Levyt︠s︡ʹkyĭ, Volodymyr

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Volodymyr Levyts'kyi, prominent Ukrainian émigré political and social activist, community leader, journalist, and editor, was born 16 August 1888 in the village of Krychka, Stanislav district, Ivano- Frankivs'k region. He studied law in the universities in L'viv, Krakow, and Vienna in 1912-1914. After the beginning of World War I, Levyts'kyi became a member of the Soiuz Vyzvolennia Ukrainy (Union for the Liberation of Ukraine) and worked for the organization in German internment camps in 1915- 1918. He organized cultural and educational work for Ukrainian internees. In 1919-1920, Levyts'kyi headed the press office of the mission of the Ukrains'ka Narodna Respublika in Berlin.

After emigrating to the United States in 1924, he became a leading member of Oborona Ukrainy (Defense of Ukraine) and later its secretary (1933-1941), and editor of its Orhanizatsiini visti (1936-1941). Oborona Ukrainy was a Ukrainian political organization of a radical socialist profile, established in 1920 in the United States to assist the political and military struggles for independence in Western Ukraine. Until 1923, it was a small, clandestine organization, then it became a wider, public one with individual branches and an official newspaper, Ukrains'ka hromada (1923-1932). Its members dominated the leadership of the Ukrainian Workingmen's Association and worked closely with the Ukrainian Socialist Radical party in Western Ukraine. Its leading activists included M. Sichyns'kyi, M. Tsehlyns'kyi, and Ia. Chyzh. During the 1940s, some of its leaders, most notably Sichysn'kyi and Levyts'kyi, gradually adopted a Sovietophile outlook that helped cause a split in Oborona Ukrainy at its 1947 convention. The faction led by Sichyns'khyi and Levyts'kyi soon dissipated. During World War II, Levyts'kyi held a strongly anti-Nazi position and after the war came out against granting entry visas to the USA to those who had collaborated with the Nazis.

In 1930, Levyts'kyi organized a choir in Scranton, Pennsylvania. In 1933 he was the director of the Ukrainian pavilion at the World's Fair in Chicago.

He served as vice-president of the Ukrains'kyi robitnychyi soiuz (Ukrainian Workingmen's Association) in 1933-1941 (The organization changed its name to the Ukrainian Fraternal Association in 1978). Its leaders organized the first all-Ukrainian congress in America, supported the Federation of Ukrainians in the U.S., provided the core of support for Oborona Ukrainy, and helped found the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, the United Ukrainian Americans Relief Committee, and the World Congress of Free Ukrainians. Besides its basic duty of paying out insurance to families of deceased members and assisting disabled or unemployed members, Soiuz organized Ukrainian schools, orchestras, and drama groups at its branches and financed publications, bookstores, and libraries. It published the newspaper Narodna volia starting in 1911 and other periodicals, annual calendars, and popular books in Ukrainian and English. The head office and editor's office are housed in the association's own building in Scranton. In 1955, it purchased the Verkhovyna resort in Glen Spey, New York, where it conducted summer camps, cultural workshops, annual art festivals, and sports competitions. In the interwar period, it offered financial aid to various institutions in Ukraine, including the Prosvita reading halls. The presidents of the organization at different periods of time were Iu. Kraikivs'kyi (1919-1922 and 1925-1927), Myroslav Sichyns'kyi (1933-1941), and A. Batiuk (1946-1973). In 1941, Levyts'kyi became chief editor of "Hromads'kyi holos" in New York. In 1945, he participated in the Nationalities Division Conference for Russian War Relief and was appointed to a special committee.

During 1930s-1970s, Volodymyr Levyts'kyi visited Ukraine numerous times. He died 14 February 1980 in New York.

From the description of Volodymyr Levyt︠s︡ʹkyĭ papers, 1880s-1980. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 426033848

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Levyt︠s︡ʹkyĭ, Volodymyr. Volodymyr Levyt︠s︡ʹkyĭ papers, 1880s-1980. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Baz︠h︡an, Mykola Platonovych, 1904-1983. person
associatedWith Defense of Ukraine (Organization) corporateBody
associatedWith Fedenko, Panas. person
associatedWith Hryhoriïv, N. I︠A︡. (Nykyfor I︠A︡.), 1883-1953. person
associatedWith Kent, Rockwell, 1882-1971. person
associatedWith Khrushchev, Nikita Sergeevich, 1894-1971. person
associatedWith Klynovyĭ, I︠U︡riĭ, 1909- person
associatedWith Korotych, Vitaliĭ Oleksiĭovych. person
associatedWith Kosach, I︠U︡riĭ. person
associatedWith Malyshko, Andriĭ, 1912-1970. person
associatedWith Sichynsʹkyĭ, Myroslav, 1887- person
associatedWith Stakhiv, Matviĭ. person
associatedWith Tikhonov, Nikolaĭ Semenovich, 1896-1979. person
associatedWith Tsehlyns'kyi, M. person
associatedWith Ukrainian Workingmen's Association (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Virsʹkyĭ, Pavlo. person
associatedWith Vynnychenko, Volodymyr Kyrylovych, 1880-1951. person
associatedWith Yarmolinsky, Avrahm, 1890-1975. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
New York (N.Y.)
World War, 1939-1945
Ukrainian American newspapers
Songs, Ukrainian
Polish Americans
Ukrainian Americans
World War, 1914-1918
Ukrainian periodicals


Active 1880

Active 1980






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