University of Minnesota

Zuk-Hryskievic, Raisa, Papers

Finding Aid

IHRC

 


Immigration History Research Center, College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota

Descriptive summary

Creator: Zuk-Hryskievic, Raisa
Dates: 1948-2003
Abstract: Papers of Dr. Raisa Zuk-Hryskievic consist of materials related to the Belarusian Canadian Alliance, to the Rada (Council) of the Belarusian Democratic Republic in exile, a brochure "25-ha Sakavika" [The Twenty-Fifth of March] by V. Zuk-Hryskievic, and a folder of correspondence between Dr. V. J. Kaye, a national liason officer of the Canadian Department of Citizenship and Immigration, and Dr. Vincent Zuk-Hryskievic.
Quantity: 1 lin.ft.
Language: English, Belarusian
Collection ID: IHRC2932

PROVENANCE

Collection acquired from Raisa Zuk-Hryskievic in 2003-2007. It was processed by Ihar Labacevich in 2010.

HISTORICAL SKETCH

Raisa Zuk-Hryskievic Raisa Zuk-Hryskievic (née Zhukouskaya) was born on October 22, 1919 in Pruzhany, Belarus. There she completed her secondary education and in 1938 she began her studies in the Belarusian gymnasium at Vilnia (Vilnius). After a reunification of the Western and Eastern parts of Belarus and the Soviet occupation of 1939, she worked as a school teacher of Belarusian language in her native Pruzhany and a nearby village Smalanitsa. In 1942 Nazis sent her to Germany as a forced laborer. After the war she was an active member of Belarusian girl scouts organisations in Watenstedt Displaced Persons camp (British Zone), West Germany. She studied dentistry in Marburg, Germany.

After moving to Canada, she received Canadian dentistry diploma in 1954 and worked as a dentist until her retirement in 1990. In 1953, she married the then Vice-President of the Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic in exile Dr. Vincent (Vintsuk) Zuk-Hryskievic (1903-1989), a professor of the University of Toronto. In Canada she became an active member of the Belarusian Canadian Alliance. She held posts of the head of the Coordination committee of Belarusians in Canada and its newsletter "Kamunikat", [The News] of the head of the Belarusian Canadian women's Association, of a secretary and treasurer of the Belarusian Institute of Arts and Sciences in Canada; she was a member of the International Association for Belarusian studies and Canadian Relief Fund For Chernobyl Victims in Belarus. She is an author of several books and textbooks on the subjects of Belarusian history and language. She passed away on April 2, 2009. She is buried in the Belarusian cemetery in New Brunswick, NJ, USA together with her husband.

Vincent Zuk-Hryskievic played a significant role in the Belarusian independence movement of his time. His involvement included activities in pedagogy, research, social and political organizing for which he was persecuted, arrested, deported, and exiled from his homeland. He was born on February 10, 1903, into a Catholic family in the township of Budslau, Vialejka district, the son of Anton and Mary (née Chaniauka). Vincent attended elementary school in Budslau. His secondary school years were divided between Budslau and Vilna, where he graduated in 1922. That autumn he enrolled in the Charles University in Prague, where he was a student of Slavic philology and history. He received his degree in 1926, qualifying him to be a secondary school teacher. From 1927 until 1939 he taught history and literature at the Belarusian lycee in Vilna. Simultaneously he held the rank of lecturer in the Belarusian language at the Belarusian Orthodox Seminary and at the School of Higher Political Studies, both in the city of Vilna. In December 1932, he passed a national examination at Stephen Batory University in Vilna, qualifying him to teach history and Slavic philology. In both Prague and Vilna he was actively involved in community organizations and teachers' societies and participated in the publication of several Belarusian-language newspapers and periodicals. Having come to Canada in 1950, he matriculated at the University of Ottawa which awarded him a doctorate in July 1952 after his successful defense of a dissertation on the lyricism of Janka Kupala. As a member of the Polish Army from 1945 to 1949, he lectured in history and psychology in Polish military schools in England and in Italy. He emigrated to Canada in 1950 and from 1951 to 1954 coordinated and conducted a series of lectures in Belarusian Studies through the University of Toronto's extension programme.

