Ukrainian National Association (UNA)
Parsippany, New Jersey, January 6, 2002

        “It was a great night. I enjoyed being with people who love and feel
               as I do about things that are Ukrainian,” said Jack Palance.
By Lewko Kaspersky for
New York, New York, December 10, 1999

Ukrainian National Museum exhibits photos, memorabilia from the early days

By Timothy Inklebarger, Staff Writer, Chicago Journal
Chicago, Illinois, Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Washington Post, Wash, D.C., Thu, Nov 9, 2006

12.                       UKRAINIAN EAST VILLAGE, NEW YORK
                   A Shortened Oral History of an Immigrant Neighborhood
By Roksolana Luchkan & Andrey Slivka
New York Press, Vol 19 – Issue 43
New York, New York, October 25-31, 2006

13.                                           REMEMBER
                      In addition to those war dead whose memory we
                   honour on Remembrance Day in Canada, November 11
By Orysia Paszczak Tracz, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, 1999

Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #788, Article 13
Washington, D.C., Monday, November 13, 2006

                        ON UKRAINE’S HISTORY IN GERMANY
         The Scythians, Ukrainian Cossacks, Migration in Prehistoric Times
Interfax-Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 10, 2006

             Patrick Desbois is a conscience and chronicler of little-known
                                     massacre of Jews in Ukraine.
By Sarah Wildman, Correspondent, The Christian Science Monitor
Boston, Massachusetts, Thursday, November 9, 2006


               Was active defender of rights of repressed Crimean people
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, November 5, 2006     

                   [“Why I Do Not Wish To Return To The Homeland”]

Olha Volkovetsak, Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Aug 1, 2006,

18.                              “A TRUE SON OF UKRAINE”
           The celebrated Cossack chronicler and writer Samiilo Velychko
By Ihor Siundiukiv, The Day Weekly Digest #35
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 7 November 2006
              Palance was the third of five children of Ukrainian immigrants.
                             Born in Pennsylvania coal mining country

By Bob Thomas, The Associated Press
Los Angeles, California, Saturday, November 11, 2006

LOS ANGELES — For most of his Hollywood career, Jack Palance played
memorable tough guys in films such as “Shane” and “Sudden Fear,” but it
wasn’t until he was in his 70s that he won an Oscar for his comedic
self-parody in “City Slickers.”

Palance endeared himself to viewers of the 1992 Academy Awards when he
accepted his Oscar for best supporting actor by dropping to the stage and
performing one-armed push-ups.

Billy Crystal, his “City Slickers” co-star and that year’s Oscar host,
turned the moment into a running joke, making increasingly outlandish
remarks about Palance’s physical prowess throughout the show.

Palance died Friday of natural causes at his home in Montecito, Calif.,
surrounded by family, said spokesman Dick Guttman. He was 87.

“I am deeply shocked and saddened by the loss of my dear friend Jack
Palance, a true movie icon,” Crystal said in a statement. “Winning the Oscar
for that movie and the one-arm push-ups he did on the show will link us
together forever, and for that I am grateful.”

The push-ups not only created a magic Oscar moment, but also epitomized

the actor’s 40 years in films. Always the iconoclast, Palance had scorned
most of his movie roles.

“Most of the stuff I do is garbage,” he once told a reporter, adding that
most of the directors he worked with were incompetent, too.

Movie audiences, though, were electrified by the actor’s chiseled face,
hulking presence and the calm, low voice that made his screen presence all
the more intimidating.

His film debut came in 1950, playing a murderer named Blackie in “Panic in
the Streets.” After a war picture, “Halls of Montezuma,” he portrayed the
ardent lover who stalks the terrified Joan Crawford in 1952’s “Sudden Fear.”
The role earned him his first Academy Award nomination for supporting actor.

The following year brought his second nomination when he portrayed Jack
Wilson, the swaggering gunslinger who bullies peace-loving Alan Ladd into a
barroom duel in the Western classic “Shane.”

That role cemented Palance’s reputation as Hollywood’s favorite menace, and
he went on to appear in such films as “Arrowhead” (as a renegade Apache),
“Man in the Attic” (as Jack the Ripper), “Sign of the Pagan” (as Attila the
Hun) and “The Silver Chalice” (as a fictional challenger to Jesus).

Other prominent films included “Kiss of Fire,” “The Big Knife,” “I Died a
Thousand Deaths,” “Attack!” “The Lonely Man” and “House of Numbers.”

He also appeared frequently on television, winning an Emmy in 1957 for his
portrayal of an end-of-the-line boxer in “Requiem for a Heavyweight.”

He and his daughter Holly Palance hosted the oddity show “Ripley’s Believe
It or Not” and he starred in the short-lived series “The Greatest Show on
Earth” and “Bronk.”

Palance played against type, to a degree, in “City Slickers.” His character,
Curly, was still a menacing figure to dude ranch visitors Crystal, Daniel
Stern and Bruno Kirby, but with a comic twist. And Palance delivered his
one-liners with surgeon-like precision.

“He was one scary, intimidating, big hulking guy with a huge heart,” said
Ron Underwood, who directed Palance in “City Slickers” and in the actor’s
last role, as a man celebrating his 100th birthday in the 2004 TV movie
“Back When We Were Grownups.”

Born Walter Jack Palahnuik in Pennsylvania coal country on Feb. 18, 1919,
Palance was the third of five children of Ukrainian immigrants.

A strapping 6-feet-4 and 210 pounds, Palance excelled at sports and won a
football scholarship to the University of North Carolina. He left after two
years, disgusted by commercialization of the sport.

He decided to use his size and strength as a prizefighter, but after two
hapless years that resulted in little more than a broken nose, he joined the
Army Air Corps in 1942. A year later he was discharged after his B-24 lost
power on takeoff and he was knocked unconscious.

The GI Bill of Rights provided Palance’s tuition at Stanford University,
where he studied journalism. But the drama club lured him, and he appeared
in 10 comedies. Just before graduation he left school to try acting
professionally in New York.

“I had always wanted to express myself through words,” he said in a 1957
interview. “But I always thought I was too big to be an actor. I could see
myself knocking over tables. I thought acting was for little … guys.”

He made his Broadway debut in a comedy, “The Big Two,” in which he had

but one line, spoken in Russian, a language his parents spoke at home.

The play lasted only a few weeks, and he supported himself as a short-order
cook, waiter, lifeguard and hot dog seller between other small roles in the

His career breakthrough came when he was chosen as Anthony Quinn’s
understudy in the road company of “A Streetcar Named Desire,” then replaced
Marlon Brando in the Stanley Kowalski role on Broadway. The show’s director,
Elia Kazan, chose him in 1950 for “Panic in the Streets.”

Through most of his career, Palance maintained his distance from the
Hollywood scene. Weary of being typecast, Palance moved with his wife and
three young children to Lausanne, Switzerland, at the height of his career.

In the late 1960s, he bought a sprawling cattle and horse ranch north of Los
Angeles. He also owned a bean farm near his home town of Lattimer, Pa. His
favorite pastimes away from the movie world were painting and writing poetry
and fiction.

In addition to his daughter, Palance is survived by his second wife, Elaine
Rogers Palance; another daughter, Brook Palance Wilding; grandchildren Lily
and Spencer Spottiswoode and Tarquin Wilding; his brother, John Palance,

and sister Anne Despiva.
A memorial service was planned for Dec. 16. (Associated Press writer Daisy
Nguyen contributed to this report.)
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                         Even His Color Films Were Black and White

APPRECIATION: By Desson Thomson, Staff Writer
The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., Sat, Nov 11, 2006; Page C01
Jack Palance made ugly beautiful — all 6 feet 4 of him.

You may remember him as Curly, the ornery cowboy from the “City Slickers”
movies, or maybe the obnoxious, wizened 73-year-old who — after winning the
Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 1992 for his first time playing that role —
looked down on host Billy Crystal and made a joke we love and respect but
can’t repeat here.

After which, he performed a series of one-hand push-ups while Crystal looked
on in mock amazement. It was a wonderfully squirmy moment, in which the
message was clear, as he bobbed up and down: I’m a man. You can measure
me like this. And this. And this.

Was he serious or twitting himself? We’d like to think he was enjoying the
doubt — that embarrassing silence when hushed onlookers aren’t sure whether
someone’s read their postmodern handbook or not.

Regardless, he was cool in his own way. You imagined his brawniness was
earned from old-fashioned lugging, hefting and swinging of heavy stuff like
rocks, bricks and metal pipes, not on Nautilus equipment with wall-to-wall
mirrors and some trainer named Serge looking on.

And you didn’t think about inconvenient facts, like his real name: He was
born in Lattimer Mines, Pa., in the bone-chilling middle of February 1919,
and got slapped with Vladimir Palahniuk, which was no name for a cowboy.

Some of you will remember him as Jack Wilson, the relentless bully in 1953’s
“Shane” who drew guns on Alan Ladd — that reluctant White Hat — and took
two in the gut.

It was always Palance’s role to be the dead guy in the final reel. He was
the hero’s best friend, in a way. After you shot Palance dead, there wasn’t
much left to do except walk into the sunset. You had gunned down Palance;
you were the man.

But That Man is gone, now, for good. He died at 87 of natural causes, not
gunshot wounds — at his Montecito, Calif., home yesterday. Gone, too, are
the days — oh, indulge us, will ya? — when good meant good and bad meant

When westerns were normal entertainments in the movies and on TV — not
metaphorical hi-tech adventures in outer space, or sensitive retro-westerns
in which various Eastwoods and Costners showed their tender sides. To
women. Jaysus.

His film debut came in 1950, playing a murderer named Blackie in “Panic in
the Streets.” He scared the life out of Joan Crawford in 1952’s “Sudden
Fear,” for which he earned his first Academy Award nomination for Best
Supporting Actor. And he got another nod, but no prize, for his Jack Wilson.

It was beginning of the Palance Role, as Hollywood’s go-to bad guy — and
not just as a cowboy. He was an Apache in “Arrowhead,” Jack the Ripper in
“Man in the Attic,” Attila the Hun in “Sign of the Pagan” and he even played
Jesus Christ in “The Silver Chalice.”

But whomever he played, he was always Palance. And he made a whole career
of that face — that nose that looked like it had been battered into a
fleshy pretzel with a spade — and that voice, which sounded like he sprinkled
gravel and, possibly, boot nails into his pork and beans for breakfast. His
swaggery walk could out-swagger John Wayne. Yes, we said John Wayne.
Wanna draw about it, pal?

He seemed mercifully free of airs. “Most of what I do is garbage,” he told a
reporter once. And as for the directors he worked for, “most of them
shouldn’t even be directing traffic.” Real men, you see, don’t talk pretty
or eloquent. They just say it like it is.

So we hope you know what we mean when we say, admiringly and with a tip
of the black hat, that Palance was one of the last real men. Just remember
the way he said, “Prove it!” before he died at the hands of Shane. The
pug-ugly majesty. The way he went down like a rock.

You never cried for him, going down. Which is why, we guess, we shouldn’t
cry for Jack, even with the knowledge that, after the credits roll, he isn’t
going to get up, dust off his hat, ready for another take. He’s done and
down. And he ain’t getting up.                              -30-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
       Born Feb. 18, 1919, and named Volodymir Ivanovich Palahniuk hailed
      not from the West but from the coal country around Lattimer Mines, Pa.

Myrna Oliver, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles, California, Saturday, November 11, 2006

LOS ANGELES – Jack Palance, the leather-faced, gravelly voiced actor who
earned Academy Award nominations for “Sudden Fear” and “Shane,” and who
finally captured an Oscar almost 40 years later for his portrayal of the
crusty trail boss in the 1991 comedy Western “City Slickers,” has died. He
was 87.

Mr. Palance, who had been in failing health with a number of maladies, died
Friday of natural causes in Montecito (Santa Barbara County) at the home of
his daughter Holly, family members said.

He was one of the best-loved bad guys in motion picture and television
history — the murderous husband in “Sudden Fear” (1952), the creepy
gunslinger in “Shane” (1953) and the cantankerous cattle driver Curly in
“City Slickers” — and kept acting well into his 80s.

“When it comes to playing hard-bitten cowboys, there could never be anyone
better than Jack,” said “City Slickers” director Ron Underwood on Friday.
“He was a scary, intimidating guy with a very warm and giving heart.”

Mr. Palance’s performance accepting the Oscar at the 1992 ceremony may

have been more memorable than the star turn that earned it.

Upon winning the award for best supporting actor, he dropped to the stage
floor of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and delighted the audience with
vigorous, one-armed push-ups. Septuagenarian actors, he said, must
continually prove their virility to keep working in youth-oriented

The surprise stunt provided fodder for a series of ad-libbed jokes
throughout the evening by Billy Crystal, his “City Slickers” co-star and the
show’s host.

