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Євген Зиблікевич

Building of the Institute
Будинок Інституту імені В’ячеслава Липинського
Building of the W. K. Lypynsky Institute

Східньо‑Европейський Дослідний Інститут імені В.К. Липинського був заснований у 1963-му році з ініціативи групи українських громадських діячів Філадельфії — В. Кострубяка, Д. Демчука, В. Лотоцького, В. Чуми, на чолі з Євгеном Зиблікевичем.

Євген Зиблікевич (1895-1987) був визначним українським громадським, культурним та політичним діячем. Народжений у Самборі (Україна), він брав активну участь в українській революції та визвольній боротьбі за українську державність (1917-1920), з відзначенням виконував службу сотника в корпусі Січових Стрільців — елітарному військовому з’єднанні української армії. Він був також провідним членом Української Військової Організації.

За професією Є. Зиблікевич журналіст. Він був редактором таких українських газет: "Український голос" (1926-1930), "Бескид" (1931-1933) та "Змаг" (1935‑1937) у Перемишлі, "Новий час" (1937‑1939) у Львові, а після переїзду до США у 1949 році — газети "Америка" (1953‑1962) у Філадельфії.

Від початку 1930 до пізніх 1950 років він був провідним діячем гетьманського руху, а згодом став найвидатнішою постаттю консервативного напрямку в українській діаспорі.

Є. Зиблікевич був також палким ентузіастом спорту і головою двох українських спортивних клубів: "Сян" у Перемишлі і "Тризуб" у Філадельфії. Перебудова "Тризуба" під час його керівництва увінчалася здобуттям чотирьох чемпіонатів США футбола.

Останній період свого життя С. Зиблікевич присвятив Східноєвропейському Дослідному Інститутові ім. В.К. Липинського. Будучи його президентом від 1963 до 1986 року, він, зокрема, організовував видавничу діяльність, результатом якої було видання семи томів, придбав будинок Інституту та цінні архівні фонди і роздобував фінанси для діяльності Інституту.

 

Eugene Zyblikewycz

The W.K. Lypynsky East European Research Institute founded in 1963 by Eugene Zyblikewycz and a group of Ukrainian community activists (Wolodymyr Chuma, Wasyl Kostrubiak, Dmytro Lewchuk, Wolodymyr Lototsky). Eugene Zyblikewycz (1895-1987) was a prominent figure in Ukrainian social, cultural, and political life. Born in Sambir, Ukraine, he participated in the Ukrainian Revolution and the War of Independence (1917-1920), serving with distinction as captain of the corps of Sichovi Striltsi, the elite combat unit of the Ukrainian army. He also became a leading member of the Ukrainian Military Organization.

A journalist by profession, E. Zyblikewycz was an editor of several Ukrainian newspapers: in Peremyshl — Ukrains’kyi Holos (1926-1930), Beskyd (1931-1932), Zmah (1935-1937); in Lviv — Novyi Chas (1937-1939), and after emigrating to the USA in 1949, in Philadelphia — Ameryka (1953‑1962). From the early 1930s to the late 1950s he was an influential activist in the Hetmanite movement, and later became the most prominent conservative figure in the Ukrainian diaspora.

E. Zyblikewycz was also an avid sport enthusiast and the president of two Ukrainian sport clubs: Sian in Peremyshl and Ukrainian Nationals in Philadelphia. The restructuring of the Philadelphia club during his tenure was the basis for capturing four US soccer championships.

From 1963 until 1986, E. Zyblikewycz devoted himself totally to the East European Research Institute, serving as president during this period. In particular, he should be credited with organizing the Institute’s publication activities, which yielded seven volumes (see Publications), acquiring the Institute’s present building and invaluable archival collections, and conducting successful fundraising campaigns.

 

 

 

Ярослав Пеленський

Ярослав Пеленський — багаторічний президент Інституту імені В.К. Липинського, засновник Фундації імені В’ячеслава Липинського (у 2016-му році) — професор російської, радянської і східноєвропейської історії в Університеті Айова та головний редактор журналу "Віднова". Доктор історичних наук Мюнхенського Університету (1957) і Колумбійського Університету (1968). Автор книжок Russia and Kazan: Conquest and Imperial Ideology, 1438‑1560s (1974) та The Contest for the Legacy of Kievan Rus' (1998) і понад 150 статей, нарисів і рецензій на російські, українські та польські теми. Редактор книг: The American and European Revolutions, 1776-1848 (1980), State and Society in Europe from the Fifteenth to the Eighteenth Century (1985), The Political and Social Ideas of Vjačeslav Lypynskyj (1985/1987). Ярослав Пеленський був організатором трьох міжнародних конференцій істориків (1974 і 1979 року в Польщі та 1976 року в США), а також координатором низки конференцій, присвячених українським проблемам.

 

Jaroslaw Pelenski

Jaroslaw Pelenski — a long-term President of the Lypynsky Institute, founder of the Lypynsky Foundation (in 2016) is professor of Russian, Soviet, and East European history at the University of Iowa, and editor of the journal Vidnova (Renewal). He holds doctorates in history from Munich University (1957) and Columbia University (1968). He is the author of Russia and Kazan: Conquest and Imperial Ideology, 1438-1560s (1974), The Contest for the Legacy of Kievan Rus' (1998), and over 150 articles, essays and reviews on Russian, Ukrainian, and Polish topics. Also he has edited several books: The American and European Revolutions 1776‑1848 (1980), State and Society in Europe from the Fifteenth to the Eighteenth Century (1985), and The Political and Social Ideas of Vjačeslav Lypyns’kyj (1985/1987), . Jaroslaw Pelenski has organized three international historical conferences (1974 and 1979 in Poland; 1976 in USA), and coordinated a number of Ukrainian affairs conferences.

