University of Minnesota
Digitizing Immigrant Letters

Letters from the Vaclau Panucevich Papers

Seven letters have been selected from the Panucevich Papers housed in the IHRC Archives by a long-term IHRC/A friend, supporter, intern and colleague, Ihar Labacevich, who also transcribed and translated the letters from Belarusian into English, and wrote biographical sketches of the concerned family members. The letters were digitized and included in the DIL project in December 2013. Finding aid for the entire collection, processed also by Ihar Labacevich, can be accessed here.

Panucevich (Papucevich), Vaclau (Вацлаў Пануцэвіч) (1910 – August 25, 1991)

An editor of the “25 Sakavika” magazine, head of the Belarusian Scout Association in diaspora, vice-president of the Belarusian-American Catholic Association, journalist, publisher, translator, historian, political and cultural activist of the Belarusian diaspora in America.

Born in a town of Malaja Olshanka near Grodno. Studied theology in the Catholic seminary. Was expelled from the seminary for his Belarusian national activities. From 1936 studied law at the Vilnia Stephan Batory (Polish: Wilno, Lithuanian: Vilnius) University. A member of the Belarusian Christian Democracy since 1935. Took part in the activities of the “Academic circle of the friends of Belarusian studies” (1936 – 1939). From 1935 was a member of the editorial board of the "Student Tribune" (Studenckaja Trybuna), the youth supplement to the “Bielaruskaja Krynica” newspaper. In An editor of the "25 Sakavika” magazine (1935-1938).
After the split of the BCD in 1936 joined the “Belarusian Front” of the Rev. V. Gadleuski.  Sentenced to a year in Polish prison for his editorial, "The state independence of Belarus" in the issue 8 “Belarusian Front" published on August 30, 1938.
Was drafted into the Polish Army in September 1939. Was captured by Soviets and soon released. Worked as a school teacher of Belarusian language and literature in the city of Harodnia (Grodno). As a member of the local chapter of the Belarusian National Committee (Bielaruski nacyjanalny kamitet) taught in Harodnia teachers courses. Between 1941 and 1944 worked for the German civil administration of the city of Baranavichy.
Since 1944, in exile - first in DP camps in Germany, and after 1949 – in the United States in Chicago. He was a head of the Association of Belarusian Scouts in exile, Secretary of the Belarusian-American National Council (1950), Vice-chairman of the Belarusian-American Catholic Association (May 1950).
"Belarusian publishing company" (“Bielaruskaja Vydavieckaja Siabryna) in the early 1960s. Published religious and historical journals “Belaruskaja Carkva” ("The Belarusian Church") and "Litva".
Translated various Eastern (Byzantine Catholic and Orthodox) and Western (Roman Catholic) liturgical texts into Belarusian.

Married to Irena Klara Panucevich (nee Budzka).

Cheslau Budzka (Чэ́слаў Бу́дзька) (June 29,1913, Vilnia – August 15, 1985, Chicago)
Belarusian activist, historian, teacher. Son of Edward Budzka (see below). Read history in the University of Stephan Batiry in Vilnia. Was a member of the Belarusian Student Union. In 1939 – 1941 lived in Vilnia working in publishing. From 1944 emigrated to Germany and worked as a teacher of Bealrusian history, language and literature in the Belarusian M. Bahdanovich gymnasium (Displaced Persons camps). Moved to Chicago in 1951.

Budźka Eduard (also spelled Budźka Advardy; Будзька Эдуард), teacher, economist, political leader. Eduard Budźka was born in the town of Budsłaŭ (Vialejka district) on March 22, 1882. Budźka entered the Belarusian national movement at an early age and was one of the pioneers in organizing the Belarusian colony in Riga at the turn of the century. He frequently contributed to the newspaper Naša Niva, often visited the editorial offices in Vilna, and was one of the most successful promoters of this newspaper in the countryside. Budźka lived and studied in St. Petersburg where he founded and edited the Belarusian newspaper, Śvietač, in 1916. He maintained close contacts with Belarusians in Miensk and assisted in organizing the Belarusian administration and Belarusian schools in his native region. Eduard Budźka was among the pioneers who convened the Belarusian political conference in Miensk in March of 1917 and the First All-Belarusian Congress in December of the same year. After the December Congress, he became very actively involved in the organization of Belarusian cooperative enterprises and Belarusian schools. Budźka was the secretary of the Commission for the establishment of the Belarusian State University by the Government of the BDR in Miensk, June 1918. He was the initiator in establishing the first Belarusian Teachers' Seminary in the town of Budsłaŭ in 1918. Budźka moved to Latvia from Poland in the early 1920s and was also involved in the organization of the Belarusian school system, and administered the Belarusian Teachers' Courses in Latvia. He returned to Poland and spent the years prior to World War II there.
During World War II Budźka was active in the Belarusian school system and in numerous educational and commercial enterprises. After World War II he emigrated to the United States where he was active from 1950 on in the local Belarusian community. Eduard Budźka died in Chicago August 14, 1958.
During his life he was a very prolific contributor to numerous Belarusian journals and his short reminiscences about the events and the personalities of the Belarusian movement during the first quarter of the century are of especial importance.

 

Panucevich Letter to Klara and Vaclau Panucevich written by their father/father-in-law Eduard Budzka in Munich, Germany, in January 1946.
Panucevich Letter to Eduard Budzka (near Hamburg, Germany) written by his daughter Klara Panucevich aboard the USS "General Ballow" sailing in the North Sea ("German Sea") on May 4, 1950.
Panucevich Letter to Eduard Budzka (near Hamburg, Germany) written by his son-in-law Vaclau Panucevich aboard the USS "General Ballow" sailing in the Canal La Manche on May 5, 1950.
Panucevich Letter to Klara and Vaclau Panucevich (in the United States) written by their father/father-in-law Eduard Budzka in Wentorf, Germany, on May 27, 1950.
Panucevich Letter to Vaclau and Klara Panucevich (in the United States) written by their father and father-in-law Eduard Budzka in Wentorf, Germany, on May 30, 1950.
Panucevich Letter to Klara and Vaclau Panucevich (in Chicago, Illinois) written by their father/father-in-law Eduard Budzka in Wentorf, Germany, on June 6, 1950.
Panucevich Letter to Klara and Vaclau Panucevich (in Chicago, Illinois) written by their father/father-in-law Eduard Budzka in Wentorf, Germany, on July 28, 1950.

 


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