Given his customary appearance in the black garb of various bad guys in the
Old West, there was little wonder that Mr. Palance and his pictures easily
made 1997’s “The Manly Movie Guide” by David Everitt and Harold

Schechter. His name is listed with such classic Western stars as John
Wayne and Clint Eastwood.

In reality, the man born Feb. 18, 1919, and named Volodymir Ivanovich
Palahniuk hailed not from the West but from the coal country around

Lattimer Mines, Pa., and was a fairly sensitive fellow.

Although he enjoyed raising cattle, he was a vegetarian who had painted
abstract landscapes since the 1950s, loved trees and wrote poetry. He wrote
and illustrated “The Forest of Love: A Love Story in Blank Verse” — about a
man’s love for a woman and nature — that was published in 1996.

Surrounded by art in Rome, where he lived for a number of years making
spaghetti Westerns, Mr. Palance was inspired to take up painting, and his
artwork bore the stamp of Impressionism. His art was exhibited about a dozen
times, he told the Allentown Morning Call in Pennsylvania in 1999.

The celluloid tough guy, at 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, grew up in coal-mining
country. He attended the University of North Carolina on a football
scholarship and dropped out to try boxing.

He had a 12-2 record as a professional boxer, and by the 1940s was making
$200 a fight, the Times reported in 1995.

“Then I thought, ‘You must be nuts to get your head beat in for $200.’ The
theater seemed a lot more appealing,” Mr. Palance said. When World War II
came, he served in the Army Air Forces.

A bomber pilot who saw little action, he was at the controls when his plane
lost an engine and slammed nose-first into the ground. He suffered severe
head injuries and required extensive facial reconstruction.

“There are some moments you never get over,” Mr. Palance said in 1995.

“That was one of them.”

After his discharge, he changed his last name to Palance and resumed his
education at Stanford University, studying journalism. He became a
sportswriter for The Chronicle and worked for a radio station.

Unhappy with the $35-a-week journalist’s pay, he took the advice of an
actress friend and headed for Broadway. Within two weeks, Mr. Palance

was in a play.

After appearing in such fare as “Temporary Island” and “The Vigil” and a
stint as Marlon Brando’s understudy in “A Streetcar Named Desire,” he won a
“most promising personality” award for his 1950 appearance in “Darkness at

His theatrical success helped him in Hollywood, where Mr. Palance made his
film debut in director Elia Kazan’s “Panic in the Streets” in 1950. Billed
as Walter Palance, he portrayed a fugitive carrying the bubonic plague.

Within two years, he earned his first Academy Award nomination as the
menacing actor husband of Joan Crawford’s playwright in “Sudden Fear.”

A year later, he was nominated again for being, in the words of film
historian Leonard Maltin, “unforgettable in (the) role of the creepy hired
gunslinger” Jack Wilson in “Shane.”

In 1956, Mr. Palance put his real-life training as a boxer to work in
“Requiem for a Heavyweight,” which was written by Rod Serling and aired
on the dramatic anthology series “Playhouse 90.”

The New York Times called the show “an artistic triumph that featured a
performance of indescribable poignancy by Jack Palance.” He won an Emmy
for his role.

Though he appeared in about 100 motion pictures, Mr. Palance also was
featured in many specials and movies for television. He had lead roles in
“The Greatest Show on Earth” (ABC, 1963-64), in which he played hard-

driving circus boss Johnny Slate, and “Bronk” (CBS, 1975-76) as
contemplative police detective Lt. Alex Bronkov.

In addition to his daughters, Holly Palance and Brooke Palance Wilding, he
is survived by his wife, Elaine Rogers Palance, a brother, a sister, and
three grandchildren. His son, Cody, who appeared with his father in the

1988 film “Young Guns,” died of cancer in 1998.                      -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
     Walter Jack Palance was born Feb. 18, 1920 or 1918, in Lattimer Mines,
      Pa., the third child of Vladimir Palahnuik, a coal miner, and the former
                Anna Gramiak, both of them immigrants from Ukraine.

By Richard Severo, The New York Times
New York, New York, Saturday, November 11, 2006

Jack Palance, a coal miner’s son who spent most of a long Hollywood career
playing memorable heavies in movies like “Shane” and “Sudden Fear,” only
to win an Academy Award at 70 for a self-parodying comic performance
in “City Slickers,” died yesterday at his home in Montecito, Calif.

His death was announced by a family spokesman, Dick Guttman, The
Associated Press reported. His family said he was 87, though some
biographical records indicate he was 85.

Mr. Palance (he pronounced it PAL-ance and grew annoyed when others
insisted on the more pretentious pa-LANCE) first gained wide notice in
1953, when he electrified movie audiences with his serpentine portrayal
of the nasty gunfighter Jack Wilson in the classic film “Shane.”

He had only 16 lines in the film, plus a few ice-cold Gothic murmurs of
laughter off-screen, before he was dispatched by a heroic Alan Ladd in a
barroom duel.

But the performance drew an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor, and
it all but sealed his fate as a perennial Hollywood bad guy for years, even
though he had always thought that he would be good at comedy.

His big chance for that came nearly four decades later, when he was cast in
“City Slickers,” a 1991 Western comedy about midlife crisis. Mr. Palance
played Curly, a leather-tough trail boss shepherding about some urban
greenhorns looking for weekend adventure. His co-stars were Billy Crystal,
Daniel Stern and Bruno Kirby. Mr. Kirby died earlier this year.

It was a comedy of the sort Mr. Palance had always wanted, and sure
enough, he won an Oscar, in 1992, for that supporting performance.

From the beginning of his career, Mr. Palance, an imposing presence at 6
feet 4, was recognized for his deep-set dark eyes, high cheekbones and, when
the part called for it, a deliciously sinister sneer. It was put to use over
and over playing crooks, murderers, maniacs, barbarians (like Attila the
Hun), uncouth lovers and at least one violence-prone carrier of pneumonic

When reporters asked him what he thought about most of his films, he

tended to dismiss them as “garbage.”

Still, his part as a homicidal husband stalking Joan Crawford in “Sudden
Fear” (1952) also won him an Oscar nomination, and his role as a robber with
a heart in “I Died a Thousand Times” (1955), a remake of Humphrey Bogart’s
“High Sierra,” earned Mr. Palance better reviews than the movie received.

Walter Jack Palance was born Feb. 18, 1920 or 1918, in Lattimer Mines, Pa.,
the third child of Vladimir Palahnuik, a coal miner, and the former Anna
Gramiak, both of them immigrants from Ukraine. The family lived in a
rough-and-tumble company town and traded in a company store.

The town, Mr. Palance said years later, was where he “learned how to hate,”
even though he said he loved the Pennsylvania countryside and owned
property there.

Jack Palance worked in the mines himself before he escaped into acting by
way of professional boxing, modeling, short-order cooking, waiting on
tables, repairing radios, selling and working as a lifeguard.

During World War II, in 1942, he joined the Army Air Corps, only to be
discharged a year later after he was knocked unconscious when his B-24
bomber lost power on takeoff.

After the service he used the G.I. Bill of Rights to attend the University
of North Carolina and later Stanford University, where he considered
becoming a journalist.

But journalists’ wages were so poor then, he recalled, that he was drawn to
acting, which he saw as potentially more lucrative, and joined the
university drama club.

Producers and casting directors were taken with his unusual looks and rich
voice, and he got parts in the Broadway productions of “The Big Two”

(1947), “Temporary Island” (1948), and “The Vigil,” also 1948.

That same year he also played Anthony Quinn’s understudy as Stanley

Kowalski in the touring company of the Tennessee Williams play “A
Streetcar Named Desire.” He later replaced Marlon Brando in the role on

His first movie role came in 1950, playing Blackie, an anti-social carrier
of pneumonic plague in “Panic in the Streets,” which starred Richard
Widmark. Then came a war picture, “Halls of Montezuma,” and after that,

in 1952, his Oscar-nominated performance in “Sudden Fear.”

His second nomination came the following year, for his portrayal of Jack
Wilson, the menacing gunslinger in “Shane.”

The acclaim from those roles brought him parts in “Arrowhead” (as a renegade
Apache), “Man in the Attic” (as Jack the Ripper), “Sign of the Pagan” (as
Attila the Hun) and “The Silver Chalice” (a fictional challenger to Jesus).

Among his other films were “Kiss of Fire,” “The Big Knife,” “Attack!” “The
Lonely Man,” “House of Numbers” and “Oklahoma Crude.” He also made
a number of movies abroad.

Mr. Palance married Virginia Baker in 1949 and had two children, Brooke and
Cody. Cody died of a melanoma in 1999 at the age of 43. The marriage ended
in divorce in 1969; Mr. Palance’s 1987 marriage to Elaine Rogers also ended
in divorce.

Mr. Palance did some television as well, winning an Emmy Award for his
performance in 1956 as a prizefighter in Rod Serling’s “Requiem for a
Heavyweight.” Jack Gould, reviewing it for The New York Times, said Mr.
Palance gave a “brilliant interpretation” of a fighter who “projected man’s
incoherence and bewilderment with a superb regard for details.”

There were other sides to Jack Palance, and it took some aging to bring them
out. Late in life he wrote “Forest of Love,” a prose poem about male
sexuality and fears of loneliness.

It was accompanied by his own pen-and-ink drawings, inspired in part by his
feelings about his farm near Wilkes-Barre, Pa. He had been drawing and
painting since the late 1950’s, when he lived in Rome, but hardly anybody
knew about that talent until “Forest of Love” was published.

After the success of “City Slickers,” he had several television roles and
parts in commercials that exploited his droll streak.

Perhaps Mr. Palance’s most memorable television appearance came when he
received his Oscar in 1992.

Striding to accept his statuette, he suddenly dropped to the stage and did a
series of one-arm pushups, not only showing his physical strength but also
giving Billy Crystal, the host of the ceremony and his “City Slickers”
co-star, a rich running joke for the rest of the evening.

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
    Send in names and e-mail addresses for the AUR distribution list.
5.                             JACK PALANCE BIOGRAPHY


Walter Jack Palance (February 18, 1919 – November 10, 2006) was an
Academy Award-winning American actor. With his rugged facial features
and gravelly voice, Palance was best known to modern movie audiences as
both the characters of Curly and Duke in the City Slickers movies, but his
career spanned half a century of film and television appearances.

                               EARLY LIFE AND CAREER

Born as Vladimir Palaniuk (Ukrainian: Volodymyr [Ivanovich] Palanyuk) in the
Lattimer Mines section of Hazle Township, Pennsylvania, near Hazleton in
Northeastern Pennsylvania, Palance was of Ukrainian descent and the son of an
anthracite coal miner. Palance worked in coal mines during his youth, and he
was also a boxer.

In the late 1930s he started a professional boxing career. Fighting under
the name Jack Brazzo, Palance reportedly compiled a record of 15
consecutive victories with 12 knockouts before losing a decision to the
future heavyweight contender Joe Baksi.

With the outbreak of World War II, Palance’s boxing career ended and his
military career began. Palance’s rugged face, which took many beatings in
the boxing ring, was disfigured when he bailed out of his burning B-24
Liberator while on a training flight over southern Arizona, where he was a
student pilot.

Plastic surgeons repaired as much of the damage that they could, but he was
left with a distinctive, somewhat gaunt, look. After much reconstructive
surgery, he was discharged in 1944.

Palance graduated from Stanford University in 1947 with an Bachelor of Arts
degree in Drama. During his university years, he also worked as a short
order cook, waiter, soda jerk, lifeguard at Jones Beach State Park, and as a
photographer’s model, to make ends meet.
His acting break came as Marlon Brando’s understudy in Streetcar Named
Desire. He eventually replaced Brando on stage as Stanley Kowalski.

In 1947, Palance made his Broadway debut, followed three years later by his
screen debut, in the movie Panic in the Streets (1950). He was quickly
recognized for his skill as a character actor, receiving an Academy Award
nomination for only his third film role, as Lester Blaine in Sudden Fear.

Jack Palance earned his second Oscar nomination playing cold-blooded
gunfighter Jack Wilson in 1953s cinema classic Shane.

The following year, Palance was Oscar-nominated again, for his role as the
evil gunfighter Jack Wilson in Shane. Several other Western roles followed,
but he would also play such varied roles as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,
Dracula, and Attila the Hun.

In 1957, Palance won an Emmy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of
Mountain McClintock in the Playhouse 90 production of Rod Serling’s

Requiem for a Heavyweight.

Jean-Luc Godard persuaded him to take on the role of Hollywood producer
Jeremy Prokosch in the 1963 nouvelle vague movie Le Mépris, with Brigitte
Bardot and Michel Piccoli. Although the main dialogue was in French, Palance
spoke only English.

While still busy making movies, in the 1980s, Palance also co-hosted (with
his daughter Holly Palance), the television series Ripley’s Believe It or

Appearing in Young Guns (1988) and Tim Burton’s Batman (1989)
reinvigorated Palance’s career and demand for his services kept him
involved in new projects each year right up until the turn of the century.
                                     ACADEMY AWARD
Four decades after his film debut, Palance won an Academy Award for Best
Supporting Actor on March 30, 1992, for his performance as cowboy Curly
Washburn in the 1991 comedy City Slickers.