 

 

Бібліографія Ярослава Пеленьського
The Bibliography of Jaroslaw Pelenski

 

 

МИРОСЛАВ ПОПОВИЧ

ЯРОСЛАВ ПЕЛЕНСЬКИЙ

 

Тепер уже можна сказати, що Ярослав Пеленський належить до старшої генерації галичан, які добре акліматизувалися в діаспорі і зберегли не лише тугу за батьківщиною, а й найтісніший духовний зв’язок із нею. Іноземний Академік Національної Академії Наук України і директор її Інституту східноєвропейських досліджень [з 2001 р. — Інституту європейських досліджень — Ред.] у Києві, президент Східноєвропейського дослідного інституту імені Вячеслава Липинського у Філадельфії і професор emeritus Айовського університету (США), Ярослав Пеленський працює на перехресті доль української історичної науки в діаспорі і в рідному домі. Ярослав Пеленський належить до старої національної інтелігентської родини, не менш відомої в західноукраїнських землях, ніж Огоновські, Барвінські чи Шухевичі. Небагато було надій у людей старших поколінь на те, що їм доведеться працювати на землі незалежної України в спільному з місцевими інтелігентами колективі, маючи можливість вільно висловлювати свої думки і публічно захищати точки зору. Хоч би як було важко сьогодні в Україні, можемо сказати: яке щастя, що врешті так склалося.

Говорячи про політичний бік справи, не можна не зазначити іще однієї обставини. Для нас, громадян колишнього СРСР, попри всю самокритичність і готовність сприйняти кращі здобутки національної думки в діаспорі, була несподіванкою різноманітність політичної палітри українського зарубіжжя. Такі особистості, як Лисяк-Рудницький чи Пеленський, виявились надзвичайно далекими від наших уявлень про діаспорного самостійника. Варто підкреслити, що Ярослав Пеленський був помітною фігурою в демократичному русі, що об’єднував різних представників антитоталітарної опозиції. З 1984 р. Пеленський став членом редакційної колегії знаменитого журналу “Континент”. Він був організатором і головним редактором видання, яке свого часу було, наважуся сказати, чи не найбільш універсальним і глибоким українським періодичним виданням. Це — журнал-альманах “Відмова”, де членами редакційної колегії були Єжи Ґєдройц, Мілован Джілас, Владімір Максимов, Мойсей Фішбейн та інші знані особистості.

Та насамперед Пеленський є істориком, науковцем. Переважна більшість праць історика Пеленського видрукувані англійською мовою в різних зарубіжних виданнях. Можна сказати, що, попри свою орієнтованість на українську проблематику, Ярослав Пеленський залишається відомим американським істориком, і ось недавно, 1998 року, вийшла в світ у США англійською мовою його надзвичайно цікава монографія — “Боротьба за спадщину Київської Русі” . Його перша солідна монографія (“Росія і Казань: завоювання та імперська ідеологія“) також надрукована англійською мовою. Це також стосується численних статей, збірників під редакцією і за участю професора Пеленського, матеріалів конференцій, які були ним організовані і публікація яких ішла під його редакцією тощо.

Неважко помітити, що тематика досліджень Ярослава Пеленського зумовлена науковими мотивами, хоч має ідеологічне та політичне значення. Зокрема, предметом обох згаданих монографій є російський великодержавний фактор в східноєвропейській та українській історії. В праці, присвяченій історії завоювання Казані та відображення цього акту в державній російській самосвідомості, в центрі уваги опинився поворотний пункт в становленні імперської ідеології. Саме тут, а не в часи офіційного проголошення Російської імперії Петром І, дослідник вбачає появу месіаністських імперських претензій російської держави на виключну роль у світовій історії і міжнародних справах. Історія Московського царства часів Івана Грозного стала знову об’єктом досліджень Ярослава Пеленського в новому контексті — контексті боротьби за політикоправову спадщину Київської Русі, якій присвячена його остання книжка. Ретельний аналіз джерел дозволив авторові показати, що, починаючи з певного періоду, для північного сусіда йшлося не про засвоєння спадщини і продовження політичної та правової традиції, а саме про підкорення конкурента і сильного супротивника. Всі колізії подальшої історії постають в цілком новому світлі.

Необхідно одразу зазначити, що ідеологічно заангажова них публікацій на подібні теми в діаспорі було чимало. “Боротьба України з Москвою” належить до улюблених сюжетів націоналістично налаштованих авторів. Згадавши про ідеологічне значення досліджень Пеленського, я хотів якраз протиставити їх численним упередженим і теоретично нецікавим статтям і книжкам. Мотиви праць Пеленського мають політичні джерела, але самі його дослідження в жодному випадку не є ідеологічно заан гажованими. Пеленський — винятково об’єктивний і глибокий вчений, він не боїться виглядати зацікавленим і гострим в постановці проблем, але не виходить на рівень політичної публіцистики і завжди намагається розглянути всі альтернативні гіпотези на добрій доказовій фактологічній базі.

Добрим прикладом може бути невелика розвідка про розмах єврейських погромів в часи Хмельниччини (опублікована 1998 р. в збірнику “Українсько-єврейські відносини в історичній перспективі”, Едмонтон, англійською мовою, доповідалась у Києві під час однієї з конференцій). Надзвичайно дражлива тема сама по собі, абсолютно засекречена для радянської науки, порушувалась під кутом зору не менш дражливим: дослідник наважився кількісно оцінити втрати єврейського населення в ті роки і поставив під сумнів наведені в єврейських джерелах дані. Об’єктивність історика зняла можливі емоційні підтексти. Я. Пеленський переконливо показав, що некритично прийняті багатьма авторами оцінки просто неможливі, і вивів найвірогіднішу кількість жертв. Оцінки Я. Пеленського мають принципове значення. Вони показують, що жертви єврейських погромів були в межах, звичних для Європи періоду релігійних війн, і свідчать таким чином не про якусь особливу українську агресивність, а про “нормальний” жах “нормального” фанатизму, нетерпимості і обскурантизму. Водночас це не знімає необхідності визнання історичного факту — геноциду євреїв в Україні часів Хмельниччини з усіма моральними наслідками. Розвідка Пеленського займає десяток сторінок.