In addition to his life-long career as a teacher and lecturer, Zuk-Hryskievic was involved in the social, educational, and political life of the Belarusian community in exile. When the first elections to the Polish Sejm were held in 1922, he served as the campaign director for the Braslau and Dzisniensk regions for the Belarusian campaign committee of Vilna, promoting the minority-bloc Belarusian candidates in the Sejm and the Senate. With the occupation of Vilna by the Soviet Army on September 30, 1939, Zuk-Hryskievic was arrested and, over a period of many months, was imprisoned in Lukiski, Bialystok, Vialejka, Miensk, Polack, and Vorsha. In 1940 he was charged with being an "anti-social element" and an "enemy of the [Soviet] people" and was sentenced to eight years at hard labour. Together with thousands of other prisoners, he was sent to the north, where he worked on the northern railroad from Kotlas to Vorkuta. In 1942 an agreement was signed between Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov and Polish General Sikorski to free Polish citizens being held in Soviet prison camps. He was released and joined the newly-formed Division of the Eighth British Army, made up of citizens of Poland. He served with this Division in Iraq, Palestine, Egypt, and later, in Italy, where he took part in the Battle of Monte Cassino. With the cessation of hostilities in Italy, he taught history and psychology in the Polish military secondary school. It was already known that the final destination of a number of the Belarusian soldiers would be Great Britain. As he worked with these young soldiers, Zuk-Hryskievic laid the groundwork for the creation of what would become the Association of Byelorussians in Great Britain, the first organization formed in any Western country in the post-war period. Elected its first president, he directed the work of the Association into several fields and began the publication of two periodicals aimed at the Belarusian immigrant community.

Having moved to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in January 1950, Zuk-Hryskievic became a leading figure in Belarusian-Canadian community life. He took an important role in a number of initiatives, for example, in the organization of the First Convention of Belarusians in North America, which took place at Niagara Falls, Ontario, in 1952; in the formation of the Byelorussian (Toronto) Credit Union, Limited; and in development of a lecture series on Belarusian themes at the University of Toronto. In September 1953 Vincent Zuk-Hryskievic married Raisa Zukouskaja, a student in the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Toronto. For a period of two years, Zuk-Hryskievic moved to Munich, Germany, at the invitation of Mikola Abramcyk. Here Vincent established and managed the Belarusian section of Radio Liberty. He made the first broadcast to his homeland on May 20, 1954, and remained with the programme until April 1956 when he returned to Toronto. In Canada he resumed his involvement in community affairs. Among the first projects which he undertook was assisting Dr. V. J. Kaye in preparing his essay, "Canadians of Byelorussian Origin." In response to the felt need for an umbrella organization to help coordinate Belarusian activities throughout Canada, he spearheaded the formation of what became the Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee and became its first president. In 1967, he established the Belarusian Institute of Arts and Sciences in Canada and was elected its first president. As a member of the Council (Rada) of the Belarusian Democratic Republic, he undertook the restructuring and reorganization of that body, by means of amendments proposed for the Statute (Constitution) of the BDR. These ideas were presented in a discussion paper at the Tenth Session of the Rada, held in New York in April 1968. Vincent Zuk-Hryskievic was elected Vice-President at this Tenth Session and, upon the death of Mikola Abramcyk in May 1970, assumed the presidency. At the Eleventh Session of the Rada which took place in New York in May 1971, he was elected to full six-year term of office. In fact he held the post of president into the 80th year of his life, until November 1982. Vincent Zuk-Hryskievic passed away on February 14, 1989, in Barrie, Ontario. He was interred in the Belarusian Cemetery in East Brunswick, New Jersey, U.S.A.

Following are historical sketches of the organizations, in which Raisa and Vincent Zuk-Hryskievic were actively involved during their life-times. The Belarusian Canadian Alliance (BCA) was founded in 1948 as a fraternal organization founded by Belarusians who came to Canada after the Second World War. It operates numerous local branches and has several social cultural centers. Over the years of its existence BCA has engaged in a broad variety of activities. It has published periodicals, newspapers and informational bulletins, participated in hundreds of educational forums, art exhibitions and other similar activities. BCA organizes campaigns and events to promote and commemorate aspects of Belarusian history and culture and currently publishes a newspaper "Bielaruski Cas" [Belarusian Times].

The Coordinating Committee of Belarusians in Canada was an umbrella organization aimed at representing and defending Canadians of the Belarusian descent and coordinating activities of Belarusian associations in Canada. Established in 1966.

Belarusian Canadian Women's Association Established in 1968. Took part in various cultural and ethnic events and exhibitions throughout Canada and the US.