Stepping onstage to accept the award, the intimidatingly fit 6′ 4″ (1.93 m)
actor looked down at 5′ 7″ (1.70 m) Oscar host Billy Crystal (who was also
his co-star in the movie), and joked, “Billy Crystal… I crap bigger than
him.” [citation needed] He then dropped to the floor and demonstrated his
ability, at age 73, to perform one-handed push-ups.

Crystal then turned this into a running gag. At various points in the
broadcast, he announced that Palance was backstage on the Stairmaster; had
“just bungee-jumped off the Hollywood sign”; had rendezvoused with the
Space Shuttle in orbit; had fathered all the children in a production
number; had been named People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive; and had

won the New York primary election.

At the end of the broadcast, Crystal told everyone he’d like to see them
again “but I’ve just been informed Jack Palance will be hosting next year.”
(The following year, host Crystal arrived on stage atop a giant model of the
Oscar statuette, towed by Palance). [citation needed]
                            HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME
Palance has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6608 Hollywood
Boulevard. In 1992, he was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of
Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma
City, Oklahoma.

                                       PERSONAL LIFE
Palance’s first wife was Virginia Baker from 1949 to 1966. They had three
children; Holly (born 1950), Brooke (born 1952) and Cody (1955-1998).

An actor in his own right, Cody Palance appeared alongside his father in the
film Young Guns, and was 42 when he died from malignant melanoma in 1998.
His father had hosted The Cody Palance Memorial Golf Classic to raise
awareness and funds for a cancer center in Los Angeles.

Palance was married to Elaine Rogers in May 1987.

Palance painted and sold landscape art, with a poem included on the back of
each picture. He is also the author of The Forest of Love, a book of poems,
published October 1, 1996, by Summerhouse Press.

True to his roots, Jack Palance acknowledged a life-long endearment for his
Pennsylvania heritage and visited there when able. Palance had recently
placed his Butler Township, Pennsylvania, Holly-Brooke Farm up for sale
and its contents, his personal lifetime collection, up for auction.[1]

Palance died November 10, 2006 of natural causes at his home in Montecito,
California in Santa Barbara County.[2]
Following other recent celebrity auctions, Jack Palance’s personal lifetime
collection of over 3,000 items located at his Holly-Brooke Farm in Butler
Township, Pennsylvania, went on the auction block October 12-15, 2006. [1]

Auction planners purposefully included some smaller keepsakes for people who
want something belonging to the 87-year-old actor. “People can spend $5 or
$50,000 at this auction,” said Phil Eagle, an antique appraiser who traveled
from California to painstakingly verify the items’ authenticity and sort
them all into manageable “lots” to be sold. [1]

“Each item will bear a special sticker featuring a picture of the actor and
the words ‘Jack Palance Collection’ to add to the value and future
collectibility”, Eagle said. [1]

Holly-Brooke Farm, named after Palance’s two daughters, has been for

sale for several years. 
     [Jack Palance Collection:]

                         ACADEMY AWARD AND NOMINATIONS 
1952 – Nominated – Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Sudden Fear
1953 – Nominated – Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Shane
1992 – Won – Best Actor in a Supporting Role – City Slickers

                                   SELECTED FILMOGRAPHY
Year             Title                Role
1950    Panic in the Streets    Blackie
1952    Sudden Fear    Lester Blaine
1953    Shane    Jack Wilson
1953    Man in the Attic    Slade
1954    The Silver Chalice    Simon Magus
1955    The Big Knife    Charles Castle
1956    Playhouse 90 Requiem for a Heavyweight (TV)
           Harlan ‘Mountain’    McClintock
1960    Austerlitz    General Weirother
1962    Barabbas    Torvald
1963    Contempt    Jeremy Prokosch
1966    The Professionals    Jesus Raza
1968    Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (TV)
            Dr. Henry Jekyll and Mr. Edward Hyde
1969    Justine    Antonin
1969    Che!    Fidel Castro
1979    Angels’ Brigade     Mike Farrell
1980    Hawk the Slayer    Voltan
1987    Bagdad Cafe    Rudi Cox
1988    Gor    Xenos
1988    Young Guns   Lawrence G. Murphy
1989    Batman    Carl Grissom
1989    Outlaw of Gor   Xenos
1989    Tango & Cash   Yves Perret
1990    Solar Crisis    Travis
1991    City Slickers    Curly Washburn
1994    City Slickers II:
           The Legend of Curly’s Gold    Duke Washburn
1994    The Swan Princess   Voice of Lord Rothbart
1997    EbenezerEbenezer    Scrooge
1999   Treasure Island    Long John Silver

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
6.                         A TOUGH GUY’S TREASURES
          Items of all kinds owned by actor Jack Palance up for auction
     Pews, stained-glass windows and other contents of a Ukrainian church.
          Had Ukrainian heritage, father and grandfather were coal miners

By Steve Mocarsky,
Northeastern Pennsylvania Home Page
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Friday, October 13, 2006

BUTLER TWP. – Fans and neighbors of legendary movie cowboy Jack
Palance – and antique buffs, too – filled the actor’s Pennsylvania farm
Thursday to bid on treasures he collected during his half-century acting

A native of Hazle Township’s Lattimer Mines section, Palance decided it
was time to downsize his eclectic collection of books, art, figurines,
music, instruments, movie props, vehicles and even the pews, stained-
glass windows and other contents of a Ukrainian church he once bought.

And so, the Jack Palance Collection was put up for auction Thursday at his
150-acre Holly-Brooke Farm, located off St. Johns Road and named after
his two daughters. The auction continues today and tomorrow.

“Jack decided that all this had to go. . The family decided to hold it here
instead of carting it off to a different location because this was Jack’s
wish. This is where he grew up.

His father and grandfather were coal miners,” said Frederick Schrader, a
Napa Valley, Calif., wine maker and close friend of the Palance family who
coordinated the auction with Williamsport-based Keystone State Auctioneers.

While Palance spends most of his time at his 1,200-acre ranch in Tehachapi,
Calif., Schrader said the 87-year-old actor, who still gets around pretty
well with a walker, “loves the (Hazleton) area and will be coming back.”

But when he does, Palance will stay with relatives or friends. Schrader said
the Palance family is “looking into the sale of the (Butler Township)

Considering the volume of collectibles Palance had stored in the barn and
“every nook and cranny” of the two-story farmhouse, Schrader said he’s
not surprised it took six months to appraise and plan the liquidation of the
more than 3,000 items.

Schrader said many of the smaller items are being auctioned as separate
pieces rather than as part of larger collections, and there are no minimum
bids or reserved items because Palance wanted to make sure that everyone
who attended, regardless of income, had a chance to take home something
they and the actor considered special.

“If there’s a cabinet here and the only bid is $5, it sells for $5. If it’s
worth $5,000, someone gets a good deal,” Schraeder said.

Amy Reese, who lives down the road in an old farmhouse of her own, took
advantage of the not-so-steep prices and snagged an old washboard for $32.

“I have a fake washboard hanging in my bathroom. I wanted to put up a real
one,” Reese said, explaining her short bidding war with another auction

She came to the auction “out of curiosity. I’ve lived here 10 years, but
never knew where his house was,” Reese said.

Some bidders, such as Phil Eagle, the man who appraised and authenticated
all of the merchandise, knew just what they wanted.

Eagle won bids on several items, such as a box of hand-held decorated
paddle fans made in Scranton in 1909 for a giveaway by the former Hazleton
Lee Tire Service and the Capitol Theatre, which advertised on the back.

Myrtle and Joseph Wolinsky of Swoyersville brought the Rev. Andriy
Dudkevych of St. Vladimir’s Church in Edwardsville, because they share
Palance’s Ukrainian heritage. Palance was born Vladimir Palaniuk.
By Steve Mocarsky,
Jack Palance Collection:

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                Declaring ‘I’m Ukrainian, not Russian’, Palance walks out
                               of Russian Film Festival in Hollywood

By Stephen Bandera on June 11, 2004 for the
English-language supplement of National Tribune
-Natsional’na Trybuna, New York, June 20, 2004

A week of “Russian Nights” in Los Angeles culminated with an awards

ceremony on April 22 at the prestigious Pacific Design Center in West
Hollywood. The gala event was held at the end of a weeklong “festival that
celebrates Russian contributions to the world of art.”

The program of cinema, theater and music visual arts was sponsored in part
by the Russian Ministry of Culture and enjoyed the support of Russian
president Vladimir Putin.

Scheduled to receive “narodny artyst” awards (cleverly translated as “the
Russian People’s Choice Award”) were two Oscar winning actors: Dustin
Hoffman and Jack Palance – both of whom trace their roots to Ukraine.

In accepting his award, Dustin Hoffman noted that his grandparents came from
“Kiev, Russia” and expressed gratitude to the “Russian people” for helping
defeat Germany. He thanked them for saving his grandmother who otherwise
“may have ended up as a bar of soap.”

Next in line for the Russian government’s highest artistic award was Jack
Palance. Born Walter Palahniuk in Pennsylvania in 1918, Palance won the
Academy Award in 1992 for his memorable portrayal of Curly in “City

Palance, proud as a Kozak of his Ukrainian heritage, is chairman of the
Hollywood Trident Foundation.

After being introduced, Palance said “I feel like I walked into the wrong
room by mistake. I think that Russian film is interesting, but I have nothing

to do with Russia or Russian film.

My parents were born in Ukraine: I’m Ukrainian. I’m not Russian. So, excuse
me, but I don’t belong here. It’s best if we leave.”

Palance and his entourage proceeded to get up and go. He was accompanied

by four other guests that included his wife Elaine, and the Hollywood Trident
Foundation’s president, Peter Borisow. Palance refused to accept the award,
even in private, or to view “72 Meters”, the movie being screened as the
festival finale.

Speaking from Los Angeles, Borisow commented on Hoffman’s statements:

“I don’t think it’s necessarily Hoffman’s fault. I think it’s tragic that he
doesn’t even know his own family history. His ignorance of the basic facts
is shocking.

That Hoffman lends himself, hopefully unwittingly, to denigration of
Ukrainians (and thus of himself), as he did by endorsing a festival that
featured the highly offensive and racist movie ’72 Meters’ is very

Borisow is referring to Vladmir Khotinenko’s 2003 film “Syemdesyat-dva
metra.” A drama surrounding events on the submarine “Slavianka”, the film
portrays Ukrainians as bumbling fools and repeatedly refers to Ukrainians
with the racist pejorative ‘kh’ word.

As part of the film’s plot development, the Ukrainian submarine’s Russian
officers refuse allegiance to newly independent Ukraine, steal the ship and
sail it to Russia.

“This is a continuation of a centuries old effort to invent a history and
culture for Russia by hijacking first the Ukrainian church, then Ukrainian
history and finally Ukrainian culture,” Borisow said.

Borisow considered the festival to be part of a “coordinated, worldwide
campaign to promote Russia and Russian culture and, in so doing, to make
Ukraine seem part and parcel of Russia.

“I’m certain that in Russia, Jack’s acceptance of the mislabeled award would
have been sold as his accepting being a ‘National Artist’ of Russia,”
according to Borisow. “Jack is very proud to be Ukrainian and will not let
anyone hijack his name or persona,” he said.

In total, twenty films were screened at the Pacific Design Center’s Silver
Screen Theatre, including Ukrainian filmmaker Oleksander Dovzhenko’s
“Aerograd” (1935). The festival program did not mention that Dovzhenko was
Ukrainian, and instead described him as “the son of illiterate peasants” who
“incorporates elements of peasant lore and pastoral tradition.”

“This latest incident is just another part of a long history of genocide
that killed 10 million Ukrainians in 1933 and continues in more subtle form
to this day – all of it still actively promoted and financed by Russia,”
Borisow said. “Putin knows there can be no Russian Empire without Ukraine,
so he is pushing the assault from all angles: military, industrial, energy,
economic, religious and cultural.”

In addition to Russia’s Ministry of Culture, other sponsors of “Russian
Nights” included East-West Foundation for Culture and Education, LA

Weekly, Panorama Media, 7 Arts, Adelphia, Rodnik Vodka, Samuel Adams
Beer, Movieline’s Hollywood Life, IN! Magazine and the National Bartenders
School. The festival was organized by the Stas Namin Centre.

The festival’s website includes letters of greeting from actors Leonardo
Dicaprio, Liv Tyler and producer-director Francis Ford Coppola. Previously
held once in Germany in 2003, “Russian Nights” are scheduled to descend

upon New York between October 23 and 30 later this year. (NT)
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
     NOTE: Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.