В Україні добре відома діяльність Пеленського археографа, людини, що підготувала видання творів Вячеслава Липинського, і — що мені уявляється найбільш цікавою і важливою для дослідників публікацією — мемуарів гетьмана Павла Скоропадського, а також вченого, що впровадив у науковий обіг державницьку школу в українській історіографії та політології.

Вячеслав Липинський взагалі репрезентований в сьогоднішній Україні завдяки невтомній і старанній праці академіка Пеленського. Серед ідеологів українського і світового консерватизму Вячеслав Липинський є видатною особистістю. Сполучаючи “консервативний стиль мислення" (Мангайм) з яскраво вираженим елітаризмом, Липинський дуже відрізняється від консервативних мислителів Європи і Америки свого часу. Липинський — антидемократ, але в цьому антидемократизмі є чимало привабливих рис. Він був антидемократом не тому, що взагалі орієнтувався на сильну особистість чи монархічну традицію, а тому, що демократія в Україні його часу легко вироджувалась в море охлократичного хаосу, в безліч “режимів особистої влади” у вигляді отаманщини. Власне елітарна концепція Липинського не має органічної вади у вигляді орієнтації на корпоративне суспільство з диктатурою, як це можна сказати, наприклад, про ідеологію Парето. З іншого боку, як поляк за походженням і римокатолик за віросповіданням, патріот України і політичний українець Липинський подавав приклад коректності в національній поведінці, орієнтації не на ірраціональне “українське єство”, а на раціоналізовані цінності. Липинський був попередником сучасного консервативного лібералізму чи ліберального консерватизму, і для України, яка знає праву політичну ідеологію переважно у радикально‑вульгарному вигляді, знайомство зі спадщиною Липинського вкрай актуальне.

Що ж до мемуарів Скоропадського, то вони дали змогу яскраво репрезентувати нинішньому читачеві колізії часів громадянської війни, теж надзвичайно повчальні. З легкої руки ідеологів національної екстреми 1920-1930х років прижилося в нашій літературі звинувачення українських демократів Центральної Ради та Директорії в м’якотілості та соціалізмі, що нібито згубило українську національну ідею. Спогади Скоропадського та факти і документи вносять деяку поправку в ці небезпечні опінії. Центральна Рада ліквідувала єдину свою можливу військову опору — українізований корпус Скоропадського, бо вбачала в ньому елітарносоціальну і російську небезпеку. Винниченко завжди називав гетьмана не інакше як “російський генерал Скоропадський”. Між іншим, Пеленський наполіг на публікації мемуарів так, як вони були написані — бо по українському генерал добре писати не вмів. Нетерплячість, вузький націоналізм і відсутність політичного такту — ось як би я назвав витоки конфлікту Центральної Ради з майбутнім гетьманом, а соціалізм тут ні до чого. Зрештою, це вже інтерпретація.

Неважко помітити і особливу політичну позицію Ярослава Пеленського, яку я визначив би як консервативний національний демократизм. Мушу одразу сказати, що я не поділяю цієї ідеології, залишаючись в певному розумінні лівим інтелектуалом соціалдемократичної орієнтації. Але з Пеленським мені завжди легко розмовляти, оскільки ми знаходимося ніби в одному політичному просторі. Визнання — більше того, я б сказав, органічне прийняття фундаментальних людських цінностей якраз і створює той простір, в якому суперництво ідей залишається конструктивним, людським і людяним.

Навіть у політиці. А діяльність Ярослава Пеленського, натхненна ідеалами свободи і національної незалежності, проходила і проходить насамперед в науці, в чистій атмосфері безстороннього аналізу.

Все таки нам, старшому поколінню, поталанило: ми працюємо разом, в одному культурному і політичному просторі, і вкрай необхідно, щоб духовна атмосфера в ньому була чистою і прозорою.

Залишається побажати вченому довгих років життя і праці, собі на здоров’я, нам на радість.

 

Myroslav Popovych,
National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

 

 

 

 

JANUSZ DUZINKIEWICZ

PORTRAIT OF A SCHOLAR: JAROSLAW PELENSKI

 

State-building, nation-building, imperial expansion and ideology, systemic comparisons, the circulation of elites, historical objectivity, calculated distortions of history, and the need for a historical basis to social cohesion have all been central concerns in Jaroslaw Pelenski’s scholarship. These theoretical issues have been applied to a variety of related topics: Russian imperial expansion into the Mongol-Turkic world, the contest for the inheritance of Kyivan Rus’ – a struggle that continues today in different guise; the political system of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth; the development of twentieth century Ukrainian national thought; and, finally, the nationalities problem of the former Soviet Union. In his scholarship, then, Pelenski has sought historical truth with contemporary relevance. This volume reflects his diverse intellectual interests and is a tribute from his colleagues, students and friends.

At the time of Pelenski’s birth (12 April 1929) in Warsaw of Ukrainian ancestry, Poland had completed its first decade of restored independence. Poland’s rebirth, resulting from the determined efforts of individuals dedicated to a national ideal or ideals, had been an emphatic, final yes to the question asked in a treatise shortly after the last partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1795: Czy Polacy wybić się mogą na niepodleglość? (Can Poles Fight Their Way through to Independence?), attributed to Jozef Pawlikowski with the possible participation of Tadeusz Kościuszko. The authors had concluded that independence could only come from the Poles’ own efforts, not through foreign help. History verified this. And yet, Poland’s success in securing its own independence after World War I and the vitality of the national tradition that would keep alive the hope for sovereignty, even under subsequent foreign totalitarian rule, were not unqualified accomplishments. As Poles recovered statehood, other nations rooted in the former Commonwealth, and with whom Poland had complex familial relationships, also strove for self-determination and in some cases for independence from the newly restored Polish state. Foremost among these were the Ukrainians whose tradition Pelenski shared and which he would scrutinize over decades of scholarship.

