Birchak, Volodymyr [Бірчак or Бирчак, Володимир; Birčak or Byrchak], b 12 March 1881 in Liubyntsi, Stryi county, Galicia, d 21 September 1952 in Taishet, Irkutsk oblast, Siberia. Writer and community figure. Birchak studied at Lviv University and Cracow University and taught in the gymnasiums in Lviv, Drohobych, Sambir, and, from 1920, in the Uzhhorod gymnasium. He was an active member of Plast Ukrainian Youth Association, the Prosvita societies, the Shevchenko Scientific Society, and the literary group Moloda Muza. In 1939 he was a member of the government of Carpatho-Ukraine. Birchak wrote short historical novels, including Vasyl'ko Rostyslavych (about Prince Vasylko Rostyslavych, 1922), Volodar Rostyslavych (about Prince Volodar Rostyslavych, 1930), Proty zakonu (Against the Law, 1936), and Velyka peremoha (The Great Victory, 1941); two collections of short stories, Prytcha (The Parable, 1931) and Zolota skrypka (The Golden Violin, 1937); and scholarly works on literature, including Literaturni stremlinnia Pidkarpats'koï Rusy (Literary Trends in Subcarpathian Ruthenia, 1921, 1937). His memoirs are entitled Karpats'ka Ukraïna: Spomyny i perezhyvannia (Carpatho-Ukraine: Reminiscences and Experiences, 1940). Birchak also wrote textbooks for secondary schools in Transcarpathia and edited many journals (including themagazine S’vit) and newspapers. He was arrested in Prague in 1945 and died in a Soviet prison.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]