The Ukrainian Weekly newspaper, No. 1, Vol LXX
Ukrainian National Association (UNA)
Parsippany, New Jersey, January 6, 2002

LOS ANGELES – “We are happy to see the creation of this foundation and

look forward to its impact on the Ukrainian community worldwide.”

That is how Oscar-winning Hollywood actor Jack Palance responded after
signing his name to the articles of incorporation of the Hollywood Trident
Foundation, a new charitable organization formed by members of the

Hollywood Trident Network in Los Angeles.

The goal of the new foundation will be “through education and the arts to
encourage film-makers to study, film and present the contribution of
Ukrainian people worldwide to the evolution of modern civilization,
including Ukrainian contributions to film-making from its beginning to
modern times.” Mr. Palance is the chairman of the board of directors of the
new body.

Peter Borisow, president of Entertainment Finance Management, and president
of the new body added, “Ukrainians have played important roles in the film
industry since its inception.

We hope that the Hollywood Trident Foundation will not only encourage those
working in the industry, but also demonstrate and teach an international
audience about Ukrainians and their contributions – past and present – to
the art and business of film and media worldwide.”

In addition to Messrs. Palance and Borisow, the foundation’s articles of
incorporation were also signed by Luba Keske, senior vice-president –
administration, business affairs at MGM Pictures; Jim Makichuk, Hollywood
director and screenwriter who also teaches part time at UCLA; and Los
Angeles attorney Andriy Semotiuk, who will act as executive director of the

The articles of incorporation are now being registered with the California
Department of State and, following registration, will serve as the basis for
obtaining IRS Section 501 (c) (3) charitable status to enable the foundation
to issue tax-deductible receipts to future donors.

Initial discussions envision a board of directors consisting of nine people,
five of whom will come from the Los Angeles area. The new foundation hopes
to attract board members from some of the other major foundations and
institutions in the Ukrainian community in North America, and also hopes to
include three honorary members nominated from the Producers Guild of

Board members will be expected to be active and serve a three-year term.
Foundation members have had preliminary discussions with faculty and
administration officials at UCLA and said they are encouraged by the
prospect of undertaking some film-related projects in conjunction with the
Ukrainian students’ club there.

Mark Semotiuk, president of the UCLA Ukrainian Students’ Club, has asked the
Ukrainian community at large to contact any Ukrainian students currently at
UCLA, or other colleges in the Los Angeles vicinity, and ask them to get in
touch with him.

The Hollywood Trident Foundation will work closely with both the Hollywood
Trident Network and the Ukrainian Student’s Club at UCLA. While the network
will continue to attract entertainment-related individuals for networking
purposes, the students club will seek to bring together Ukrainian students
in the Los Angeles area.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
        “It was a great night. I enjoyed being with people who love and feel
               as I do about things that are Ukrainian,” said Jack Palance.

By Lewko Kaspersky for
New York, New York, December 10, 1999

HOLLYWOOD, USA – “It was a great night. I enjoyed being with people
who love and feel as I do about things that are Ukrainian,” is the way
Hollywood actor Jack Palance described Tuesday’s meeting of Hollywood
Ukrainians to discuss the formation of a group to promote Ukrainian
interests in films, television and related media.

Sparked by longtime film industry leaders Luba Keske, Senior Vice President
of MGM – United Artists Studios and Peter Borisow, President of
Entertainment Finance Management, attendees included Jack Palance and his
brother, producer John Palance, University of Southern California cinema
professor Paul Wolansky, Warner Brothers Studios executive Nestor Balaban,
film maker Roman Mykytyn, author Eugenia Dallas, producer Tom Daniels,
banking executive Lewko Kaspersky, attorney Andriy Semotiuk, union leader
Wally Keske, as well as other people involved in film production, financing
and promotion.

Jack Palance has everyone smiling as he recites stories about growing up
Ukrainian in a tough neighborhood.

In view of the show business nature of the meeting, it should come as no
surprise that it was held around a conference table on the 45th floor of a
downtown skyscraper in front of a salt water fish tank filled with sharks.
Speaking round-robin style, all present voiced their views on a Ukrainian
media organization.

Prime issues that concerned many included frustration about the low profile
of Ukraine in the media and the 1933 Holodomor genocidal famine. A
consensus emerged that a media organization with a social setting could be
an effective instrument for promoting Ukrainian issues and projects

The operational agenda of the group is fourfold.
[1] First, to gather together in one association members interested in
     promoting Ukrainian values and interests in Hollywood.
[2] Second, to help create and promote more films, television programs
     and music which contain Ukrainian content, or are written, produced,
     directed or acted in by people interested in Ukrainian affairs,
     association members.
[3] Third, to support each other in the pursuit of career objectives in
[4] Fourth, to help the entertainment industry in Ukraine.

The group, tentatively called the Hollywood Trident Group, will meet again
on February 2nd, 2000. In the meantime they will continue to get to know
each other better, form some working arrangements, and get more people
involved.                                      -30-
PHOTOGRAPH: Hollywood Ukrainians in the entertainment media gathered
at the founding meeting of the Hollywood Trident Group on December 7,
1999. From left, sitting, Wally Keske, Luba Keske, Jack Palance, Evgenia
Dallas, Paul Wolansky. From left, standing, Lewko Kaspersky, Nestor
Balaban, Andriy Semotiuk, Roman Mykytyn, Peter Borisow, John Palance,
Tom Daniels.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
     Ukrainian National Museum exhibits photos, memorabilia from the early days

By Timothy Inklebarger, Staff Writer, Chicago Journal
Chicago, Illinois, Saturday, November 11, 2006

CHICAGO – Upon opening its doors in 1952, the founders of the Ukrainian
National Museum in Chicago sent a call to neighbors and newly-arrived
immigrants to donate memorabilia chronicling the establishment of the ethnic

But for decades, many of the photographs, newspaper clippings and other
keepsakes that ended up in the museum’s possession sat collecting dust in
the vault of its repository at 2249 W. Superior.

For the first time, much of the material archived from the early 20th
Century to the late 1930s is being displayed in an exhibit titled: “With
Respect to the Past.”

“The importance of this is to show that in 1906 through 1939 there was a
community being built,” said Museum President Jaroslaw Hankewych. “We
had choruses. We had dance groups. We had choirs. We had all sorts of
cultural activity happening, not only religious but cultural activity.”

Although the exhibit chronicles the daily lives of the growing Ukrainian
immigrant community, it also gives a glimpse of the struggles they endured
in trying to support their homeland from abroad.
                  NATIONAL ‘UKRAINIAN DAY’ IN 1917
One of the crown jewels of the show displays a pen used by President
Woodrow Wilson on March 7, 1917, approving a resolution by Congress
establishing a national “Ukrainian Day.”

Hankewych said the special day was established to help raise money for
Ukrainians facing military occupation in their homeland.

He said the day was established at the request of the Federation of
Ukrainians in America, a group organized to represent the interests of
Ukrainians in America and abroad.

Volunteers sold small tags that that could be pinned on one’s clothing as a
sign of solidarity with the Ukrainian people.

In 1917, Ukraine was occupied by military forces from Poland and Hungary in
the west, Russia in the east and Crimea and Germany in the south. The effort
raised about $58,000, Hankewych said. “I would probably say that’s worth $1
million today,” he said.

Maria Klimchak, an assistant director at the museum, said the record of the
Ukrainian Tag Day is one of many examples of displaced Ukrainians
advocating abroad for the liberation of their homeland.

“The Ukrainian nation wasn’t as a nation on the map of the world, but
[Ukrainians] came to the United States and they started to fight for their
liberty,” she said, noting that following World War II, Ukrainians in
America, England and elsewhere continued the struggle for independence.
In one photo, Ukrainian women in Chicago in the 1930s protest the occupation
of Ukraine by Poland with signs reading “Americans Save the Ukrainian Race
From the Hell of Polish Tyranny” and “250,000 Ukrainians Died in Polish
Prison Camps.”

Hankewych said the exhibit also is a dedication to the 100th Anniversary of
the St. Nicholas Cathedral parish; the cathedral itself was built later, in

George Matwyshyn, president of the parish council, said many immigrants in
the late 19th and early 20th centuries were pioneers in the sense that they
had no government backing “because the government didn’t exist.”

“It shows the deep commitment that our forefathers had not only to the
Ukrainian community, but the community at large,” Matwyshyn said.

“When they came here they were dedicated to the United States because they
finally had a land where they could have their freedom but they also didn’t
forget about their past.”
Nicholas Mischenko, president of the Ukrainian Genocide Famine Foundation
and archivist who helped with the exhibit, said it took about three months
to organize the show and create a digital archive of its materials.

He said that much of the archive still is stored in the vault at the museum.

Hankewych, whose father Olexa Hankewych was one of the founders of the
museum, said there still is much work to do in completing and updating the

“Maybe a year from now we’ll go from 1939 through 1960 and then 1960 until
now,” he said. The show runs through Dec. 3.                  -30-
PHOTOGRAPH: The Ukrainian Band of Chicago from “With Respect

tothe Past,” at the Ukrainian National Museum.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
The Washington Post, Wash, D.C., Thu, Nov 9, 2006


Were they healthy enough to make the journey?  Could they keep the
family together?  Would they find work when they got to America? 
Could they afford the tickets in the first place?  Would there really be
a better life waiting for them here? 

Your immigrant ancestors left behind all they’d ever known for a
country they’d never seen.  They had the courage to set sail, knowing
they might be sent back.  And if they make it in the door to the Land
of Opportunity, they spent their lives working toward dreams, in most
cases, only to be realized generations later — by you.

                                Free through November 30th.
                               Visit www.ANCESTRY.COM

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

 If you are receiving more than one copy of the AUR please contact us.
                   A Shortened Oral History of an Immigrant Neighborhood

By Roksolana Luchkan & Andrey Slivka
New York Press, Vol 19 – Issue 43
New York, New York, October 25-31, 2006

[1] Jaroslaw Kurowyckyj, 68, proprietor of the East Village’s Kurowycky
Meat Market:
My parents left Ukraine for the same reasons most Ukrainians left in the
40s. My family left in March of 1944. I was 11 at the time.

I was in school outside of my hometown, because my hometown was too
small to have a high school. My mother picked me up on her way heading
west and we wound up in Poland. My father showed up a couple of weeks

Of course, all this started happening after the Battle of Stalingrad, when
the Soviets started heading west. And of course all self-respecting
Ukrainians and those who were aware of what was going to happen started
migrating toward the west.

The way it was, I wound up in Poland with my mother. My mother was
pregnant at the time with my brother and she couldn’t travel any longer and
my dad kept going into Czechoslovakia. The end of the Second World War
caught my mother, myself and my brother in Poland.

We were in Poland for eight months after the Bolsheviks occupied Poland.
Then in late August of 1945 my dad snuck into Poland and put us on a train
and after some trials and tribulations we made it into Germany.

We wound up in Munich, stayed four years in a displaced persons’ camp in
Munich. I went to school there. My brother, who was born in ’44, was just
ready to start grammar school when we were invited to come to the United
States. We came to the United States on Nov. 10, 1949, the four of us.

[2] Myron Surmach, 69, proprietor of Surma, the Ukrainian shop on 7th St.:
Pre World War I, that’s when my father immigrated to this country. 1910, at
the age of 15. He had gone through the third or fourth grade under the
Emperor Franz Joseph. This is prior to the Treaty of Versailles, when
Austria-Hungary was the power in that part of the world. And so my father
learned how to read.

But when he came to the United States, the only place he could get a job was
the coal mines of Scranton. They needed strong backs, and that’s what he
had. So he went there, to a boarding house in Scranton, digging hard coal,
opening the doors for the coal cars in tunnels, and he didn’t like that too

He thought he was wasting time. He wasn’t utilizing his potential. He had
been a sheepherder in Ukraine, in the Carpathian mountains, and he thought
that was a waste of time, too.

Then he moved to New York and said, the best place to put a store is by a
church. Because you know that on Sunday mornings you’re going to have a
congregation going and coming.

He used to run the dances at Webster Hall. Annual Service Radio Ball! Come
one, come all, to the Service Radio Ball! Whoever gets engaged at this ball,
I will pay their honeymoon. Oh, man, he had a real following.

He would be the MC. He’d hire a band to play, and they danced, and they’d
have a show, Ukrainian folk dancing and singing, a sort of cabaret.

We were at 103 Ave. A for years. Had a double store there where we
demonstrated records in booths so people could hear before they bought. I
still have a picture of it. Ukrainian records. Some of them didn’t have
phonographs, and my dad was in the phonograph business, too. “Radio-
phonograph combination!” he used to say.

[3] Lidiia Krushelnytska, 86, theater director:
First we were in Lviv. I was living there when the war started. It was 1939.
I’d just graduated from the conservatory. On June 26 I took my final exam.
And then on Aug. 5 I got married and on Sept. 1 the war started. In a few
days the communists came to Lviv.