The problem of statehood and sovereignty would become central in Pelenski’s intellectual endeavors while history, a passion since childhood, would seem to hold the key to understanding both statehood and nationality. The operating assumption would be that present political realities are grounded in the past. Thus, radically honest knowledge of the past provides the understanding necessary to change current realities.

Pelenski’s earliest education was in Polish public schools (1935-1939) and with their closure during the German occupation, he received home schooling from his father, Bohdan Pelenski, a Latin and Greek teacher, who had recently taught at the Arciszowa private gymnasium in Lublin. His mother, Stefania (nee Moklovych), was likewise a teacher by profession. Also quite influential was Vasyl Kuchabs’kyi, a family friend and one of the leading representatives of the Ukrainian state school which stressed the role of the state in the nation-building process and which attributed the failure of the Ukrainian national movement to internal causes rather than outside factors. This orientation included the Ukrainianized Pole, Viacheslav Lypyns’kyi (Waclaw Lipinski), whose historical writings and political theories would become a lifelong source of intellectual fascination and inspiration for Pelenski.

After moving from Lublin back to Warsaw during the war, the Pelenski family was fortunate to leave a week before the Warsaw Uprising (August–October, 1944) to escape Soviet Russian occupation and settled temporarily in Western Germany. Pelenski attended an Oberrealschule in Wurzburg from 1946 to 1948, followed by two semesters at Wurzburg University and a doctoral program at Munich Ludwig Maximilian University (1949-1955). This was a critically formative period for him, as it is for most scholars. At WUrzburg, he learned historical methodology from Michael Seidlmayer who stressed the decisive importance of primary sources - an influence evident in all of Pelenski’s work.

At the University of Munich, Pelenski studied medieval European history, modem European history, Eastern European history, philosophy and German literature and encountered scholars of unusualintegrity. Among the formative influences were Alois Wenzl, Alois Dempf and especially his two dissertation directors, Franz Schnabel and Hans Koch, as well as Heinz Gollwitzer. Wenzl, Dempf and Hans Meyer (the latter of WUrzburg) taught Pelenski the importance of a solid philosophic foundation for good history. The latter philosophers adhered to the German school of critical realism. To some extent Neo-Kantian, this philosophic approach accepted the world as reality but cautioned that human understanding of that reality is by definition imperfect and must be taken critically. A solid command of sources and a well-reasoned philosophic framework are characteristic of Pelenski’s scholarship.

To this day, Pelenski regards Schnabel, his first dissertation director, as a truly exceptional individual. Forced prematurely by the Hitler regime into retirement for “not understanding the new Germany”, Schnabel was a Catholic, South German constitutional democrat whose anti-fascist and anti-communist convictions were well-known. Courage in the hostile real world where conviction could cost a person dearly often fosters the intellectual courage necessary for scholarly integrity.

The second dissertation director, Hans Koch, was the foremost German expert on Ukraine with an amazing knowledge of Poland and Russia. Among his topics of research and publication were the Orthodox Church, Protestant theology, Petrine reforms and Ukrainian poets whose selected works Koch had translated into German. Outside of academia, Koch had fought as a captain in the Ukrainian Army (1918-1920), served as an expert on Ukraine to Admiral Canaris, was close to the leaders of the anti-Hitler conspiracy which led to the attempt on Hitler’s life on 20 July 1944, and would act as Konrad Adenauer’s advisor and translator on his 1955 trip to Moscow that resulted in the Soviet Union’s official recognition of the German Federal Republic. Koch advised Pelenski to write a dissertation on the little known Lypyns’kyi rather than Mykhailo Hrushevs’kyi about whom Pelenski had originally intended to write. The compromise would be "Der ukrainische Nationalgedanke im Lichte der Werke M. Hruśevs'kyjs und V. Lypyns’kyjs” (The Ukrainian National Thought in the Light of the Works of M. Hrushevs’kyi and V. Lypyns’kyi), defended in 1957. Prior to Pelenski’s dissertation there had been no scholarly study of Lypyns’kyi or the Ukrainian state school.

By examining Lypyns’kyi, Pelenski focused on an unusual figure in the Ukrainian national movement. Within its independence wing (as opposed to federalist wing), Lypyns’kyi was a democrat but not a populist. A Pole by birth – his family had moved to Podolia in Ukraine from Mazovia in 1763 – Lypyns’kyi came to identify with Ukraine during his gymnasium years, somewhat to the bemusement of his Polish noble family. He did not, however, reject his nobility and, quite contrary to the rest of the Ukrainian patriots, he stressed the historical role of the nobility in Ukrainian history and in what he saw as their future key role in an independent Ukraine. For Lypyns’kyi, nationality was determined by the territory on which an individual lived, worked and, as its loyal citizen, participated in society. The Polonized and Russified Ukrainian elites could play a vital role in creating the nation. He himself never abandoned his Roman Catholicism and never scorned his Polish ethnic background. Thus, his uniqueness, in part, lay in his political and non-ethnic concept of nation that was in some way reminiscent of the politically oriented system of the old Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, as well as West European and American theories of nation and state. Lypyns’kyi thus became the principle founder of the Ukrainian state school.

The importance of the Ukrainian state school lay not only in the difficult questions of historical responsibility it posed but also in the central importance it gave to the state and its elite. Contrary to the majority populist view among Ukrainian intellectuals including Hrushevs’kyi, adherents to the state school believed that the state and its elite play the decisive role in defining and incarnating the idea of a Ukrainian nation. The majestic beauty of the Dnipro River or the subtle lyricism of Shevchenko’s poetry do not suffice to guarantee the continued existence of the Ukrainian nation. The state school followed Lypyns’kyi’s dictum: “Through state to nation”, meaning that without a state there can be no nation, only a people in an ethnic sense. From this perspective, the elite, rather than the people, play the decisive role in nation-building. The Ukrainian state school was not, however, exclusively conservative in its political orientation; it included democrats and even leftists.

