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Subcarpathian Scholarly Society

Subcarpathian Scholarly Society/Podkarpatskoe obshchestvo nauk - the first scholarly and cultural institution in Subcarpathian Rus’ to adopt an unequivocal pro-Rusyn orientation. The Subcarpathian Scholarly Society was founded in January 1941 in Uzhhorod at the initiative of Miklos *Kozma, the regent-commissar of the Hungarian-ruled Subcarpathian territory. The society’s goal was “to contribute toward the creation of a distinct national identity among Rusyns” as part of a Hungarian political nation. In this regard its first main task was to codify a Rusyn literary language.

In contrast to the interwar *Prosvita and *Dukhnovych Societies, the 35-member Subcarpathian Scholarly Society functioned as a kind of Rusyn academy of sciences, organized into sections for science, arts and ethnography, and the Rusyn language and literature. It was given the building of the former Prosvita Society and the printshop owned by the *Shkol’naia pomoshch’ philanthropic organization. The first chairman was the Hungarian historian of Rusyn origin residing in Budapest, Antal *Hodinka (1941-1942), the second the local Greek Catholic canon Aleksander *Il’nyts’kyi (1942-1944); its vice-chairman was the Subcarpathian historian Irynei *Kontratovych. The society was actually run, however, by its director, Ivan *Haraida. Activists from all national orientations were accepted as members as long as they adopted a loyal position toward Hungary and “did not look toward the north [Ukraine], or east [Russia].” Hence, among its ranks were the pro-Hungarians Antal Hodinka, Aleksander *Bonkalo, Hiiador *Stryps’kyi, Bishop Aleksander *Stoika and Iulii *Maryna; the Russophiles Petro *Sova, Konstantyn Stryps’kyi, and Vasylii Sulinchak; the Ukrainophiles Mykola *Lelekach and Aleksander *Markush; and the Rusynophiles Ivan Haraida, Emilian *Bokshai, Ivan *Muranii, Aleksander Il’nyts’kyi; and the artists Adal’bert *Erdeli, Iosyf *Bokshai, and Andrii *Kotska.

Under the editorship of Haraida, the Subcarpathian Scholarly Society published a bi-weekly literary, scholarly, and civic affairs magazine, *Lyteraturna nedila; a scholarly journal, *Zoria/Hajnal; a youth journal, *Rus’ka molodezh; an annual almanac, *Velykyi sel’sko-hospodarskyi kalendar’; and several series of books: Narodna byblioteka (30 vols.), Ditocha byblioteka (9 vols.), and Lyteraturno-naukova byblioteka (41 vols.), which included original literary works, translations, scholarly monographs, and children’s books.

The society’s first publication was Ivan Haraida’s Rusyn grammar (Hramatyka rus’koho iazyka, 1941), which provided the guidelines for the Rusyn literary standard used in all other publications. Of great significance for scholarly research was the first comprehensive bibliography about all aspects of Subcarpathian Rus’ compiled by Mykola Lelekach and Ivan Haraida (Zahal’na bybliohrafiia Podkarpatia, 1944; repr. 2000). Literary works by authors of all national orientations appeared in the society’s publications, prompting Fedor *Potushniak to remark that the work of the Subcarpathian Scholarly Society “was the golden age of our literature.”

Bibliography: Myroslava O. Petskar, “Rol’ ‘Podkarpatskoho Obshchestva Nauk’ u formuvanni ideolohii ‘uhrorusyzmu’ ta rozvytku nauky i kul’tury, 1941-1944 rr.,” in Molod’-Ukraini, No. 2 (Uzhhorod, 1994), pp. 61-66; Gyorgy Czatary, ed., Zoria-Hajnal: a Karpataljai Tudomanyos Tarsasag, 1941-1944 (Berehovo and Budapest, 1945); Valerii Padiak, “Trahichna dolia fundamental’noi bibliohrafichnoi pratsi Pidkarpattia,” in Nykolai Lelekach and Yvan Haraida, Zahal’na bybliohrafiia Podkarpatia, 2nd rev. ed. (Uzhhorod, 2000), pp. 187-196.

Ivan Pop

Entry courtesy of Encyclopedia of Rusyn History and Culture.
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