Belarusian Institute of Arts and Sciences in Canada (BINIM) was established December 16th, 1951 by Belarusian immigrants. The goal of this institution is to unite researchers of Belarusian sciences, writers and artists. The European branch of BINIM was established in 1955. The Canadian branch was founded in 1967. BINIM organizes scientific conferences dedicated to Belarusian history and culture. Publishing is an important aspect of BINIM's work. ''Zapisy'', [Notes] an annual scientific newsletter, has come out since 1952. BINIM also publishes several book series.

The Canadian Relief Fund for Chernobyl Victims in Belarus (the "Fund" or "CRFCVB") was formed in 1989 exclusively to undertake and financially support activities designed to improve and enhance health of children in Eastern and Central Europe, with a special concern for Belarusian children.

Rada (Council) of the Belarusian Democratic Republic - The idea of a modern Belarusian state was expressed at the December 1917 All-Belarusian Congress in Minsk, in the midst of World War I and the Russian Revolution. The congress was dispersed by Russian Bolshevik soldiers, but its 1,915 delegates succeeded to elect the Council (Rada) of the Belarusian Democratic Republic, whose executive committee remain active even today. The reasons for and the principles of the new independent State, the Belarusian Democratic Republic, are enunciated in the three Constituent Charters of 28 February, 9 March and 25 March 1918. When Russian troops left the city of Minsk under the thrust of Germans in February 1918, the Rada of the All-Belarusian Congress proclaimed on March 25, 1918 the independence of the Belarusan Democratic Republic 'within the borders of the numerical majority of the Belarusan people'. By proclaiming Belarus's independence, the Rada rejected the division of Belarus by the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, concluded between Russia and Germany on March 3, 1918. However, the Berlarusian Democratic Republic was short-lived due to the overwhelming odds against it: the presence on its territory of foreign armies (Russian, German and Polish), and claims on its territory by Russia and Poland. In November 1920, the government of the Belarusian Democratic Republic transferred itself to Kaunas, Lithuania. A major effort to defend the Republic was made by the organizers of the Sluck [Slutsk] Uprising in November-December 1920. The uprising was crushed by the Red Army, and the Rada found itself in exile, where it has actively promoted the cause of an independent and democratic Belarusan state. "The basic goal and task of the Rada of the BNR," says the Rada's Charter, "is preservation and execution of the will of the Belarusian People expressed in the Act of the 25th of March, 1918, i. e., the restitution of an independent Belarusian statehood on the entire Belarusian territory by all possible and available means and ways." The Rada's past chairmen (presidents) abroad have been Piotra Kreceuski, Vasil Zacharka, Mikola Abramcyk, Vincent Zuk-Hryskievic and Jazep Sazyc. Presently it is headed by Ivonka Survilla, who resides in Ottawa, Canada.

Founded in 1991, the International Association for Belarusian Studies (NAABS) is a non-profit scholarly organization, which seeks to promote research, study and teaching in all aspects of Belarusian studies, including the fields of history, language and linguistics, literature and the arts, cultural studies, sociology, anthropology and ethnography, political science, economics, and international relations. Publishes magazine "Kantakty i dyjalohi" [Contacts amd Dialogues] since 1995.

DESCRIPTION OF THE COLLECTION

Papers of Dr. Raisa Zuk-Hryskievic consist of materials related to the Belarusian Canadian Alliance, to the Rada (Council) of the Belarusian Democratic Republic in exile, a brochure "25-ha Sakavika" [The Twenty-Fifth of March] by V. Zuk-Hryskievic, and a folder of correspondence between Dr. V. J. Kaye, a national liason officer of the Canadian Department of Citizenship and Immigration, and Dr. Vincent Zuk-Hryskievic. Included are meeting agends and minutes, newsletters and correspondence.

ACCESS RESTRICTIONS

The Zuk-Hryskievic, Raisa collection is available for public research.

OWNERSHIP & LITERARY RIGHTS

The Zuk-Hryskievic, Raisa collection is the physical property of the Immigration History Reseach Center, University of Minnesota.

For further information regarding the copyright, please contact the IHRC.

CITE AS

The Zuk-Hryskievic, Raisa Papers, Belarusian American Collection, Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota

Description of Series

This section briefly describes each series in the collection. A more detailed description of the contents of each series may be found in the following section.

SERIES 1. Belarusian Canadian Organizations

The Belarusian Canadian Alliance, The Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee and the Belarusian Canadian Women's Association.

SERIES 2. Council of the Belarusian Democratic Republic in exile.