The central role and indispensability of the state and its ruling elite made the state school similar to the state-oriented attitude among the Poles who, in the end, had overcome internal political divisions – aswell as ethnic variations – and had succeeded in restoring the Polish state. Self‑reliance was vital and ideological differences needed to be subordinated to the goal of independence. But the intellectual inspiration for the Ukrainian state school came from the writings not only of Poles but also Austrian and German historians. While admiration for Prussian authoritarianism is commonly associated by liberal American historians with the state school of history, it is not a necessary characteristic. Otto Hinze, for instance, coupled the importance of the state with the problem of freedom and constitutionalism. From the time of Leopold von Ranke, the state school spread throughout the West, including the United States and East Central Europe, as well as to Russia. Its extension to Ukraine was natural. Pelenski encountered the school at home and in his university studies, making it one of his central interests thereafter.

During his university studies in Germany, Pelenski worked for the American occupational forces, initially briefly at the United States Army Post Office and subsequently in the American court system as a translator. His first contact with Americans was quite congenial and he was well aware of the workings of the American system before he came to the United States. The exposure to America, which would become stronger within a decade, completed the array of national influences on Pelenski. Onto his Ukrainian base had been added, in order of significance, Polish, German and American cultures. Cross- cultural experiences were, thus, a basic reality for him and respect for different societies became a fundamental value.

Also outside of academia, Pelenski served on the editorial board (1954-1960) of Suchasna Ukraina (Contemporary Ukraine), a Ukrainian-language biweekly which was the first in the post-World War II period to take a new approach toward the situation in Soviet Ukraine and to work towards a normalization of Ukrainian-Polish relations, among others. Multicultural experiences promoted tolerance and respect as well as the determination to ask hard questions – the unforgiving honesty required for true scholarship – that cut through the self-defeating national exclusivism and sense of superiority at the core of integral nationalism. Pelenski and the staff of Suchasna Ukraina viewed the antagonism of Poles and Ukrainians as an unfortunate rift between old neighbors or siblings. A workable relationship, in their eyes, should acknowledge kinship and mutual respect. In the near halfcentury since 1956, Pelenski participated in and helped organize almost every significant Ukrainian-Polish conference. Strongly convinced of the need for normalization not only of Ukrainian-Polish but also of Ukrainian-Russian, as well as Ukrainian-Jewish relations and advocating the concept of the so-called realitety (the new realities) of Ukrainian politics, his experience at Suchasna Ukraina and thereafter resulted in a substantial publicistic legacy.

Though offered an assistantship in European history at several German academic institutions, Pelenski moved to the United States in 1957. He preferred US citizenship because of the relatively neutral American stance towards Eastern Europe. On his departure from Germany, his intellectual persona had largely been formed although American scholarship, a second doctorate with its focus on Moscow, and decades of university teaching would be significant new influences. The United States became a base for continued, nationally diverse, scholarly activity.

From 1958 to 1961, Pelenski taught German literature and language at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Completing a study of Ukrainian-Soviet historiography in the post-World War II period, he received a certificate from the Russian Institute at Columbia University and began work on a second doctorate at Columbia. These studies, which concluded with comprehensive exams in 1964, were initially financed through a Ford Foundation Scholarship. From 1964 to 1967 he was an assistant professor of history at American University in Washington, D.C.

More important than any educational or professional experience has been Pelenski’s marriage to Christina Buk in 1963. Their lifelong partnership of mutual devotion brought constant inspiration, a new perspective, and tireless assistance. Mrs. Pelenski, with professional artistic and intellectual interests of her own, is her husband’s most constructive critic. Not surprisingly, his principal published works are dedicated to his wife.

At Columbia, Pelenski, already having one doctorate behind him, was practically on his own in his scholarly endeavors. Nonetheless, four Columbia scholars provided amicable academic guidance. Henry L. Roberts, director of the Russian and East Central European Institute, stressed the paramount importance of national interests. He was a liberal who expressed authentically Americanthought and embodied the best of American academia. Pelenski’s formal director, Marc Raeff, shared an interest in empire as an operative factor in the development of the Russian state. Ihor Sevcenko awakened Pelenski’s interest in the antiquarian aspect of medieval Slavic studies, and Tibor Halasi-Kun introduced him to the field of Turcology. Zbigniew Brzezinski who impressed Pelenski with his radical thinking, anti-communism, genuine liberalism, focus on national interest and acceptance of Ukrainians as swoi (one’s own) – an attitude seeking to heal the Polish-Ukrainian rift — should also be mentioned.

With these influences, Pelenski’s study of the problem of Ukraine logically led to a study of Russian imperialism. In 1968, he completed a second dissertation, entitled, “Muscovite Imperial Claims to the Kazan Khanate: A Case Study in the Emergence of Imperial Ideology” (Columbia, 1968) which in revised form was published as Russia and Kazan: Conquest and Imperial Ideology (1438-1560s) (Paris and the Hague: Mouton, 1974).

Pelenski’s examination of Muscovite claims to its Tatar neighbors revealed three phenomena: a systematic manipulation of the past by the Russian church and state authorities for current political goals, a magnification or fabrication of claims whose new status as “facts” legitimized aggression and an extraordinary durability of distorted historical memory. Initial political claims to the Kazan Khanate were supplemented after its conquest in 1552 with Moscow’s Orthodox mission and by claims that Kazan had always been an ethnically Russian land. The subsequent conquest of Astrakhan (1556) in the Volga delta was justified by the consciously erroneous identification of Astrakhan with Tmutorokan, an ancient town on the Black Sea, several hundred kilometers distant, on the strait between the Black and Azov Seas. Pelenski demonstrated that expansion, officially viewed as justified recovery of Russian lands, became a central tenet of tsarist ideology.

