Ukrainian Committee (1926–1934)

Name Ukrainian Committee (1926–1934)
Catalog Number T-UK
Volume 50 inventory units; 2 boxes
State of Cataloging The entire collection has been catalogued and is freely accessible to researchers
Languages of Documents Mostly Ukrainian

The Ukrainian Committee (1926–1934) was a successor organisation of the Ukrainian Civic Committee (UCC), a central organisation of Ukrainian émigrés which existed in 1921–1925. Unlike the earlier organisation, the Ukrainian Committee received smaller subsidies from the Czechoslovak government and its activities were substantially more modest. The founders of the committee were Mykyta Shapoval, Nykyfor Hryhoriiiv and Mykola Halahan. The last two later became even the chairmen of the committee; other chairmen included for instance Serhii Shelukhin and Fedir Shvets‘. The committee had been established in Prague, where it also had its headquarters.

The original aim of the Ukrainian Committee was to implement the tasks that the UCC had not managed to complete and which the other Ukrainian organisations had refused to undertake. Since the committee soon won recognition and the support of government officials, it decided to expand its activities. It set as its main goal to ensure the financial self-sufficiency of Ukrainian émigrés after the planned completion of the Russian Action. Like its predecessor, the committee provided the émigrés with services related mainly to legal matters – it issued certificates, took care of the immigrants’ permanent-residence paperwork, looked for jobs for them, provided small financial loans, arranged scholarships for them etc. Nevertheless, it rather focused on lower social classes, in particular on the Ukrainian working class. Under its patronage, the Ukrainian All-Union Workers’ League was formed; it soon established contacts with Ukrainian workers throughout Czechoslovakia. This provided the committee with an overview of the number of emigrants in other Czechoslovak towns, where it subsequently created its branches. It supported cultural-educational activities to a lesser extent; for example, it founded the association ‘Ukrainian Theatre’, which organised theatrical performances or craft courses and lectures all over Czechoslovakia. Further major achievements of the committee included the negotiation of international support for unemployed Ukrainians in Czechoslovakia. A part of the immigrants could then leave for France or Canada. At the beginning of the 1930s, in connection with lower subsidies from the Czechoslovak government, also the committee’s activities were gradually reduced until they entirely ceased in 1934.

The collection comprises archival documents from 1925–1926, i.e. from the time when the Ukrainian Committee was being established. The largest part consists of personalia (inv. nos. 1–3) in the ‘The Basic Documents’ file, which also contain the most information in the whole collection. It is further worth mentioning reports on scholarships (inv. nos. 5–6) in the ‘Accounting’ file. Correspondence is less significant; in inv. no. 22, we find for instance the statutes of the Ukrainian Natural Preschool in Poděbrady, which was founded with the committee’s contribution.

Other documents related to the activities of the Ukrainian committee are deposited in the National Archives in Prague, specifically e.g. in boxes MZV-RPA 367 and MZV-RPA 368 or in the RUESO collection.


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