My husband’s mother was in Stanislawow, Ivano-Frankivsk now. And she sent
his brother a message that the KGB, the NKVD, were already at their house,
looking for my husband. She said, run away…

We came here in ’49. We came on a boat to Boston, and from Boston by train
to New York, and I lost all my jewelry that I had in my pocketbook in the
taxicab here. They said to put all your jewelry on, because you will pay

It was not true, nobody looked. It was so hot. It was August, and terribly
hot. In the train I went to freshen myself up a little bit, and put
everything in my pocketbook.

We stayed in the 23rd St. YMCA for a night. That was our first night here.
We came from the pier by taxicab, and my son fell asleep in the taxi. And I
put my pocketbook on the seat.

Dr. Karpovich came to meet us, and closed the door, and the taxicab left
with my pocketbook with all my papers and everything that I had. That was
the first night in New York. I was crying all night.

[4] Valentina Luchkan, 50, artist:
When we arrived, it was already dark. I know we were in a hotel on 5th Ave.
and 21st St…. We stayed about three weeks in a hotel. And it was like
Disneyland, there were so many lights. It was beautiful.

Then the next day, we were surprised, because there was a sanitation strike,
with garbage everywhere. This was 1955…I was so disappointed. I thought,
if I knew it was going to be dirty like this in this country, I wouldn’t
have come.

 I didn’t know that it was only a strike. When we ate in a restaurant we had
tea, and we were surprised that sugar and salt was for free. We lived on
french fries, mostly, because there was no food. We had no food and some
bread. There was no money.

[5] Jaroslaw Leshko, 60, professor of art history, Smith College:
We came to the states in ’49, in March., actually on the first day of
spring, March 21, 1949. It’s almost like a birthday in a sense, and every
year I remember the anniversary. It’s immensely meaningful.

I remember vividly, I was a tiny boy, standing on the ship and looking at
the Statue of Liberty as it came into the port in New York. It was very,
very moving.

My father first worked all sorts of jobs, as many people did, and found this
little place on 7th St. Do you know the Stage Restaurant on 2nd Ave.? The
original restaurant that my father bought was precisely the same
configuration. Just one long narrow, narrow place with a little counter.

A corner drugstore on 7th St. went belly-up, it just bankrupted, and the
owner of the house was a very, very nice guy named Greenspan who urged my
parents to take that locale because he said somebody will take it, and you
may have competition there if it’s a pizza place or a restaurant or
something like that.

And he sort of persuaded them, pushed them in the direction of taking it.
They did, and then we gutted the whole place…and created the Leshko’s that
became somewhat prominent in New York…

Krushelnytska: We started to be very active. We built a church, a school. It
started almost as soon as we came, we started to collect money… [We
bought] this building. And next to it, on the corner, Veselka. Then, next,
as you go, is CYM [the Ukrainian Youth Association, referred to even in
English by its Cyrillic acronym]. Next, the National Home.

Then the CYM building, then the Ukrainian credit union, and another building
on 6th St…. We had, I think, almost 30 or 35 organizations. The old
immigrants were very active, and right away we started to work with them…

Leshko: We really were blessed in the fact that everybody came here at the
same time. We were all part of a vast immigration. We were all dirt poor,
our parents came with a couple of dollars in their pocket from the boat, but
the truth of the matter is that none of us really felt it, because first of
all we were all in the same position, and second of all, as soon as the new
immigration came.

This was a political immigration, an immigration of immensely talented
people, people that had professions back home and literally within months of
coming here there was a Ukrainian music school, there was a dance school,
there was Plast [the Ukrainian youth scouting organization], there was CYM,
there was this, there was that. The whole infrastructure was immediately in
place. We had places to go, to meet, to interact.

Luchkan: Somehow my parents found a basement on 3rd St. and 1st Ave. We
met some Polish people, neighbors. They had an apartment where they had a
shower and a bathtub, which they covered and that was used as a table,
daytime, but if somebody used the shower, they’d take that away, put the
curtain around it and people would take a bath or a shower. They allowed us
to do that.

Kurowyckyj: Up to about 4th St. was a Jewish neighborhood. Then, from 4th
to 10th it was Slavic. Of course I’m not saying that this was exclusively
so, but the predominant ethnic group. Then from 10th to 14th St. there were

Luchkan: Everybody used to go to Orchard St., because you could really get
cheap things. Uptown, not as much. Usually 21st St. was the highest you
would go, because there was also another church later on over there. I don’t
remember us going anywhere too far uptown.

We did go to meet our friends uptown as far as 7th St. and 8th St., they
used to have Arca [a Ukrainian store] over there, they used to sell all
kinds of books and records and candy. That’s where we spent most of the

And in Greenwich Village… We used to go to the park over there, and go
roller-skating. Usually we would skate on one, because we would share the
roller-skates, we had one pair of roller-skates. I used to share with my
sister the roller-skates. Each one would get one, and that’s it.

[6] Osip Subotnik, 61, scientist:
Tompkins Square Park was great. It was run down, and there were corners
where you did things. When you were a little kid, you played cowboys and
Indians in it.

There was one corner, the northeast corner, that had chinning bars and
parallel bars, this primitive iron piping. And that’s where the musclemen
would go, Ukrainians, Poles, Hispanics.

[7] Askold Lozynskyj, 54, lawyer:
It was a tough neighborhood. It was an extremely difficult neighborhood.
Tough in the sense that you had to be tough. We played in the street and we
had fights all the time, and we had gang fights. But it was on a different

I mean, we didn’t carry guns. We would fight with pipes, that kind of stuff,
you know. Turf wars, one block against the other. It was more a testosterone
type of thing than anything else. The boys would get together and they would
fight the other boys, from the other block.

Sometimes it would be interethnic. It could be Ukrainians against Poles or
Ukrainians against Puerto Ricans or Puerto Ricans against Poles. Sort of
ridiculous, but when you’re 12 or 11 or 10 years old, it makes sense.

Subotnik: There was a Polish population there, and they had their parish on
7th St. between Ave. A and 1st Ave. St. Stanislaus. Sometimes if a bunch of
Ukrainian kids would be walking down 7th St. and these kids were hanging
out, there might be clashes.

And sometimes, with the Plast thing, they’d see these Plast members, and
they’d pick on them because they’d be carrying a flag or something like

Lozynskyj: My father was an attorney by profession, but not an attorney
here. He was an attorney under Poland. So when he came here he got a menial
job working, across the river in Brooklyn, Domino Sugar, and my mom went
to work for different companies, but it was essentially menial work.

She would do office cleaning, and he was essentially on the loading dock,
and there were other immigrants, Ukrainian, Polish, so his need to speak
English was quite remote. He passed away in 1977, and, frankly speaking, he
never really spoke English well.

My mom to this day, she’s still alive, she’s 85 years old, she doesn’t speak
English well. I mean, sufficiently to understand and to get around, but she
never felt the need to speak English.

[8] Nina Samokish, 76, manager, Molode Zyttia (“Young Life,”), a 9th St.
shop specializing in Ukrainian merchandise:
We live in a kind of ghetto, a Ukrainian ghetto. You don’t need to know
English here. You have your own banks, your own laundries, your
storeseverything’s in Ukrainian. It’s a ghetto. You have the National Home.

[9] Boris Danik, 69, retired aerospace engineer:
I did not like the Ukrainian National Home, mainly because of the horrible
stink of its toilets. It’s still there, amazingly. Amazingly, you know, it’s
our national aroma. I’m ashamed of it.

Really, when you go to Ukraine you run into the same thing. But you can
see it right here in New York City. That’s our tradition.

Subotnik: I had three fights. Actually, two fights and a beating. Actually,
one fight and two beatings… I was fairly young, maybe 13, 14, walking down
the street with a friend, and a couple of guys decided to beat me up but
they left my friend alone and just beat me up.

They shoved me into a doorway and worked me over. I tried to fight back,
but I couldn’t, because you’re backed up against the door and there’s three
or four guys pounding you.

Lozynskyj: I went to high school when I was 13. Previous to that, my grammar
school was at St. George’s, it was on 6th St. So other than 6th and 7th St.
I pretty much knew absolutely nothing.

Subotnik: The nuns and the lay teachers at St. George’s did a tremendous
job. They had to prepare immigrant kids who were, at the time that I was
there, brand new off the boat. No English…

There was an emphasis on religion, with crosses in the classrooms. It was
structured, it was nice, we had meals. We got breakfast.

You’d walk down into the basement cafeteria, it was an old building, and you
would get your milk, your fruit, your cereal, which I’m sure was part of the
poverty thing.

They taught minor music appreciation. We would sing things like “I’ve Been
Working on the Railroad,” to Americanize us. And all of those old-time,
almost Stephen Foster-like songs. Not that we loved doing that, but it was
part of what we did.

With art, what they did was they handed us out these large postcard-sized
things with classic art scenes… That’s where I learned about Cezanne and
Van Gogh. I was just completely flabbergasted that this world was out there.

The ethnic composition seemed like it was almost all Ukrainian, either off
the boat or born here, born on the Lower East Side. For the most part, we
got along. Sometimes there were clashes between the immigrant kids and the
more American kids, kids being rough with each other.

[10] Walter Zaryckyj, 49, professor of political science, NYU:
My brother was lucky he didn’t have to deal with the nuns from St. George’s,
because they beat the shit out of me. It was so bad that my parents decided
that it was better to take him to public school…a nun went after me with a
baseball bat. A big rod. I was in third grade.

Subotnik: The main center was 7th St. between 3rd and 2nd Aves., because
the church was there. The other main center was around 9th St. and 2nd Ave.,
because Plast was there and Veselka was there, and Orchidia.

So you would have always gangs of kids hanging around the corners, either
because they were let out of their Plast activities or if you had nothing to
do, you headed for that corner because you knew friends would be there.

Lozynskyj: The first opportunity to drink was to go to McSorley’s, even when
you were underage. If you were 16 years old, you were getting served. Then
there were Ukrainian bars that were serving you when you were 16.

The Blue & Gold Tavern, A&G’s [now known as] Verchovyna tavern. That
used to be entirely ethnic. Today A&G’s is not ethnic at all. Entirely. Old
drunks, and the kids who were 16 years old and trying to get a drink in a
bar and play some pool.

I grew up in A&G’s, in fact. My friends and I, when I was 15, 16 years old,
it was my hangout, A&G’s. That was Verchovyna. Drinking was a basic staple.
We were drinking when we were 13 years old.

I don’t remember fights at McSorley’s. We used to do strange things, like
eat a jar of their mustard, make bets, that kind of stuff, and be sick for
like a week.

Surmach: [In 1970, women were for the first time allowed into McSorley’s.]
Oh yeah, that was memorable. There was a very buxom young lady in a very
skimpy bikini at the door, and the rule at McSorley’s was no women allowed.

Now this was a very fetching woman standing in front…and it was like a
paradoxical situation. Everybody was dying to look at her and meet her, but
the law was she couldn’t come in. So she was like a frontrunner to
abandoning this law. I think her name was something like Roxanne. Anyway,
she was very pretty.

Subotnik: After 12 o’clock Mass finished, those of us who were over 18 the
kids went to 12 o’clock Mass, because that’s when the social life on Sunday
began. At 12:45, when Mass let out, all the kids would congregate, pour out
into the street in front of the church, and groups of kids would go

You’d be fairly well dressed up, because of church, and you sort of went
from church to Orchidia. It was sort of a social center.

Lozynskyj: The bartender was George, and Rusty. Rusty was a tough guy, a
bodybuilder. He was a real tough guy, so he made sure that you were 18 or at
least somewhere near and there was no trouble in Orchidia, because if you
became rowdy, Rusty would come out and throw you out. I was thrown out
many times, out of Orchi’s.

The Lys Mykyta [Sly Fox] was an old-boy’s hangout, for the older folks you
know, the Ukrainian National Home bar. It was a very interesting place. It
was the old politicos, the guys who were the writers, the Ukrainian writers.

The Mykola Ponediloks, Ihor Chernytskyj [Ponedilok was a humorist and
performer; Chernytskyj, a writer], they used to get sloshed at the Lys
Mykyta, and reminisce and talk about art and talk about literature.

Samokish: We began to think, how will we make it so that our children will
stick together as Ukrainians for the longest time?

We saw that Plast had the most to give. It teaches kids how to live, and
teaches kids how to be leaders in the community. But it started 50 years
ago, and it’s weakened a lot since then. I don’t know how much longer it’s
going to be around.

Subotnik: You would have weekly meetings. Each little group, each cell,
would have a leader and a secretary and a treasurer, and we could pay like
75 cents a week or something. It was very organized. We would have an
older guy who would be the leader.

You were a novak, like a Cub Scout, and then you became a yunak. In both
cases, you had an adult. It was very formalized, with uniforms and so on.
The purpose was twofold. It was a Boy Scout organization. And the second
thing, it was a nationalistic organization.