Work on Russia and Kazan coincided with a career and geographic move. In August 1967, Pelenski accepted a teaching position with the History Department of the University of Iowa where he remained until his retirement in December 1998, except for teaching appointments at Columbia University in 1968 and at Harvard University in 1974 and numerous extensive sojourns to Poland, Russia and Ukraine. For three decades the department would offer anexceptionally congenial atmosphere and, as Pelenski claims, there is no better place to get work done than Iowa City. The Iowa years were devoted to research, teaching and actively organizing numerous scholarly conferences.

As he completed Russia and Kazan shortly after moving to Iowa City, Pelenski began to trace Muscovite imperialism in Ukrainian history. His subsequent work focussed on the struggle over the legacy of Kyivan Rus’ and comparisons of the political systems that vied for control. Thus, he began a series of articles examining the struggle for post-Kyivan Rus’, most of which were published in The Contest for the Legacy of Kievan Rus' (Boulder: East European Monographs, 1998). Beginning as ecclesiastic claims of continuity ("translation" theory) from Kyiv to Vladimir-Suzdal and subsequently Moscow, the modem “Russian national theory of monolinear and exclusive right to the legacy of Kyivan Rus’” acquired durability and uncritical acceptance not only in Russia where it tinged the Soviet theory of three East Slavic heirs (Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians) but also in the West. The successful propagation of these questionable claims would have the most real consequences for the successors to Kyivan Rus’.

But Moscow’s claims were not alone. Pelenski explicated in numerous studies the various claims for succession to Kyivan Rus’. Within Rus’ four principalities vied for the unified inheritance: Chernihivia, Galicia-Volynia, Vladimiria-Suzdalia and Smolensk. Each claimant was rooted in the significant regional diversity that had characterized the Kyivan state. Neither initially the more persistent (Chernihivia) nor the most legitimate (Galicia-Volynia) succeeded; much more successful was Muscovy (heir to Vladimiria-Suzdalia) whose frontier identity and interests, unlike the others, had been pursued directly against Kyiv itself. Muscovite rulers claimed “the whole land of Rus’” although their Vladimirian predecessors had sacked Kyiv and the Muscovites themselves inspired others to do so.

Pelenski argued that the struggle for the inheritance of Kyivan Rus’ was not only “a gathering of Rus’ian lands” by Moscow against other successor states. By the fourteenth century, the contest involved powers outside of the original Kyivan state. Lithuania became the major claimant against the hegemony of the Golden Horde over Rus’. (Moscow, itself, was an obedient vassal of the Tatars.) Of particular significance are Pelenski’s insights into this neglected contest betweenLithuania and the Golden Horde and the resultant cleavage of Rus’ into two different civilizations: the West and the East.

As the contest over the inheritance of Kyivan Rus’ became a duel between Lithuania and Muscovy, part of Rus’ was transferred from Lithuania to Poland in the institutional, jurisdictional realignments of the critical Union of Lublin (1569). Pelenski examined in detail the dynamic and legal progression of this transfer. Restitution of severed lands, the law of conquest and an absence of religious pretensions characterized the Polish claims to the Ukrainian lands of Kyivan Rus’. While Lithuanians resisted the transfer, the Ukrainian secular elite itself did not, nor did it press for any recognition of its own separate nationhood within the “Republic of Two Nations”. The absence of any move towards defining a nation of Rus’ within the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth must be attributed to the Ukrainian elites who were primarily concerned with the advantages of direct participation in the flexible and relatively religiously tolerant Polish political system.

In contrast, Pelenski’s studies of the Muscovite political system demonstrate Russia’s ideological indebtedness to Byzantine imperial autocracy and universal empire and its practical indebtedness to the Mongol-Tatar institutions and practices. The Eastern Roman theory of a universal empire with the emperor as God’s sole representative on earth bolstered the patrimonial rule of the Vladimir-Suzdal and eventually Muscovite prince. The zemskii sobor, that inspired visions of parliaments among some historians in Russia and the West, was essentially a Russian version of the Mongol-Tatar soyurghal, a pliant advisory body convened solely at the ruler’s wish. If the zemskii sobor was similar in any way to nascent parliaments in the medieval West, it failed to exercise any effective leverage against the ruler nor, apparently, did it possess the will to do so. Thus, the Muscovite political system continued to develop as a patrimonial imperial autocracy in which a dividing line between state and society was drawn solely by the internal proficiency of state power, not by an effective creation and defense of estate or corporate privileges. The state penetrated deep into the fiber of society. This was in stark contrast to the Polish-Lithuanian model. Pelenski showed how the Polish, Lithuanian and Ruthenian noblemen saw themselves as obywatele, or citizens, while Muscovites were kholopy or slaves of the tsar. The Muscovite ruler regarded his government as “free” – free from societallimitations and resistance. In the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the government also considered itself “free” but because it expressed the freedom of society (or its social elite, the nobility) from royal tyranny. In essence, Pelenski argued that Poland-Lithuania, and that part of Rus’ it encompassed, were developing a civil society; Muscovy intentionally avoided this course. A vast civilizational divide deepened in the inheritance of Kyivan Rus’.

And yet, Pelenski did not view the western character of Poland-Lithuania (and within it the core of Rus’) uncritically. The humanistic ideals of the “democracy of the nobility” in the sixteenth century were followed by intolerant, anarchic practices of oligarchy that gave rise to the Khmel’nyts’kyi Revolution in the seventeenth century and the Haidamak insurrections in the eighteenth. Integral nationalism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries grew on this basis as, ultimately, have acts of ultranationalist religious bigotry even today.