Bulletins and Newsletters of the Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic in exile. Includes a brochure 25-ha Sakavika by V. Zuk-Hryskievich.

SERIES 3. Correspondence: Dr. V.J. Kaye - Dr V. Zuk-Hryskievic

Correspondence between Dr. V.J. Kaye, a national liason officer of the Canadian Department of Citizenship and Immigration, and Dr. Vincent Zuk-Hryskievic

Detailed Description of the Collection

SERIES 1. Belarusian Canadian Organizations

The Belarusian Canadian Alliance, The Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee and the Belarusian Canadian Women's Association.
 
BOX 1.
FOLDER 1. The Belarusian Canadian Alliance 1948 - 1964
"Kamunikat" of the Belarusian Canadian Alliance, 1948-1964
FOLDER 2. The Belarusian Canadian Alliance, The Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee, and of the Belarusian Canadian Women's Association. 1965 - 1969
"Kamunikat" of the Belarusian Canadian Alliance, 1965-1969, and various documents (invitations, programs of events, postcards, etc.) related to the Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee, 1966 - 1969.
FOLDER 3. The Belarusian Canadian Alliance, 1970 - 1975, the Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee, 1970 -1975, and of the Belarusian Canadian Women's Association. 1970-1975
"Kamunikat" of the Belarusian Canadian Alliance, 1970-1975, and various documents (invitations, programs of events, postcards, etc.) related to the Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee, 1970 - 1975.
FOLDER 4. The Belarusian Canadian Alliance, 1976 - 1979, the Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee, 1976 - 1979, and of the Belarusian Canadian Women's Association. 1976-1979
"Kamunikat" of the Belarusian Canadian Alliance, 1976-1979, and various documents (invitations, programs of events, postcards, etc.) related to the Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee, 1976 - 1979. Also contains an official correspondence of various Belarusian organizations and activists with Canadian government in relation to the proposal of the Department of Statistics of Canada to treat Belarusian as a dialect of Russian and not a language of its own right.
FOLDER 5. The Belarusian Canadian Alliance, 1980 -1989, the Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee, 1980 - 1989, and of the Belarusian Canadian Women's Association. 1980-1989
"Kamunikat" of the Belarusian Canadian Alliance, 1980 - 1989, and various documents (invitations, programs of events, postcards, etc.) related to the Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee, 1980 - 1989.
FOLDER 6. The Belarusian Canadian Alliance, 1990 - 1991, the Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee, 1990 - 1991, and of the Belarusian Canadian Women's Association. 1990- 1991
"Kamunikat" of the Belarusian Canadian Alliance, 1990 - 1991, and various documents (invitations, programs of events, postcards, etc.) related to the Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee, 1990 - 1991 and the Canadian Relief fund for Chernobyl Victims in Belarus.
FOLDER 7. The Belarusian Canadian Alliance, 1992 - 1994, the Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee, 1992 - 1994, and of the Canadian Relief Fund for Chernobyl Victims in Belarus. 1992-1994
"Kamunikat" of the Canadian Relief Fund for Chernobyl Victims in Belarus, 1992, Belarusian Radiation Appeal Newsletter (published by the Apostolic Visitor for the Belarusians outside Belarus Rt. Rev. Alexander Nadson of the Belarusian Mission Trust, London, UK), correspondence with the International Association for Belarusian Studies and various documents (newspaper clippings, invitations, programs, postcards, etc.) related to the cultural and religious life of the Belarusian Canadian diaspora and to the consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
FOLDER 8. The Belarusian Canadian Alliance, 1994, the Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee, 1994. 1994
"Kamunikat" of the Belarusian Canadian Alliance, 1994, correspondence with various Canadian and international officials concerning Chernobyl Nuclear disaster, and various documents (invitations, programs of events, postcards, etc.) related to the Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee, 1994.
BOX 2.
FOLDER 1. The Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee, 1995 1995
Part 1 of the 1995 "Kamunikat" of the Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee and various correspondence related to the Belarusian diaspora.
FOLDER 2. The Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee, 1995 1995
Part 2 of the 1995 "Kamunikat" of the Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee and various correspondences related to the Belarusian diaspora and a political situation in Belarus after the 1995 parliamentary elections. Also contains several exchanges between Raisa Zuk-Hryskievic and an organizational committee of the International mathematical Olympiad held in Toronto, ON in 1995.
FOLDER 3. Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee, 1996 1996
Part 1 of the 1996 "Kamunikat" of the Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee and various correspondences in relation to the Belarusian diaspora, political situation in Belarus and the archives of the Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic.