So basically, Plast was Boy Scouts-plus, the plus being Ukrainianism.
Otherwise you just would have joined the regular Boy Scouts. There was a
heavy element of that Ukrainian language and Ukrainian history.

Lozynskyj: [Plast summer camp, in East Chatham, NY] was the only
opportunity to get out, right? Either that or the fire hydrant or the
street. And it was something that your parents could afford, because a
regular camp, or some type of resort environment, that was beyond their

Zaryckyj: That’s what my parents pushed me toward, science and engineering.
Physics and engineering… I think that the three things Ukrainians should
have gotten into, and they probably would be knocking on the EU’s door at
this point, because the diaspora can play a very big role.

I’ve seen it in the last couple of years the three professions that they
should have gotten into, wholesale, were academia, journalism and politics.
And they didn’t get into any of them because they had to be doctor, lawyer,
engineer, fire chief… By the 80s they were beginning to accept MBAs,
though that was still frowned upon.

Subotnik: For me personally, nirvana happened when I was a little, little
kid and I discovered the local libraries. One was smaller, but it was
equally wonderful, it was the one on 10th St., right across from Tompkins
Square, between A and B. I would read a lot about cowboys and Indians.
Americana was very big to me.

Krushelnytska: In the 60s it was unbelievable. One time at a rehearsal we
went very late and a policeman was standing on the corner of 10th St. and
Ave. A. He said, “Ma’am, are you not afraid to walk alone?” We were so
glad we moved to 1st Ave. You should have seen it, they had tents there,
everything, camping. It was terrible.

Kurowyckyj: The first ones to run were the Jews. Then the Italians moved
out. The Poles moved out. Not to the extent as the other ethnic groups.

Flower children moved in. Crime increased. You started to have triple locks
on the doors. You had car break-ins and so on… My son was born in ’58, my
daughter was born in 1961, so they were young children.

When they were coming home from school, they would go to the shop, and then
I would have to if my wife wasn’t home. I’d have to take them home and bring
them upstairs, because there were so many people sitting on the stairs you
couldn’t get in the building.

Hippies, the flower children. This was like a plague here. I mean, no matter
where you turned around, the whole park. Everywhere.

Lozynskyj: Everyone was doing some variety of dope. Marijuana was plentiful.
I remember we worked in a hat shop, all of the boys of that scene from 7th
St. During the lunch hour we’d go down to the bathroom and get high on
marijuana or hashish.

A lot of guys graduated to harder drugs, unfortunately. And a lot of them
are no longer with us as a result, because they OD’d. But I would say that
grass and hash were a basic staple. We did it, and we smoked and we drank,

Surmach: I enjoyed the hippie scene. That was also when Doctor Zhivago, that
film, everyone wanted to be Omar Sharif, and everyone wanted to wear a
Russian shirt. I happened to make them! And I made quite a few and all the
rock people from the Fillmore East used to come in here.

Jack Casady, Jorma Kaukonen. Oh, yeah. My son keeps quizzing me on the
people who came in here. A guy named Plant. Robert Plant. Jeff Beck. Marty
Balin, I’ve forgotten the names. Who was the lead singer for the Jefferson
Airplane? Female? And people from Santana.

They all associated with each other, so if one guy said, Hey, I’ve got a
great place for you to visit on the Lower East Side in New York, right next
to where we were going to perform, they’d come in.

Remember this gal who died of alcoholism? Janis Joplin? Yeah, I made dresses
for her, too. She was a fun person, too. Very laid back, when she was with

Jorma was going to electrify the bandura [Ukraine’s national stringed
instrument]. I don’t know if he did. He was teaching blues guitar at the New
School later on. That’s why I enjoyed it. I used to go to all the concerts,
I’d get backstage passes.

Who was the guy who played riffs? The black guitarist? Jorma walked up to
me and said, What do you think of Jimi Hendrix? I said, I’m always waiting
for him to finish what he’s playing.

He gets into the middle of it and just goes and goes and goes, and then he’s
done. I like a beginning, a middle and an end, I’m more formal. But I said
his playing, it’s very quick.

So that era was fun. I used to take my daughter and my son. They said, Dad,
can we sit in the rows? Meaning, they wanted to look at the stage from 10th
row center. We always got in the back. We watched the people enjoying the
show while we were looking at the people.

Lozynskyj: Six o’clock Mass [as an altar boy at St. George Ukrainian
Catholic Church on 7th St.] that was a nightmare, to have to do a 6 o’clock
Mass. Six forty-five was the Mass, and you were scheduled for 6:45. You
have to be there in advance, you have to light the candles, you have to put
on your cassock.

It was the old St. George’s, the old church, where the rectory and the
condominiums are now located. That was where the church was, and there
was a nuns’ house right next door, a tiny little building.

The church was ancient, it was apparently a courthouse previously. During
Easter we used to stand guard at the altar because we had standing guard by
the body of Jesus Christ, and I remember walking out and smoking a joint
and then standing there.

Zaryckyj: Ours was the sort of old captive-nation thing. You can imagine
what my dad thought.

My dad had jury duty in April of ’68, I get the [acceptance] letter from
Columbia on April 15, I’m excited as all hell, I’m supposed to go up there
to see the campus the last week of April, and suddenly, April 23, my
father’s down doing jury duty at the court, and suddenly he sees all these

radicals being wheeled down.

They had over 700 arrests. They took over five buildings. Yeah, my dad
wasn’t too keen on me going to the little red school.

My brother and I and a couple of guys were the first Ivy Leaguers in the
area, from that generation, from the ones that were literally either born
here or got here when they were one year old. But believe it or not, by ’72,
there were several of us, and even better, after ’68, kids were going to

Ukrainian kids, whether they were doing the city engineering stuff, and
becoming very successful at it, or they were doing the little hotsy-tot
schools, everybody essentially got into the counterculture, and that’s right
across the board, Plast and CYM.

Whoever went to the university, as the old folks would say, they got into
the counterculture, and I’m not going to hide it, I did too. And it was
heavy counterculture.

Kurowyckyj: …There is no doubt whatsoever that it was the Ukrainian
community that saved this neighborhood. Because we were the only ones that
didn’t run. You walk down 7th St. and practically every second house belongs
to a Ukrainian. They didn’t sell, they didn’t abandon the buildings, they
didn’t run. And again: only us, and nobody else.

Zaryckyj: You had a point at which you almost drove the Ukrainians out. The
early 70s, mid-70s. When Ford was telling New York to drop dead. That was
a low point, and we thought that we probably wouldn’t come back.

Kurowyckyj: It was called the Lower East Side, and then, you know, it
becomes trendy, and who would want to live on the Lower East Side? You
had Greenwich Village, so then we became when the yuppies started coming
in we became the East Village.

Samokish: Ukrainians usually come to this store for Plast uniforms,
Americans for brooches, for jewelry in general…

Since I’ve moved here, I’ve been robbed twice, and they rob the store every
day. Usually there’ll be three of them that come. One of them will be asking
me some kind of question, and the other ones are stuffing their pockets. And
then they say, no, I’ve changed my mind, goodbye. There’s nothing you can

One time a guy with a baby, he’s holding his baby. He’s looking at
something, and throwing things into the baby’s blankets. I said, wait, there
was a golden trident [a Ukrainian national symbol] here. He was an American,
a Puerto Rican, and he stole a gold trident. He took a Ukrainian trident,
because it was gold. Then he took the baby and left.

Kurowyckyj: They don’t rob butcher shops. It’s too dangerous. You might
get a knife or a cleaver in your head.

[11] Julian Kytasty, 43, bandura player:
When I came here, right around 1980, ’81, I caught sort of the tail end of
one phase of this community’s life… It was a time when a lot of the little
shoestring businesses were closing up.

The first year or two I was here, two of the three Ukrainian bookstores
closed. Then of course, a few years later, Orchidia closed.

So right at that time, there’s that first wave of real commercialization
coming in here, and it really impacted heavily on the public face of the
Ukrainian neighborhood. A lot of places had to close, and right now pretty
much the ones that are left are the ones that own their own buildings…

The thing which both kept the Ukrainian community here in the East Village
very cohesive for as long as it stayed cohesive, and also contributed to its
aging, is that there was, for those postwar displaced persons coming here,
this incredible sense of mission.

Some of them were more highly politicized, they had just gone through four
years of kind of stewing in these displaced persons camps, thinking about
what had just happened to them.

By the time they came they hit the ground running, starting up schools, and
newspapers and youth organizations and cultural organizations, choirs,
theater groups, everything they could think of, because they felt they had
to create this alternative Ukrainian culture here which would preserve the
things that weren’t going to be preserved there.

I certainly bought into this. I passed up whatever I could have been doing
in the American world to work in this world for 10 years here, all through
the 80s, for very little pay, just because I felt that that was my mission
as well.

That helped the cohesiveness of the community. But also what happened was
the people who had this great commitment and started these things, didn’t
want to let them go.

Samokish: The current [post-Soviet, “fourth-wave” Ukrainian] immigration is
a very economic immigration. We left Ukraine for nationalistic reasons. To
put it bluntly, we had to.

The communists came and were sending people to jail all the time. I think
that our [immigration] was different, and I think that they’re leaving their
own country by their own choice. It’s not as bad there as they say.

They come here and they say, at home we have nothing to eat, we have
nothing to wear. It’s not that bad. I went to Ukraine a year ago. It’s not
like America, obviously, but here, too, it’s hard to get a job to begin with, to
make something of yourself. They’re needed there.

[12] Olha Kuzmowycz, 84, journalist:
[Svoboda, the New Jersey-based Ukrainian-language newspaper] started
because the new immigrants wanted to have a paper. They wanted to read
about Ukraine, about the old country that they came from… I was there
when it was a daily.

As a weekly it started three years ago. Because they didn’t have enough
readers in Ukrainian. They used to have them, very much, but now it’s less
and less.

And the fourth wave, they don’t subscribe the Ukrainians that come now.
They don’t know English, and they read more in Russian than in Ukrainian.

Kytasty: It’s a very interesting tribe, these contemporaries of mine who
have grown up completely bicultural. There’s not a whole lot of us.

The ones a little bit older tend to be pretty much Old World, and our
younger siblings already don’t have the language as well learned, didn’t
have quite the same degree of intensity of community life around them when
they grew up. It’s a small tribe, but we know each other when we see it.

Krushelnytska: I get homesick, very much. Or I did. Then, when I went to
Ukraine already, and now that I know I can go, it stopped.

When I went for the first time, and the plane flew over Ukrainian soil, I
thought I’d get a heart attack, because we didn’t imagine that there would
come a moment when we could go back. And then, disappointment, terrible

Everything was in ruins. The house where we lived in Lviv didn’t exist
anymore. The whole street was one big building on that side where our house
had been, a television station or something.

Kuzmowycz: When I go to a concert or lectures now, I see always the same
old people. You almost never see the young people coming. And this
community is shrinking and shrinking.

The only thing that is not shrinking now is the church, because the fourth
wave, they came to the church. They go to the church, but they almost never
go to lectures or concerts. The young people, they don’t come. And that’s

I have to do proofreading for the paper. This means from the first page to
the last one. Naturally, I have to read the obituaries, also. And when I
read them, and see the names of the young people, you know, daughters and
sons-in-laws or daughter-in-laws, they’re all American. Almost all of them.

I wouldn’t be surprised if my grandchildren married Americans. That’s
natural. That’s the reason why the Ukrainian life here, downtown, in Little
Ukraine, is shrinking, definitely shrinking. That’s the way it will be. -30-
Mrs. Samokish’s contributions were translated from Ukrainian by the authors.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
             Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.

13.                                    REMEMBER
                      In addition to those war dead whose memory we
                  honour on Remembrance Day in Canada, November 11

By Orysia Paszczak Tracz, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, 1999
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #788, Article 13
Washington, D.C., Monday, November 13, 2006

In addition to those war dead whose memory we honour on Remembrance Day,
November 11, I wish to remember those whom very few in Canada will think of
— not the soldiers, but the ordinary people, the innocent victims of war.

I was born right after the war [WWII] , but my family and I still bear the

                                            ON THIS DAY
– Remember those who died in the flames of their own homes, bombed by
one side or the other.

– Remember those who were left hanging for days on Gestapo gallows in so
many Ukrainian villages, as a reminder to others not to oppose foreign

 – Remember those who were herded into cattle cars from village and city
markets, into forced labour, who died in German factories and railroads from
Allied bombs.

 – Remember those who were forced into the German army, to die in internment
camps from starvation and typhoid without fighting for or against anyone.

 – Remember the concentration camp inmates, not only the Jews, but the
clergy, the Ukrainians, Poles, Balts, Gypsies, and the homosexuals.

 – Remember those who were executed on the spot for harboring or even
feeding Jews.

 – Remember the political prisoners who were executed in their cells or left
for dead by the retreating Soviet army.

 – Remember the underground and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, who fought
both the Nazis and the Soviets, with no aid from anyone else.