With the destruction of Poland-Lithuania in 1795, and the annexation by Russia of all of Rus’ except Eastern Galicia, Transcarpathia and Northern Bukovina, the struggle for the Kyivan succession changed character. Russian and Ukrainian historians each created a theory of exclusive rights to the legacy of Kyivan Rus’. Pelenski showed how in the Northemers-Southemers debates between Russians and Ukrainians, a linguistic/historical Ukrainian theory of “perpetual continuity” (Kyivan Rus’ – Red Rus’ (Galicia) – Little Russia/Cossack Ukraine – Southern Rus’) was advanced by M. Maksymovych, M. Kostomarov and V. Antonovych and most explicitly formulated by Hrushevs’kyi. This mirrored the traditional Russian translatio ideology. The Ukrainian “perpetual continuity” theory was bolstered by a new argument stressing sociopolitical distinctions and articulated by Kostomarov, M. Drahomanov and Lypyns’kyi. The difference between Russians and Ukrainians lay in their political systems, “method of organizing the ruling elite, a different relationship between upper and lower classes, between state and society...” – to quote Lypyns’kyi. Thus, the Ukrainian state school of history and political theory emerged in contrast to the predominant populism of the Ukrainian national movement. The state, society and their relationship – not religion and language – defined what it really meant to be Ukrainian or Russian. But crucially the state and society were at least equal agents and the separation of the two is characteristicof the civil society that emerged from the limited monarchy or mixed government of the old Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. This approach was a fundamental reevaluation of old issues.

Similarly to the state school, Pelenski has argued that old questions need to be reexamined for truly great issues are never completely answered and, by definition, they are old. To be viable, the new must be grounded in the past. Ideally historical and political thinking should harmonize for durable sovereignty can only be based on a living – not a purely theoretical – foundation. Moreover, an ideology based on historical continuity and acknowledgement of the values of a civil society is best capable of inspiring the continuous coincidence of active individual self-interest with dedication to the national ideal necessary for a viable nation-state. The Poles had been able to “fight their way through to independence”, and the shared experiences of Poland and Ukraine in the old Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth that have led to tragic misunderstandings, if properly understood, would not only foster mutual respect but, with an reexamined history of Kyivan Rus’, would help contemporary Ukraine attain the same goal.

Original scholarship fosters new insights in society and, on occasion, fundamental shifts in worldviews but the preservation, remembrance and familiarization of the past are essential for original thought. Pelenski has played an important role in this task. As president of the Lypynsky East European Research Institute in Philadelphia since 1987, he has been responsible for the first publication in Ukraine of Lypyns’kyi’s Lysty do brativ-khliborobiv (Letters to Fellow Farmers), which called for the social elite in Ukraine in the early twentieth century to join the nation and its struggle for independence, regardless of ethnic or religious considerations. Liberation and stable statehood would require their leadership. Pelenski published the first critical edition of Lypyns’kyi’s Ukraina na perelomi, 1657-1659 (Ukraine at the Turning Point) – a study of the creation of a viable Ukrainian state before the death of Khmel’nyts’kyi. Fie was also editor of two volumes of studies about Lypyns’kyi: The Political and Social Ideas of Vjaceslav Lypyns'kyj and Viacheslav Lypyns'kyi: politolohichna spadshchyna i suchasna Ukraina (Viacheslav Lypyns’kyi: Historical-Politological Legacy and Contemporary Ukraine). He was editor-in-chief of the first edition of Memoirs (alsotranslated and published in German) by Hetman Pavlo Skoropads’kyi whose government in 1918 prompted Lypyns’kyi to develop in the 1920s an ideology tied to the tradition of the Ukrainian Hetmanate. Pelenski was co-chairman of the editorial board of a revealing documentary collection pertaining to the Hetmanate period: Myrni perehovory mizh Ukrains’koiu Derzhavoiu ta RSFSR 1918r. (Peace Negotiations between the Ukrainian State and the RSFSR in 1918). He is currently editor-in-chief of the five-volume edition of Lypyns’kyi’s correspondence, the first volume of which has just been published. Numerous other projects are moving forward.

Scholarship, likewise, has a pedagogical dimension. For years Pelenski taught popular survey courses on the Soviet Union and more specialized courses on Russia and Eastern Europe reaching back to Kyivan Rus\ In the mutual learning experience of the classroom, he offered not only insight but a special delight with the distant past as, for instance, in his vivid description of the fate of Prince Sviatoslav at the hands of the Pechenegs.

Pelenski has been a major figure in convening numerous conferences aimed at inter-national or inter-ethnic dialogue, an activity that continued his university activism. As mentioned, he was the co- organizer of all major Ukrainian-Polish conferences from 1956 to 1991. Pelenski organized three conferences of Polish and American historians (Niebórow [1974], Iowa City [1976] and Poznań [1979]). In 1981, he was one of the organizers of “Ukraine and Russia in Their Historical Encounter” which included a telling exchange with Solzhenitsyn. He was also co-organizer of five conferences on Ukrainian-Jewish relations, one of them entitled, “Ukrainian-Jewish Relations in Historical Perspective” (1983). In 1990, he participated in convening a conference on Belarus, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine organized by the Catholic University of Lublin, the Papal Institute in Rome and the Lypynsky East European Research Institute (Philadelphia), among others. He co-edited its proceedings, entitled, Belarus, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine: The Foundations of Historical and Cultural Traditions in East Central Europe: (Lublin: Katolicki Uniwersytet Lubelski, 1994). The interconnections in Eastern Europe spanning the East/West divide were made subjects of attention and debate. The transformation of Cold War realities into the post-Soviet world hasrevealed the importance of these topics as a matter of scholarly examination and creative contemporary dialogue.