FOLDER 4. Part 2 of the 1996 "Kamunikat" of the Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee and various correspondence related to the Belarusian diaspora and political situation in Belarus. 1996

FOLDER 5. The Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee, 1997 1997
Part 1 of the 1997 "Kamunikat" of the Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee and various correspondences related to the Belarusian diaspora and political situation in Belarus.
FOLDER 6. The Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee, 1997 1997
Part 2 of the 1997 "Kamunikat" of the Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee and various correspondences related to the Belarusian diaspora and political situation in Belarus. Includes a copy of an article by Vincent Zuk-Hryskievich's printed in "Krynica" literary magazine.
BOX 3.
FOLDER 1. The Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee, 2000 2000
Documents of the Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee, 2000, and various correspondences related to the Belarusian diaspora and a cultural and political situation in Belarus.
FOLDER 2. The Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee, 2000 2000
"Kamunikat" of the Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee, 2000, and various correspondences and paper clippings about the Belarusian diaspora and culture and politics in Belarus.
FOLDER 3. The Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee, 2001 2001
Documents of the Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee, 2001, and various correspondences related to the Belarusian diaspora and a cultural and political situation in Belarus.
FOLDER 4. The Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee, 2001 2001
"Kamunikat" of the Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee, 2001, and various correspondences and paper clippings about the Belarusian diaspora and culture and politics in Belarus.
FOLDER 5. The Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee, 2002 2002
Documents of the Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee, 2002, and various correspondences related to the Belarusian diaspora and a cultural and political situation in Belarus.
FOLDER 6. The Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee, 2002 2002
"Kamunikat" of the Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee, 2002, and various correspondences and paper clippings about the Belarusian diaspora and a cultural and political situation in Belarus.
FOLDER 7. The Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee, 2003 2003
"Kamunikat" of the Belarusian Canadian Coordinating Committee, 2003, and various correspondences and paper clippings about the Belarusian diaspora and a cultural and political situation in Belarus.

SERIES 2. Council of the Belarusian Democratic Republic in Exile.

Bulletins and Newsletters of the Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic in Exile. Includes a brochure 25-ha Sakavika by V. Zuk-Hryskievich.
BOX 4.
FOLDER 1. Bulletins of the Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic in Exile, 1957 - 1962 1957 - 1962
Contains Bulletins of the Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic in Exile, Issues No. 1 - 1957, No. 2 and No. 3 - 1962
FOLDER 2. Newsletters of the Council (Rada) of the Belarusian Democratic Republic in Exile, 1970 - 1982 1970 - 1982
Description: Contains "Kamunikat" (Bulletins) and official correspondence of the Council (Rada) of the Belarusian Democratic Republic in Exile, 1970 - 1982

SERIES 3. Correspondence: Dr. V.J. Kaye - Dr V. Zuk-Hryskievic

Correspondence between Dr. V.J. Kaye, a national liason officer of the Canadian Department of Citizenship and Immigration, and Dr. Vincent Zuk-Hryskievic
BOX 4.
FOLDER 3. Correspondence between Dr. V.J. Kaye and Dr. Vincent Zuk-Hryskievic, 1958 -1964 1958 -1964
Dr. V.J Kaye (Volodymir Kysilevsky, b. August 4, 1896 - d. July 30, 1976) was an Ukrainian Canadian historian and civil servant, the first President of the Canadian Assiciation of Slavists. He was a national liaison officer of the Canadian Department of Citizenship and Immigration, who at that time was writing a monograph on the Belarusian community in Canada. Folders contains correspondence between him and Dr V. Zuk-Hryskievic, dated 1958 - 1964.
FOLDER 4. Dr. V. Zuk-Hryskievic "25-ha sakavika: uspaminy z Mensku, Budslava, Vil'ni, Prahi, savetskai turmy." 1978
"25-ha sakavika: uspaminy z Mensku, Budslava, Vil'ni, Prahi, savetskai turmy." Toronto : Vydavetski fond uspaminau z belaruskaha zhyts'tsia, Year: 1978 Language: Belarusian 41 p., [1] folded leaf of plates: ill., col. map, ports. ; 23 cm. Accession No: OCLC: 16018307 English translation of the title is "The Twenty-fifth of March: memoirs from Miensk, Vilnia, Praha and the Soviet prison".


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