Alexander Fedynsky served as director of the Ukrainian Museum-Archives in the years 1977-1981. Like his predecessor, Leonid Bachynsky, Fedynsky was a refugee and immigrant from Western Ukraine. Arriving in the U.S. with a Ph.D. in law, he worked in management at a factory, while actively amassing a private collection of Ukrainian books and other printed material. Under his guidance, the UMA continued to function as an institution that worked toward the goal of a free Ukraine and in service to the local community, which meant actively preserving the heritage and history of Ukraine and Ukrainian-Americans.
In addition to actively acquiring periodicals, Fedynsky’s major contribution was his work in compiling bibliographical indexes of the Ukrainian press outside of Ukraine, which were published by the UMA. During his tenure, the UMA published nineteen titles, while also collecting most of the UMA’s émigré literature via Fedynsky’s wide network of acquaintances around the world. In 1981, Fedynsky resigned as director due to ill health.
Andrew Fedynsky was born in 1947 to political refugees living in displaced persons camps in Innsbruck, Austria. He was 8 months old when the family came to America. His older brother George was born in Poland and spent his formative years in a warzone. His younger brother Peter was born in Pennsylvania after they had already emigrated to America. The family moved to Cleveland, OH, when Andriy was 7 years old, where he attended Cleveland Public Schools. Later he graduated from the University of Notre Dame, where he majored in English and German. One of the primary reasons, Andriy went to Notre Dame is because they had a sophomore study abroad program in Innsbruck, which he attended in 1966-1967.
After graduation in 1969, Andriy taught in the Cleveland Public School system for nine years. During that time, he became involved with the Ukrainian dissident movement, Helsinki group and the publishing house Smoloskyp, which published samizdat materials smuggled out of the Soviet Union. He translated Ukrainian dissident literature, gave lectures at various universities, lobbied for human rights, and was even arrested in Belgrade in 1977 at the first Helsinki follow-up conference. He and a few friends had organized a press conference to bring attention to the plight of Ukrainian dissidents, specifically Mykola Rudenko and Oleksa Tykhyj, in order to demonstrate to signatory countries that citizens of Soviet Ukraine that had volunteered to help their country implement the Helsinki Accords were now being arrested and put on trial. Fedynsky was arrested, put on a plane and thrown out of the country, a much milder fate than that faced by many of his contemporaries. Within a year he was offered a position on Capitol Hill to work as a speechwriter and foreign policy aid for Bob Dole in 1978. After going back Cleveland to get a masters degree in history at John Carroll University, he returned to Washington to work for the Congresswoman Mary Rose Oakar who represented Cleveland. As a senior legislative assistant, he worked on issues important to the city of Cleveland, such as development, transportation and foreign policy, as well as the Ukrainian community. Fedynsky was involved in the creation of the Congressional Famine Commission in 1983.
While Fedynsky was working on Capitol Hill, his father Oleksandr became the director of the Ukrainian Museum-Archives in Cleveland. It was during that time that Andrew became aware of the scope and value of the collection there. When his father passed away in 1987, Andrew returned to Cleveland to straighten out the collection. What was meant to be one year stretched into thirty. His boss Mary Rose Oakar allowed him to work half days for her in the district office in Cleveland and then half days at the museum. During that period, Fedynsky oversaw the stabilization of the collection, repairs on the house, and the acquisition of a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grant to construct an archival building. Now, Tremont is one of the premier neighbourhoods in Cleveland, with million dollar properties. For instance, the hall of the Ukrainian American Youth Association was sold for $40,000 and its worth upwards of 2 million now.
The Ukrainian Museum-Archives was also under pressure to move the museum to the suburbs, but Fedynsky resisted that outcome with the help of a number of dedicated people—helpers, colleagues, co-workers—all of whom were all of the opinion that Ukrainian culture belongs at the center of influence, which is the city, where banking, economics, politics, and culture thrive. If the museum was moved to the suburbs, that would have been akin to moving to the village. According to Fedynsky, that has been Ukraine’s problem historically. Ukraine was a rural society with a thriving farming culture, which is wonderful, yielding beautiful handicrafts, Easter eggs, and deep traditions. Citing Mykola Khvylioviy, who saw in the development of the city an opportunity to create an urban Ukrainian culture, Fedynsky believes that maintaining a presence in the city of Cleveland is important for the UMA and further integration into the fabric of a reviving neighbourhood is one of the guiding principles shaping future projects and plans.