 – Remember the refugees who died fleeing their homes, who were killed as
they rode or walked the roads west — shot down by low-flying Soviet planes
who could see whom they were shooting.

 – Remember those who died after being forcibly repatriated from the
Displaced Persons camps to the Soviet Union — and those who committed
suicide rather than return.

 – Remember those who massively deserted the Red Army, to fight for
independence, who were sent to dig ditches instead, only to die in them.

– Remember the orphans, and the helpless elderly.

 – Remember the babies, who died of hunger and lack of medical care.
There were no doctors for the untermenschen, the “subhuman” Slavs.

 – Remember the survivors, some of whom are the living dead, whose minds
and emotions have departed to another time and place because of what they
lived through then.

 – Remember the millions — victims of war, conquest, hunger — who lie in
unmarked graves throughout Eastern Europe, whom the West has forgotten
or chooses to ignore.

 – Remember, then dare look me in the eye and tell me about war crimes,
collaboration, and atrocities.

 – Remember, and thank God the war was not fought on North American soil.
FOOTNOTE: Every year on November 11, Canadians pause in a silent
moment of remembrance for the men and women who have served, and
continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict and peace.

Canada honours those who fought for Canada in the First World War
(1914-1918), the Second World War (1939-1945), and the Korean War
(1950-1953), as well as those who have served since then. More than
1,500,000 Canadians have served our country in this way, and more than
100,000 have died. They gave their lives and their futures so that we may
live in peace.

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                       ON UKRAINE’S HISTORY IN GERMANY
        The Scythians, Ukrainian Cossacks, Migration in Prehistoric Times

Interfax-Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 10, 2006

KYIV – German Ambassador to Ukraine Reinhard Schaefers says his
main responsibility is to increase cultural cooperation between Ukraine
and Germany.

In an interview with the 2000 weekly newspaper, Schaefers noted he is
planning to assist in the implementation of three large projects to organize
exhibitions on Ukraine’s history in Germany over the next three years.

The first exhibition, dedicated to the Scythians will be held in Dresden,
the ambassador said. He said another exhibition on the Ukrainian
Cossacks would be the first event of such kind. The third exhibition will
be dedicated to migration in prehistoric times.

The ambassador promised to personally supervise the events.       -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
              Patrick Desbois is a conscience and chronicler of little-known
                                     massacre of Jews in Ukraine.

By Sarah Wildman, Correspondent, The Christian Science Monitor
Boston, Massachusetts, Thursday, November 9, 2006

PARIS – The confessions that Father Patrick Desbois receives don’t come
from his parishioners. They are not made behind closed doors. They don’t
even come from his countrymen.

The words the French priest hears are the unburdening of villagers from
Ukraine – the last witnesses to the mass killing of Jews in a little-known
part of the Holocaust more than 60 years ago.

He recounts one story – just one of a thousand he’s heard – of a Ukrainian
woman who was ordered by Nazi soldiers to cook them dinner. As they ate,
the 25 Germans went out in pairs to kill Jews. By the time the meal was
over, they had shot 1,200.

It was the first time the woman had ever told the story. “These people want
absolutely to speak before they die,” says Father Desbois of the bystanders.
“They want to say the truth.”

Father Patrick Desbois has become one of the world’s foremost chroniclers
of what the French call the Shoah par Balles – the Holocaust of bullets.

Though neither Jewish nor Ukrainian, he spends half his year combing the
poverty-stricken landscape of Ukraine to document the annihilation of tens
of thousands of Jews at the hands of traveling bands of Nazis called the

It is a self-appointed task that led the Israeli newspaper Haaretz to decree
him “Patrick the Saint.” Embarrassed, Desbois calls the characterization a
midrash – Hebrew for exaggeration.

The priest, who has devoted his clerical life to fighting anti-Semitism, is
uncovering, village by village, unmarked mass graves from the Holocaust era.
Here the Jews were shot, one by one, mother in front of child, child in
front of father.

The “Holocaust of bullets” was every bit as brutal as the extermination of
Jews by gas chamber, starvation, and other means at Auschwitz and elsewhere
in Europe. Yet the depth and details of the tragedy in Ukraine have only
recently surfaced.

In the local villages, teenagers and children were forced to help dig
graves, pull gold teeth from the mouths of neighbors, and take piles of
clothes away as their friends shivered, awaiting death.

These children, now old men and women, have never been asked about what
they saw, what they were forced to see. Never, that is, until they meet a
humble priest walking through their woods in his clerical collar.

“This is very, very important,” says Edouard Husson, a historian at the
Sorbonne in Paris and a project consultant. The originality of Desbois’s
work is that “he was the first to have the idea to talk to the Ukrainian
witnesses – the bystanders.”

In his early 20s, as he crept toward a life of faith, Desbois was dogged by
a question: “What does God want me to do?” Little did he know then, in the
mid-1970s, that he would eventually answer that for himself by becoming a
human bridge between the modern Jewish world and the Catholic Church and
a major conduit through which the Holocaust would be remembered.

Desbois’s journey to the woods of Ukraine is rooted in an unusual faith, an
expansive humanity, and a personal tie. He was born in Burgundy, France, in
1955 to a family deeply affected by the German occupation. Two of his
cousins were deported by the Nazis.

His grandfather, like 25,000 other French soldiers, was held at a camp on
the border of Poland, Ukraine, and Russia. “We felt ourselves to be in the
same story as the Jews,” says Desbois. Yet his grandfather always said his
internment was not nearly as awful as it was for “the others.”

Desbois studied mathematics and spent several years teaching in the West
African nation of Burkina Faso. At 21, he joined Mother Teresa for three
months in Calcutta, caring for the dying. When he decided to make his life
in the church, his secular-minded family was horrified.

After seminary, he briefly led the life of a “normal” priest – conducting
baptisms and giving weekly sermons. He was soon appointed by the Cardinal
of Lyon to aid the church’s liaison to the Jewish community. Desbois was
already studying Judaism. He had begun to learn Hebrew.

To this day, he helps organize conferences between Catholics and Jews, and
leads Holocaust study tours for young Catholics and other students. On one
of those trips in the late 1990s, he stopped at the site of his
grandfather’s prison camp. A memorial there was all but destroyed.

Over the years, as he worked to repair the marker, he kept asking about “the
others.” The mayor of the village showed him where the camp’s Soviet
prisoners were buried. “I said, ‘OK, [and] where is the mass grave of the
Jews?’ ” Desbois recalls.

“He told me, ‘I don’t know. I don’t know. We never found it.’ And I said,
‘How could it be that more than 10,000 Jews were killed in the village …
and you don’t know?’ “

A newly elected mayor remembered Desbois’s question. The next time the
priest returned, 110 farmers were waiting. “In one day, I discovered we
could not only find mass graves with precision, but we could also find
witnesses who … were present at the execution.”

The mayor said he would help Desbois find the mass graves in 100 nearby
villages. In 2004, with seed money from the Foundation for the Memory of
the Shoah, a French group, the Ukraine project was born.

Desbois’s team has mapped 500 unmarked graves so far. He believes another
1,700 exist. “We have a duty to ask, ‘Where are the graves?’ ” he says

Desbois’s offices are as modest as the man. Deep in working-class Paris, in
a drab modernist building, a rickety elevator opens to a ramshackle office
suite. The walls are laden with images of Jerusalem and a 2006 calendar of
Jewish holidays.

On a table sits a massive bronze menorah that B’nai B’rith International
recently awarded him for his human rights work.

Desbois answers the bell himself. He has a full head of dark hair, and his
hands move continuously as he explains his project. He is busy. He is tired.
Wednesday he was in London meeting nine rabbis. One will oversee the
research in Ukraine. Desbois is cautious that his work adheres to halacha,
or Jewish law.

Desbois runs a lean team. A student in Germany combs police archives, which
are cross-referenced against Soviet archives in Washington D.C., for period
recollections. Then Desbois searches for three, unconnected eyewitnesses.

He approaches them as a priest, in his collar, in his gentle manner. He
reconstructs the massacres through their accounts – where the Jews walked,
where the killers stood. Ballistic experts analyze shell casings found on
the graves. Each witness is interviewed, photographed, and filmed.

“He never made anyone feel guilty,” says Anne-Marie Revcolevschi, director
of the French Shoah foundation, who has traveled with Desbois. “He is just
trying to understand what happened.”

Desbois takes out a series of black albums filled with photographs that
could pass for 19th-century images. In rural Ukraine, the roads are unpaved,
the faces of the people deeply lined. When Desbois’s team arrives in the
most remote areas, blocked by rutted roads, the people tell him: the Nazis
made the same journey, simply to kill.

He shows one photo of an elderly man weeping. Like other witnesses to the
massacres, this man saw the grave “still moving” after three days: In every
village, many were buried alive.

“It is not always easy,” says Desbois of his work. “And when it is much too
difficult, I always think [of] my grandfather [who] was here three years in
a camp and saw everything. Me, I am free.”

He sighs. “What I want is for the place to be respected as human places,” he
says. “I want to recover the memory because nobody was witness [to this]
except those people I find. And they are very old. So we have to run to save
the memory.”                                            -30-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
               Was active defender of rights of repressed Crimean people

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, November 5, 2006

KYIV – The Verkhovna Rada has refused to hold celebration of the 100th
birth of general Petro Hryhorenko [Grigorenko] in 2007.

Draft resolution 2207 was favored with 193 MP votes, in view of the 226
votes required for its passage. The document offered to hold celebration
meetings of state officials and other events in October 2007.

Hryhorenko was born on October 16, 1907 and died in 1987. He was an
active defender of rights of repressed Crimean people; spoke out in support
of Prague Spring, supported protesters, who rallied on August 26, 1968 on
Red Square and other dissidents.

In 1964 Hryhorenko was reduced in the ranks and deplumed. He was arrested
several times and forcedly treated in a mental hospital. In 1977 Hryhorenko
left for the U.S. and was deprived of the USSR citizenship.       -30-

FOOTNOTE: Grigorenko (Hryhorenko), Petro, b 16 October 1907 in
Borysivka, Nohaiske county, Tavriia gubornia, d 21 Febryary 1987 in
New York City.  Former major general in the Soviet army, military
engineer, and dissident.

Grigorenko attended the Kharkiv Polytechnical Institute (1929-31), the
Moscow Military Engineering Academy (1931-34), and the General Staff
Academy the Moscow (1937-39).

Serving in the Far East after 1939, he was reprimanded in 1941 for
criticizing Stalin’s purge of the Red Army.  A division commander on
the German front (1943-45), he taught at the Frunze Military Academy
in Moscow (1945-61), became head of the Faculty of Military
Cybernetics, and was promoted to the rank of general in 1956.

On 7 September 1961, at a local Moscow CP conference, Grigorenko
advocated democratization of the CPSU and criticized corrupt
officials, the privileges of leading Communists, and the repressions
directed again Communist reformers.

He was subsequently fired from his post, transferred to the Far East,
and removed from active service.  He founded (1963) the League of
Struggle for the Revival of Lenism and publicly championed the return
of the Crimean Tatars, deported under Stalin, to return to their homeland.

Arrested in 1964, he was committed to psychiatric prisons in 1964-65
and 1969-1974.  He was one of the founders of the Ukrainian Helsinki
Group (1976) and its representative to the Moscow Helsinki Group.

In 1977 he left for medical treatment in the United States and was
stripped of his Soviet citizenship in absentia, thus preventing his return.
He is the author of over 80 works in military science, as well as dissident
writings; his memoirs have appeared in Russian (1973-1976), Ukrainian
(1984), and other languages.

Encyclopedia of Ukraine, Volume 1, A-F, Edited by Volodymyr Kubijovyc,
Published for the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, the Shevchenko
Scientific Society (Sarcelles, France) and the Canadian Foundation of
Ukrainian Studies, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 1984. Pg 98-99.
FOOTNOTE:  It is rather shocking and really very sad that the Parliament
of Ukraine still today, after 15 years of Independence, feels it has to stand
up and defend the Soviet Union. The vote by the Rada not to approve a
small celebration in honor of the 100th anniversary of General Petro
Grigorenkois not what one would have hoped for in 2006, in an enlightened,
free, democratic, independent Ukraine. AUR EDITOR Morgan Williams


[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                     [“Why I Do Not Wish To Return To The Homeland”]
Olha Volkovetsak, Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Aug 1, 2006,

KYIV – The Verkhovna Rada has declined resolution No.1184 on

celebration of 100th birthday anniversary of Ukrainian writer Ivan Bahrianyi.
The move gained only 73 votes in view of the 226 required for its passage.

The affirmative vote breakdown is as follows: Our Ukraine – 65; Socialist
Party – 5; Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko – 3.
The anniversary falls on October 2, 2006.