Active cultivation of dialogue and advocacy of normalization in triangular Russian-Polish-Ukrainian relations continued in the journal Vidnova published in the 1980s with Pelenski as editor-in-chief. The editorial board of Vidnova included such prominent figures as Vladimir Maksymov (late editor of the liberal-conservative Russian journal Kontinent) and Jerzy Giedroyc (late editor of the most influential Polish journal Kultura). According to Pelenski, Jerzy Giedroyc was among the three most distinguished Poles of the twentieth century, the other two being Jozef Pitsudski and Pope John Paul II. The journal Vidnova stressed the need for dialogue among Ukrainians, Poles, Lithuanians, Belarusians and Jews, as well as between these and the Russians. Vidnova countered the silence that can perpetuate misconceptions and antagonism just as effectively as unexamined, unchallenged, politicized official histories. The history, present conditions and challenges of Ukrainian women were also the subject of a special issue of Vidnova. With such attitudes of openness and dialogue it is not a coincidence that since the mid-1980s Pelenski has been on the editorial board of the Russian journal Kontinent, published first in Paris and subsequently in Moscow, and since the mid- 1990s on the advisory editorial board of the Polish scholarly journal Przegląd Wschodni, published in Warsaw.

With Ukraine’s successful emergence into independence in 1991, Pelenski became more active in Ukraine itself. He was elected as one of the first foreign members (academicians) of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine; a member of its Polish-Ukrainian Commission; a member of its Bureau of the Division of History, Philosophy and Law (Social Sciences); and as director of its European (previously East European) Research Institute, he is intimately involved in building post-Soviet higher education in Ukraine. He organized the first conference in Ukraine on Lypyns’kyi (Kyiv-Lutsk, 1992). A conference on the hetmanate of Pavlo Skoropads’kyi (Kyiv-Chemihiv, 1993) was followed five years later by an official Ukrainian government conference entitled, “Hetman Pavlo Skoropads’kyi and the Ukrainian State, 1918” (Kyiv and Chemihiv, 1998). Pelenski was co‑organizer of both. The aim was dual: first, to further the de‑Sovietization of Ukrainian scholarship through the reintroduction ofobjective, i.e., non-dialectical, non-Russian nationalist thought, and second, to bring into the discussion topics that within the Ukrainian national movement and in the Ukrainian diaspora have not received much attention. In this respect, Pelenski has brought to light the Ukrainian state school – a virtually unexplored topic in Ukrainian historiography – by convening in Kyiv in 1997 an international conference on “The Ukrainian State School in History, Political Science, and Law”. And in 1999, he organized the first international conference held in Ukraine on “Symon Petliura and the Period of the Directory of the UNR (1918-1920)”.

Today, over seventy years since Pelenski’s birth, and after momentous changes, Ukraine stands once again, na perelomi - on the threshold. In 1929, at Pelenski’s birth, Russia was a Soviet communist empire, Poland had enjoyed over a decade of independence and Ukraine was stateless and partitioned. A decade later, Russia was one of the world’s totalitarian military-industrial powers. Poland was to be subjected to a brutal, genocidal Nazi assault followed by decades of demoralizing state socialism, and Ukraine, recovering from the Stalin- imposed genocidal Terror-Famine of 1932-1933, was on the verge of Nazi invasion and ever-deepening Sovietization. Today, the Soviet Union is a closed chapter in history and all three countries are independent states with Poland leading in a natural process of European integration. This course of events, itself, attests to the near unpredictability of history.

In this period, to summarize, Jaroslaw Pelenski began as a member of the Ukrainian minority in Poland. His family was among the first to lead the national reawakening in Eastern Galicia in the first half of the twentieth century. The war brought emigration and a new life in Germany and the United States. Throughout there has been a continuous, enriching absorption of multinational influences. Early exposure to the Ukrainian state school of history and political thought, in particular, Viacheslav Lypyns’kyi, provided Pelenski with a lifelong interest and a rich perspective from which to contribute to Ukrainian life. The significance of the state school has increased since Ukraine’s independence and continuing efforts to make full sovereignty permanent. In addition to bringing to light and popularizing the Ukrainian state school, Pelenski counts as his major intellectual achievements: a new conceptualization of Russian imperial ideology, amodified view of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, a novel focus on the myth of the Muscovite struggle against the “Tatar Yoke”, new approaches to the use of the Hypatian and Laurentian Codices and publication of Skoropads’kyi’s memoirs. In his methodology, Pelenski stresses the importance of asking bold, new questions of old issues and of structuring each scholarly work with a solid foundation of sources and a clear conceptual framework.

The hard questions now in Ukraine are not how to achieve independence, but how to solidify it. The state school has utmost relevance. As the Ukrainian state continues, the Ukrainian nation is strengthened. Equally important are openness to the West and genuine multiculturalism. Pelenski has fostered both. In his decades-old focus of study, Lypyns’kyi remains a constant concern. Though Pelenski may not agree with the aristocratic and monarchist dimensions of Lypyns’kyi’s ideology, he does see the contemporary relevance of his ideas concerning the crucial role of the state, the relevance of elites, well-understood national interests, and multiculturalism. This life of multiculturalism was reminiscent of the old Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth while at the same time it is fresh and emphatically relevant. De-emphasizing the ethnic basis of nationality is a timely counter-weight to the destructive integral nationalism that, at the turn of the twenty‑first century, is fomenting war, ethnic cleansings and other atrocities. It is also consistent with the values of a civil society.

The life of this scholar has, thus far, not only been to understand the past with ruthless honesty, to craft historical comprehension with solid research grounded on primary sources and structured by a philosophic framework and to teach students and others but also to confront historical distortions as a tool of oppression and aggrandizement and, in a more constructive way, to use historical interpretation to build a multicultural present as a future of promise and danger approaches. Pelenski is a historian whose fresh insights into the past have initiated new discussions. This is crucial. Genuine, sustained dialogue is central to both scholarship and society as a whole for it provides the creative tension essential for growth.

 

Janusz Duzinkiewicz,
Professor of The Purdue University North Central
November 2003

 

 

 

 


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