- Cuyahoga County, Cleveland, United States of America
- St. Joseph County, Notre Dame, United States of America 46556
- Washington, United States
Christine Panchuk Fedynsky grew up in Chicago where she attended Ukrainian schools and participated in Ukrainian organizations. She was particularly active in the Plast Scouting organization where she served as counsellor and Head Counsellor in summer comps.
Christine received her undergraduate education at the University of Illinois in Chicago with a degree in Pharmacy. She received a Masters of Business Administration degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. She married Andrew Fedynsky in 1988 and settled in Cleveland where she continued to volunteer in community organizations, including Plast, the Ukrainian-language Saturday school, Ridna Shkola as well as the Ukrainian Museum-Archives. She was the inspiration and, for at least a decade, chief organizer of the annual UMA Easter Bazaar, now in its 25th year.
Christine also helps with the preparation of exhibits, lectures and receptions at the UMA, maintains membership rolls and assists with accounting.
- Cleveland Kenilworth Avenue 1202, United States of America 44113
- Cuyahoga County, Cleveland, United States of America
Ladislav Karel Feierabend was an important Czechoslovak politician and economist. From 1938 to 1939 he was the minister of agriculture. After he went into exile in London in 1940, he held the post of Czechoslovak finance minister in the Czechoslovak government-in-exile in London. Feierabend was a member of the Republican Party of Farmers and Peasants and after the war he joined the Czech National Social Party. After the Communist coup in February 1948, Feierabend decided to emigrate from Czechoslovakia. First of all, he went to London and then to the United States of America, where he actively participated in the radio station, Voice of America, between 1965 and 1969. He was also involved in the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences in Washington.
- Kostelec nad Orlicí, Czech Republic
- London, United Kingdom
- Praha, Prague, Czech Republic
- United States
- Villach, Austria
Ferenc Fejtő (1909–2008) was a Hungarian-born French historian, journalist, writer and political scientist. He was born in Nagykanizsa, to a Jewish-Hungarian family of booksellers and publishers. He studied in both Zagreb and Nagykanizsa. Fejtő applied to the Science University of Budapest and at Eötvös Loránd University, but because of the anti-Semitic, “Numerus Clausus” law, he could not attend those schools and instead studied Hungarian, French and German language and literature at the University of Pécs from 1927. Following the abolition of “Numerus Clausus”, Fejtő studied Hungarian and German language and literature at the Science University of Budapest from 1929. He was a member of the Bartha Miklós Society, and joined the illegal communist movement. In 1932, Fejtő was sentenced to one year in prison for organizing a Marxist study group. He diverged from the communists and became a social-democratic journalist. In 1935, together with the poet Attila József and the publicist Pál Ignotus, he founded the anti-Nazi and anti-Stalinist literary periodical Szép Szó. In 1938, following a six-month prison sentence for an article criticizing the German-sympathetic government, he left Hungary and moved to France. In 1943–1944 he took part in the French Resistance.Between 1944 and 1979, Ferenc Fejtő worked as a journalist at the Agence France-Presse (AFP). He retired as a vice editor-in-chief. In 1946 he accepted the request of Mihály Károlyi, ambassador of Hungary in France, to lead the Hungarian press department at the embassy. In 1949 he resigned his position in protest against the show trial of his communist friend, László Rajk, and cut all connections with Hungary. He published his most famous book, A History of the People’s Democracies, in 1952, from which he earned international publicity. (He wrote the extended edition of the book in 1969.) Following the Hungarian Revolution (1956), Fejtő became an active member of Hungarian emigrants in France. In 1958 he became a member of the Association of Hungarian Writers Abroad. Between 1972 and 1984, as France’s most well-known specialist on Central and Eastern Europe, he taught at the Institut d'études politiques de Paris. Fejtő contributed to numerous French and non-French journals (Esprit, Commentaire, Le Monde, Le Figaro, Il Giornale, Magyar Hírlap, etc.). He was the president, as well as a member of, the Hungarian League of Human Rights, as a result of which, in 1988 he played an important role in organizing the symbolic funeral of Imre Nagy, Hungary’s prime minister who was executed in 1958. (Fejtő was one of the speakers at the ceremony held at the Pére Lachaise cemetery, in Paris.) He wrote several books on socialist regimes in Eastern Europe, the history of leftist movements, and Hungarian literature.