MPs Volodymyr Yavorivskyi, Levko Lukianenko of the Bloc of Yulia

Tymoshenko, and MP Leonid Taniuk of Our Ukraine proposed in the
resolution to hold a jubilee evening and concert at the National Opera
Theater in Kyiv, and talk evenings on literature in Sumy and Kharkiv
regions where the writer lived.

The lawmakers suggested naming streets in Kyiv, Sumy and Okhtyrka

after Bahrianyi. The release of a jubilee stamp and a coin was also on the
plan, as well as television and radio programs about Ivan Bahrianyi. -30-
FOOTNOTE:  Ivan Bahriany [Bahrjanyj] b. 2 October 1907 in the village
of Kuzemnyn in Kharkiv gubernia, d 25 August 1963 in St Blasien, Germany.
Writer, political leader.  At first Bahriany was known as a poet connected
with the Kyiv writers group MARS.  His poems began to appear in 1926 in
such journals as “Hlobus,” “Chervonyi shliakh,” and “Zhyttia i revoliutsiia.” 
In 1927 he published the poem “Monholiia” (Mongolia) and, in 1929 “Ave
Maria.” His first collection of poetry, “Do mezh zakazanykh” (To The
Forbidden Limits) appeared in 1927. 
His poetry ranges from elegiac, lyric poetry and philosophical meditation
to biting stories, and bitter invective.  His first collection of short stories,
“Krobvy nad taborom” (Rafters over the Camp) was published in 1931.
In the following year Bahriany was arrested, and his works forbidden
in Soviet Ukraine.
In 1944, as a refugee in Germany, he became active in the Ukrainian
Revolutionary Democratic party.  In 1947 he became vice-president of the
party.  In 1954 he was elected action president of the Ukrainian National
At the same time he returned to writing, and in 1946 he published a
collection of poetry – “Zolotyi bumerang” (The Golden Boomerang). Ten
years later his satirical novel in verse, “Anton Bida – heroi truda” (Anton
Bida – Hero of Labor), came out.  
But his creative energies were devoted mainly to prose:  in 1944 under
a new title, “Tyhrolovy” (Tiger Hungers). The novel was translated into
Dutch (Vlucht in de Taiga, 1959), English (The Hunters and the Hunted,
1956), and German (Das Gesetz der Taiga, 1961).  
In 1948 he published “Rozhrom” (The Rout) and in 1950 the novel “Sad
Hetsymans’kyi (The Garden of Gethsemane), dealing with the Yezhov
terror in Ukraine, which was translated into French under the title “Le
jardin de Gethsemani” (1961). 
“Vohniane kolo” (The Fiery Circle, 1953) deal with the battle of Brody
in 1944, in which the Ukrainian Division Galizien was crushed.  “Marusia
Blhuslavka (1957) is a novel about young people under the Soviet regime.
The novel “Liudyna bizhyt’ nad prirvoiu” (A Person Runs At The Edge of
A Precipice) was published posthumously in 1965.  The plays “Morituri”
(1947) and “Heneral” (The General, 1948) exposed the Soviet system of
terror in Ukraine.
Of Bahriany’s journalistic works the brochure “Chomu ia ne khochu
povertatysia na rodinu” (Why I Do Not Wish to Return To the ‘Homeland,’
1946) was particularly popular. (I. Koshelivets).
Encyclopedia of Ukraine, Volume 1, A-F, Edited by Volodymyr Kubijovyc,
Published for the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, the Shevchenko
Scientific Society (Sarcelles, France) and the Canadian Foundation of
Ukrainian Studies, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 1984, Pg 160.
FOOTNOTE:  It is rather shocking and really very sad that the Parliament
of Ukraine still today, after 15 years of Independence, feels it has to stand
up and defend the Soviet Union. The vote by the Rada not to approve
a small celebration in honor of the 100th anniversary of famous Ukrainian
writer Ivan Bahriany, who of course did not support the Soviet Union and
its repression of Ukrainians, is not what one would have hoped for in
2006, in an enlightened, free, democratic, independent Ukraine.
AUR EDITOR Morgan Williams
[return to index] Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
     You are welcome to send us names for the AUR distribution list.
18.                           “A TRUE SON OF UKRAINE”
             The celebrated Cossack chronicler and writer Samiilo Velychko

By Ihor Siundiukiv, The Day Weekly Digest #35
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 7 November 2006

The Cossack chronicles of the late 17th and early 18th century are a
fascinating and important part of the Ukrainian people’s national historical

No matter whether we are speaking of the unusual literary value of works by
Samovydets, Hryhorii Hrabianka, and Samiilo Velychko or considering these
achievements of historical and philosophical thought from the viewpoint of
an academic who does research on his homeland’s past on the basis of
existing documentary evidence, we cannot help acknowledging the special
value and lasting instructive and esthetic importance of the leagcy of these
three outstanding Cossack-era “Herodotuses.”

Naturally, one can also assert that, out of the above-mentioned chroniclers
of Cossack Ukraine, history holds a special place for Samiilo Velychko.
There are several reasons for this.

[1] First, his work – with the lengthy title customary in those days, The
Tale of the War between the Cossacks and the Poles, Which Lasted for Eight
Years under the Leadership of Zaporozhian Cossack Hetman Zinovii-Bohdan
Khmelnytsky and for Twelve Years between Poland and Other States, As a
Result of Which He, Khmelnytsky, Assisted by Almighty God, the Cossacks
and Tatars, Cast off the Onerous Liakh Yoke.

Prepared and written by the efforts of Samoil Velychko, former chancellor
of the Zaporozhian Army, at the village of Zhuky, Poltava district, in
1720 – is a monumental result, in terms of concept, style, and execution, of

the efforts of a true devotee, a great patriot of Ukraine, and a person of
exceptional modesty, lucid mind, intellectual honesty, and devotion to his
native land.

[2] Second, Velychko’s Tale is by far the most mystifying work of the old
Ukrainian historiography.

To this day we know very little about this personality (“ex-chancellor at
the Zaporozhian Army”), his inner world, and what prodded him to shoulder
the heavy burden of writing this colossal opus after he lost his eyesight
and was apparently not able to rely on his descendants’ grateful memory.

We do not know how this writer looked; no portraits of him have survived.
There is no information about any details pertaining to his life.

All we know is that, to quote Velychko himself, in 1690 he, “the writer and
narrator of these chronicles, at a certain age began to serve in the
Zaporozhian Army at the house of the respected Little Russian nobleman,
His Grace Vasyl Leontiievych Kochubei (executed together with Iskra in
July 1708 on Hetman Ivan Mazepa’s orders – Author) who is said to have
been the general secretary during Mazepa’s hetmanship.”

“I served loyally and diligently,” Velychko continues, “as my dignity
required, not only on behalf of my lord’s various domestic matters but
mostly as a secretary, when I had access to the most sensitive and secret
military affairs – even those that went to the all-Russian monarch, His
Majesty Peter I.”

There are reasons to believe that Velychko was a Cossack by birth and
received a typical education required for office secretarial service
(probably at the Kyiv Academy). In 1705, after leaving Kochubei’s service,
Velychko began working at the Zaporozhian Army’s chancellery (the writer
himself notes that he occupied “quite a high post” on the staff).

Then our chronicler says: “For my lengthy irreproachable service, my cruel
fate paid me with an extreme misfortune at the very end of 1708, which can
be recounted later under the above-mentioned year.” It should be kept in
mind that Velychko’s work only spans the time period from 1648 to 1700.

The “misfortune” mentioned by the author was a terrible thing but not
uncommon in that age: Velychko served a four-year prison term (seven,
according to other sources).

If we recall the events of late 1708, which were earth-shattering for
Ukraine, when Mazepa sided with King Charles XII and allied himself with
the Swedish army, prompting Peter I to conduct harsh reprisals against the
Cossacks, it is a wonder that Velychko managed to stay alive at all.

Velychko’s sheer willpower is astonishing. Having lost his freedom,
career, health, and prospects, against all odds he still chose to write a
fundamental work, a historical chronicle spanning 52 years of Cossack
Ukraine, based on a large number of sources now lost or forgotten.

He took on this work even though he was in dire straits; at the time
Velychko was living the life of a recluse in various villages in the Poltava
region, focusing exclusively on his fundamental work.

The fate of this wonderful epic-chronicle is also highly dramatic. The title
page of Velychko’s manuscript is dated 1720, so it can be assumed that he
worked on his book literally until his final breath.

We can determine the date of the author’s death only approximately:
historical sources last mention Velychko, who was already blind, in 1728.

Only in 1840 the well-known Russian historian and author Mikhail Pogodin
happened to buy The Tale at an auction.

Realizing that he had acquired a rare and unusual work, Pogodin gave the
manuscript to Osyp Bodiansky and Mykhailo Maksymovych, who
immediately recognized the significance of this sensational find and tried
to persuade Pogodin to sell them the manuscript.

But Pogodin demanded an enormous sum of money in a clear attempt to
remain the owner of the book. Then he gave the chronicle to the Kyiv-based
archeological and geographic commission that dealt with ancient documents,
which in turn printed the book in four volumes in 1848, 1851, 1855, and
1864, respectively.

It should be noted that what we have now is by no means the full version of
Velychko’s work. The first volume in particular was marked by numerous
glaring abridgments and omissions.

But even in this version, The Tale of a Cossack War against the Poles… was
and still is a superior work of 17th – and 18th-century Ukrainian historical
thought and letters.

Velychko’s main contribution to the Ukrainian cause is that when he assessed
the role of certain hetmans (Bohdan Khmelnytsky, Ivan Vyhovsky, or Ivan
Samoilovych), he always proceeded from the following fundamental criterion:
did the deeds of those leaders satisfy the common interests of the people,
above all, the Ukrainian Cossacks, for Velychko, unlike Samovydets, e.g.,
adopted an “all-Cossack” platform, rather than an officers’ one.

Velychko was not, and could not have been, an indifferent person, for he
was tormented by Ukraine’s tragedy.

Our chronicler saw a ghastly picture: “Wrath, strife, lust for power,
divisions, changes, desperation, envy, squabbles leading to bloodshed, and
other similar misdeeds and outrages (translated from the bookish Ukrainian
language by Valerii Shevchuk).

He continues: “As a result of this mayhem but mostly through the spread of
God-angering lawlessness among them (Ukrainians – Author) the people were
instilled [with the idea] to ‘love many’ and from that increased and spread
all the aforesaid ruinous actions, divisions, strife, and other evils.

Because of this it has been stated firmly: glorious Cossack Ukraine will
fall, fall, like that ancient Babylon, that great city!”

This is the way Velychko wrote – in the lofty language of the biblical
prophets. Let us read these terrible lines attentively: they were written by
an individual who, despite his modesty, had the right to call himself “a
true son of Little Russia.” Is historical experience not teaching us
anything?                                               -30-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
    If you are receiving more than one copy of the AUR please contact us.
    Please contact us if you no longer wish to receive the AUR.    
       You are welcome to send us names for the AUR distribution list.
   If you are missing some issues of the AUR please let us know.
         A Free, Not-For-Profit, Independent, Public Service Newsletter
                With major support from The Bleyzer Foundation
      Articles are Distributed For Information, Research, Education
                Academic, Discussion and Personal Purposes Only
                                  Additional readers are welcome.
                               Action Ukraine Report (AUR)
               Holodomor Art and Graphics Collection & Exhibitions
          “Working to Secure & Enhance Ukraine’s Democratic Future”

1.  THE BLEYZER FOUNDATION, Dr. Edilberto Segura,
Chairman; Victor Gekker, Executive Director, Kyiv, Ukraine;

       Additional supporting sponsors for the Action Ukraine Program 
                           will be published again later this week.
If you would like to read the ACTION UKRAINE REPORT- AUR,
around four times a week, please send your name, country of residence,
and e-mail contact information to Information about
your occupation and your interest in Ukraine is also appreciated.
If you do not wish to read the ACTION UKRAINE REPORT please
contact us immediately by e-mail to  If you are
receiving more than one copy please let us know so this can be corrected
                SPAM BLOCKERS ARE A REAL PROBLEM                 

If you do not receive a copy of the AUR it is probably because of a
SPAM BLOCKER maintained by your server or by yourself on your
computer. Spam blockers are set in very arbitrary and impersonal ways
and block out e-mails because of words found in many news stories.
Spam blockers also sometimes reject the AUR for other arbitrary reasons
we have not been able to identify. If you do not receive some of the AUR
numbers please let us know and we will send you the missing issues. Please
make sure the spam blocker used by your server and also the one on your
personal computer, if you use a spam blocker, is set properly to receive
the Action Ukraine Report (AUR).

                          PUBLISHER AND EDITOR – AUR
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Director, Government Affairs
Washington Office, SigmaBleyzer, The Bleyzer Foundation

Emerging Markets Private Equity Investment Group
P.O. Box 2607, Washington, D.C. 20013, Tel: 202 437 4707
Mobile in Kyiv: 8 050 689 2874;
        Power Corrupts and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely. 
return to index [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s